Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to Work AWAP

AWAP - As Well As Possible.  This is the tag line of Jenni Prokopy over at Chronic Babe.  I love her website and her message - to do as well as possible every day - whatever that may translate to for your particular situation.  Today, for me, it doesn’t translate to a whole heck of a lot!  I’ve been struggling with some overwhelming fatigue coupled with difficulty sleeping at night along with my other usual stuff.  (Brain fuzz enters stage right...)
So, a writer with a chronic illness just does as well as possible.  Just like any other person with a chronic illness.  Or really, any one at all, right?  The next steps on my book are going at a turtle speed, but they are going and that’s important.
Image of Turtle: Turtle Speed is OK

Turtle Speed Is OK!
I think everyone who has a chronic illness and a dream, or dreams, needs to get this tattooed on their forehead… Can you imagine?  
So, what turtle speed looks like for me… and perhaps you too!
  1. I write out my big goal.
  2. I break the big goal into smaller goals.
  3. I break the smaller goals into even smaller ones.
  4. I make a task list - similar to a bullet journal, but much more informal than that.
  5. I often create sub-tasks or, what I like to call micro tasks.
Sometimes I only get a microtask done in a day, or a week.  Other days I may knock off 4 or 5 things on my task list.  And on the days I meet a goal - whether small or big - and I celebrate it!
So here is an example directly related to what I am writing.
Big Goal - publish a children’s book about a child who has a Mom with a chronic illness.
Smaller Goals:
  • Finish manuscript - brought to the best place I can possibly get it
  • Submit my manuscript to 5 publishers or agents.
Even Smaller Goals: (I’m choosing "submit my manuscript")
  • Write a Query Letter
    • Research HOW to write a query letter - best practices
    • Write a kick-heiney pitch for the manuscript
  • Create a list of publishers to whom I wish to submit my manuscript
    • Create a spreadsheet to record my research
    • Review the books from my literature review - who were the publishers of those
    • Research the above publishers to see if they are accepting manuscripts
      • What is the submission process?
      • Is there an email address for the person I’ll be submitting it to?
  • Submit my manuscript!
Micro Goals:  (I'm choosing "writing a kick-heiney pitch")
  • Research best practices for writing a pitch
  • Read the pitches (book flap material) for books I really like and the books from my literature review.
  • Write a sample pitch or two (first draft)
  • Second draft
  • Third draft if needed
  • Reach out to my writing coach to see if she’s available to help me polish my pitch (Renee Nichols is amazing and fantastic to work with!!)
  • Create a couple of Twitter pitches for Twitter-based pitch parties based on my longer pitches
  • Compile the drafts of my pitches and send to my writing coach
  • Share those drafts with my writing group
  • Using feedback, write the final version of my kick-heiney pitch!

Some weeks I only complete one micro-goal.  Seriously.  It's true.  BUT, it is forward motion and that is the point!  DON'T CRITICIZE YOURSELF IF YOU ARE MOVING FORWARD!!  Please, don't do that to yourself.  There is no need for it!  Turtle speed is OK!  You're still going faster than the ones who are still daydreaming!

Never Give Up!

I have a card hanging in my house that says, “Never Never Never Ever Give Up”.  I see it nearly every day and helps to keep me motivated.  Who doesn't benefit from a little motivation?!  Never give up.  Never ever.  Never.
If you have a dream or a goal, cling to it with all you are worth and make it happen!  Here’s a video that I adore because it is so inspiring and reminds me that I can make it happen if I work hard, even if progress is slower than I would like.  And the title of the video?  Never, Ever Give Up.  Ha!
And Now For a Pretty Picture!
Just because.  This is a larger version of one of the images from my recent vacation that I shared in my last post.  The Flume, White Mountains, New Hampshire.
waterfall image by Therese Kay Photography

I hope this post inspired you a bit, that no matter what, to not give up, keep trying, keep moving, even if it’s turtle speed.  Please share this with someone else who might need some encouragement too.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below what dreams and goals you are holding onto despite challenges.  Let’s encourage one another to be AWAP! (As Well As Possible!)  Thanks Jenni Prokopy for your inspiration!

1 comment:

  1. Always happy to see the current stage of writing :)
    My teaching business has started up again with the fall, and between that and my nap schedule, there seems nary a free moment. I'm trying to move forward, though it is slow, with my writing project. I'm taking an art class, because I want my book to be illustrated. No, I'm not going to illustrate it myself unless a miracle occurs, but I want to understand visual arts better, and be part of an artists community, because I think that will make the process of finding good fit with the illustartors more organic. I'm tired just thinking about the stuff i'm working on accomplishing.