We—I—joke how my husband, Curtis, has a set allotment of spoken words at his disposal each month, so he doles them out sparingly. It’s how I explain his silences. Everyone laughs when I say it. But, now, the laugh seems to be on me…
I’ve recently come to the long-delayed realization that, like Curtis, I must have a set allotment of words at my disposal, too. But…while Curtis’s is a monthly quota, mine is a DAILY quota. And, while, to my knowledge, his quota is only on spoken words, mine is on written words.
My writer friend Marty, gave a talk, recently, about Chaos. She noted how, in picture books, chaos is triggered by someone or something breaking a rule. For me, rather than chaos ensuing it’s blah-blah blah blah blah blah bluckkkkkk
Unlike Curtis, it’s not my words—written or otherwise—that run out. It’s my ability to use them creatively. I have this newly adopted Bullet Journal to thank for the realization.
My last Fishbowl post, “Shot Myself in the Foot with a Bullet Journal, chronicled prats and pitfalls I encountered while undertaking to begin Bullet Journaling. Now a one-month veteran of the process, I have come up with a system that works for me. And some Don’ts (Or Donuts if you prefer):
- Donut #1 Do not Spend Too Much Time on It
- Donut #2 Do Not Try to Make it Look Pretty or Neat
- Donut #3 (with sprinkles): Do Not Write too Much
The realization that I was wasting precious words by writing too much of the wrong things too early in the day came about expressly because of this bullet journal.
Don't get me wrong. Bullet Journaling is fab-u-lous! This past month’s Bullet Journaling has done exactly what it is intended to do. It has:
- Helped me prioritize tasks and keep track of to-dos
- Provided a space to keep all those lists & notes (i.e. movies to see, books to read, things to fix, notes to write, passwords that I think I will only need once, misc.)
And, maybe most importantly of all, made me keenly aware of why I wasn’t writing what I wanted to write: CREATIVELY!
BTW: My sole purpose in writing this post on The Fishbowl now is as a caution to you, Dear Cherished Reader.
On Leap Day, as per the official Bullet Journal instructions, I reviewed my February monthly and daily task lists. What I realized was that each daily list had 3 or more tasks that required writing—and I was doing them before I got around to what I wanted, really, truly, wanted to be doing: creative writing.
- · Bullet-Journal updates of yearly, monthly, daily task-lists
- · Free writing (to clear the cobwebs)
- · E-mail check and response
- · Word-play exercises
- · Facebook post on my author page
- · Calendar update on my website
This past week, in response to an interview invitation from writer/musician/blogger David Alan Binder, I have been answering questions.(He sent a list of about 40.) Yesterday I stopped at this one, “What do you do when you are not writing?” (Clearly intending that in this context "writing" referred to "written-in-hopes-of-publication writing)
Part of me--the uncensored part, wanted to respond: “Glue beads and feathers onto costumes & parade through Port of Spain limin’ and whinin’.
Or turn on my Jack Nicholson’s Col. Nathan R. Jessup
“You want the truth? . . . “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.”
Because truly, what kind of "professional writer" would David and his readers think I was if, in response to his next question: “What are you currently writing?” I sent the above list?
Having written the above—and hyper-aware that I have used 628 of my precious daily quota (not counting deletions and revisions) to do so . . .
Also keenly aware that because, in this post I discuss my mis-use of creative energy I prefer saving for "writing," some of you have already Fooled Yourselves into thinking this post doesn't apply to you. Yoo-hoo: Creative energy is "energy for creating, being creative, making, doing _Fill-in-the-blank_
. . . I just want to say:
If you decide to create a Bullet Journal (or any variation on a task list). . .
And If you prioritize the items on said list. . . .
Do not do as I did and prioritize them in terms of “importance” to others, or with an eye to crossing-off-as-many-items-as-possible-because-it-feels-good. Prioritize them in terms of “important” to you!
In short: EAT DESSERT FIRST!
Select for Creativity. Use your creative energy to create—don’t waste it on trivial/menial tasks
Select for Joy. Be sure to put tasks that bring you joy at the top of the list
(Note to readers: As of March 1, Bullet Journal Task Lists will be made the night before, email and responses, posting on Facebook, etc. will be written in my down time. If this results in a lack of liveliness in above-mentioned writing, I apologize in advance.)
Word Counts Playlist:
- Three Little Words Utube featuring Fred Astaire and Vera Ellen:
- Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkle
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