Getting started to get finished

That feels like an appropriately Southern headline, with a dash of Yogi Berra thrown in. All we need is a “fixin.”  At any rate, Caroline and I got together today at my house to see what it would take to move things along.

We put all our projects on my dining room table. I’m sure the main reason we chose my house is because I have so many more piles of stuff.

IMG_3862

Jenny’s stuff: Two laptops, stacks of files, printed manuscripts and a bit of a comic on index cards to the left

What we assembled is a fair depiction of how we approach work. I bubble over with ideas, starting one, then starting the next, and always have four or seventy things going at once.  Caroline is disciplined and deliberate, working to make one or two things absolutely right before beginning something new.

Three lessons for me:

  1. I tend to be hard on myself for not working enough.  Putting all my work on one table showed me just how much work I’ve done–a lot. I can stop calling myself lazy. I’ve even finished quite a few things.
  2. It helps to step through my projects with another person to get fresh perspectives, especially someone like Caroline who is calm and reasonable. I was able to make some decisions about what I could do to move things along.
  3. By putting all the work out there and examining it, I see how I can use the same process to submit it that I use for my “professional” work. I now have a list of actions I can put on this week’s calendar. That seems so obvious, but it wasn’t. I always push aside my “creative” work to make room for paying work, saving the things I really want to write for spare time I struggle to find. No wonder I don’t finish these things and get them out the door!

Here’s what Caroline had to say about her goals for the Year of Submission:

And here you can see why I’m Oscar Madison to Caroline’s Felix Unger:


 

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