Pi-day yesterday reminded me of my post last summer reporting on my audit of time spent at my desk (as, thanks to the wonders of Excel, I showed some of the results in a pie chart). Since then, without consciously making any changes, I’ve been fairly content with the proportion of my time I allocate to fiction, but I did give some thought to how I might cultivate desired habits if things should slip.
I’m a little embarrassed to report the plans I came up with as, being so many, I seem to have managed to overcomplicate a very simple technique. If I genuinely needed to reintroduce a fiction-writing habit, I’d have to prioritise two or three of these, but they might give you an idea of how it should work in practice.
IF composing a book review THEN spend the rest of the desk time on fiction
IF composing a blog post THEN spend the rest of the desk time on fiction
IF it’s got to 11 a.m. and you’re not writing fiction THEN seriously consider your priorities for that day
IF starting the day with a blog post THEN consider it a warmup for fiction
IF responding to the flash fiction challenge THEN combine it with a draft post or review
IF reading and responding to blog posts THEN do so at the end of the writing day
IF incorporating live links into a blog post THEN limit them to no more than six
IF you’ve worked at fiction for three hours THEN it’s okay to do something else
IF writing an article for payment THEN treat it as seriously as fiction
IF unable to get into fiction writing THEN adapt a piece of flash or edit something already written
IF you come across something that needs a quick fix in the middle of another writing task THEN add it to a list to check off at the end of the day
Have you come across IF-THEN plans before and, if so, have you tried to implement any? If not, do you think they might be of any help with your writing and/or online life?
Over at the Ranch, Charli is celebrating for years of flash fiction prompts with an extremely appropriate type of cake. It got me thinking about how weird the concept of vegetables in cake would have seemed in my childhood, and even more so for the central character of my current novel-length WIP Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home. Although it’s involved some time travel (the IF-THEN part of this post appeared yesterday, although that might have been Charli’s today), I couldn’t resist adding it to a post about pie.
Occupational therapy at St Luke’s
Flaying the first carrot, Matty recites to help the work along:
Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
No, that will not do! This soup will be the colour of sand. But hopefully not the texture. Chuckling, a more appropriate rhyme comes through to her:
Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run
Don't give the farmer his fun, fun, fun
Nearby, the chimp-woman creams butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Far too much of either for soup. And now the artist adds flour! Carrots in a cake? Has she landed in the funny farm?