My mother-in-law declutters her house quite often. Old editions of magazines get tossed; any small items left out from mending or sewing get put away; plastic gets put into garbage bags to be taken to the recycling place in town. She has a marvelous saying for when she does this, “clearing the decks“. I’m sure I heard this before I ever married her youngest son, but for the life of me, I can’t remember when or who it was that I heard it from. Nevertheless, I love the phrase and am glad she brought it to my attention.
I’m clearing my decks of obligations this weekend. I’m not talking about the ones I have concerning my family. Rather, I’m talking about the ones I’ve put on myself that are distracting me from what I want to accomplish in the near future–the near future being a span of three years and the accomplishment being a finished writing project.
I keep on telling people I feel comfortable with the concept of starting a writing project I truly want to see through to the end. Since the first time making this statement, I’ve missed 3 days of working on this endeavor. Although this isn’t a bad start, I don’t want to miss any more days of working with it. Therefore, I must make room within the course of my daily activities. Thus, cleaning the decks is necessary.
This has become a complicated achievement. I had to reevaluate my time online. What do I take out and what do I leave in?
Social media sites have become bland for the most part. With this said though, I have found a new one I’m contemplating joining because it may be an excellent place for moral support while I’m working in this project. I do need to get myself unsubscribed from a few others just the same. They are not serving any worthwhile purpose for me, and the emails from them have become nonsense.
I’m letting go of some of my blog subscriptions. This one is yanking on some heartstrings though. I’ve made so many acquaintances through reading blogs of those I’d love to upgrade to friends, but if I’m going to be serious about writing this story, I have to find the time for it somehow. I’m hoping once I have the first draft completed, I can start adding in some of these subscriptions again. Yes, I know that I could just change the subscriptions so that I only see them if I’m at the Reader, but I know me too well. I’d find myself giving excuses to go online to read them.
Did I hear someone suggest that I take a leave of absence from my blog? I thought about it, but decided that because I just love to write, and need a little interaction with others, I’ll keep writing posts. However, I am considering slowing down this type of writing to one or two times each week.
I must put more structure into my days to make this challenge plausible, so another thing I’m doing is having designated house cleaning days. Until now, I’ve been doing the cleaning as I see it needing to be done. This means a little cleaning here and there every day. I doubt that this is a good strategy when I know I should probably get in three to four days of just writing all day in hopes that I get my ideas flowing for longer periods of time.
I hope this planning isn’t just a way of procrastinating. Just getting to it is a concept I have subscribed to most of my life; yet, I know finding excuses to drag my feet can happen so easily.
To those of you who have writing projects: What do you think? Are these ideas of mine realistic? Do you do any of these things when you want more time for your projects? Is there anything else I should do to help myself?