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TSS: Structure is the answer

tssbadge1Good morning, Saloners! I appear to have decided this week that structure is the answer to all of my woes, and that if only I can organize things in my life a little bit better, I’ll be more able to achieve some of the goals that have been lingering in my life.

I started with blogging and reading, and you’ve actually already seen evidence of this. I am rigidly scheduling how I’m working on this blog to prevent myself getting overwhelmed by feeling like I’m not posting enough. Reviews on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a Sunday Salon post on Sunday (heh, surprise) are what I’ve decided is enough to keep my blog active but not so much that I’m overwhelmed or don’t have time to write the posts. That also gives me plenty of time to post anything else I would like, should I have a desire to do so, like pictures or quotes or anything at all. It also seems to have translated into some extra time spent commenting, which I’ve been trying to get myself to do for aaaages.

In reading terms, I set out my goals earlier this month, and I’m sticking to them so far, at least in that I’ve read two older books already and I’m on the first non-fiction one now. I made a Google Calendar with the days that I have promised reviews so that I don’t forget, and I’m even reading the first review book I’ve scheduled in that way now.

With some of the other goals I’d like to achieve in my life, I’m still trying to be organized. I’m setting aside an hour each weekend to work on my Russian, I’m writing 500 words of fiction a day (and I’m actually doing well with this, incredibly, but it isn’t many words), and I’ve signed up for a bunch of free online classes staggered out over the year via Coursera because I miss learning, I miss history in particular, and I can’t yet afford or know if I’m going to devote the right amount of time to a paid class. I’m also in the process of learning to drive, as I think I mentioned before, with 2 hours a week of that. I’m hoping to pass by the end of March.

It’s all a little eerie and I’m wondering how long it’s going to last until I burn out, but I don’t feel too restricted, yet. The part I’m most encouraged about is the writing. I often feel I’m producing absolutely terrible stuff, but I’m trying to remind myself that even if I am, at least I’m writing something and practice is what I need more than anything else. I think I’ll manage as long as I still feel I have enough free time to do whatever else I feel like on a regular basis – gaming or reading a different book or spending some of the weekend going walking.

In reading news, I’m about halfway through Guns, Germs, and Steel, which I mentioned starting last week. I’m finding some of it more of a slog than I expected; there were about 100 pages on farming and how that impacts the rise of civilization with various tables and charts and it was a little bit more than my post-work brain could handle. Fortunately, I’ve made it to germs now, so I’m hoping I can give it a little more brainpower this week and finish it by the end of the month on Thursday. I’m also reading Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell, which is proving to be good historical fiction so far, and after that I’ll start one of my last two books for Long-Awaited Reads month, probably Carter Beats the Devil.

How is January turning out for all of you?

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7 comments to TSS: Structure is the answer

  • Good luck with your plans! I’ve good at coming up with ways to structure my time but less good at actually sticking to them :P I recently decided that two posts a week was going to be my new goal, though, and I’m hoping that will help with feeling overwhelmed.
    Ana @ things mean a lot´s last post …The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

  • I’ve been working on structure too with varying degrees of success: the blog, success so far; a photo a day that I’m posting on a site called ShutterCal, success so far; our bookcase in the living room, success so far; diet and exercise, eh. But I’m glad to see you’re having all success thus far. The key is not getting too overwhelmed, as I guess you already know since you mentioned burnout. I fear that too and it usually happens, but I’m trying to keep my goals fairly simple this year, no multi-part plan here. So January, yeah, it’s turning out all right: reading-wise, it’s slow, but I’m in the middle of a larger book, 11/22/63, so I’m not real worried about it either. It will work out…
    Bryan´s last post …Getting ready for Super Bowl read-a-thon and #shineon

  • I’m also trying structure right now which isn’t translating to regular blog posts but is helping me to get more things done. Good luck with your plan (especially the language, I’m so impressed by that).
    Jodie´s last post …First Day Back at the Office

  • Having a do-able blog schedule helps get rid of the possibility of burnout, I’ve found. If you’re posting every day suddenly that could get tiresome, but three times with enough time in between sounds really good. 500 words no matter how you feel about what you’ve written, is good, and you can always edit it later :) It’s surely easier to re-write than face a blank page. Hope the courses go well, your driving too.
    Charlie´s last post …Life, Death, And The In-Between

  • This is the kind of plan I always think I need to come up with! Good luck!
    Amy @ My Friend Amy´s last post …The Sunday Salon: Like Everything

  • January is going really well for me, I have already finished 6 books which is above my average so I think a very good start to 2013! I am glad to hear you are doing well on your goals, I hope you will able to keep it up :-)
    jessicabookworm´s last post …What’s New to My Bookshelf?

  • Structure is always a good thing! Sounds like you have a lot going on but a way to deal with it all.
    Beth F´s last post …Imprint Friday: Revenge by Yoko Ogawa