Gearing Up for Shutting Down

This past week I’ve slowed my social networking considerably. Didn’t check Twitter all weekend and only checked Facebook once a day—and I did not post an update each time. It’s been easy to slack off, but I had a busy week with appointments and errands. I was away from the house during my productive hours so I didn’t get much writing done, either. Plus, I had a last minute church lesson to prepare Friday PM-Saturday.
In total, I wrote my blog post and a little over a page on my WIP (Work in Progress). I barely squished together my seventh chapter to submit for my next critique group meeting.
News Flash: My birthday is a little over three months away. YIKES!
Since I decided to re-write my 2009 goals to be “Before I Turn Thirty-Four” goals, I really need to get focused on the personal deadline of completing my first draft, among other things.
I have goals in eight categories: Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Emotional, Social, Family, Financial, and Professional. My writing goals are “professional”, so I’m behind schedule on that. I’m halfway to reaching my physical goal—hooray for me!
Good progress on mental and emotional. Just about mastered the family goal—will need a new goal for the next year (the current one is a carry-over from the previous year). Been mediocre on the spiritual and social aspects, but I’m humble enough to admit it. And the financial front totally stinks—diffidently a carry-over for next year!
How have those of you that create goals been doing?
I’ll be taking notes of my productivity during February so I can see how it goes and will report back on the second of March.

You Want Me to Do What?!

My post last week sparked some interesting conversations. I had more feedback than ever before, thank you Megan for commenting so many times, including a response from Laurie Halse Anderson. LHA is one of my writing heroes—it was super generous of her to offer me advice. THANK YOU!
Besides LHA’s comment on my post (go back and read it if you haven’t) she added the ideas into her own blog and is calling for a Blog Free February.
I am going to accept the “BFF” challenge—including NOT reading blogs—as well as take a hiatus from Twitter and Facebook. I’ll still use my e-mail and internet since I use both for conducting the businesses of life (critique group, financial, etc) but will do so sparingly.
It would be great if everyone I know takes this challenge so I don’t miss any news/tidbits as posted in said places. (Yeah, I know… fat chance!)
But for now, here’s the latest from my reading corner:
I’m reading The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale and laughing a lot during the evening hours. It’s an honest look at the inner workings of a religious wife/mother, with a ton of humor and fairytale-ish happenings. Charmingly deep. Deeply charming.
The daytime reading, besides scripture study, is The ABCs of Writing for Children complied by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff. The collected quotes make it perfect for stop-n-go reading while mothering the little princess, and princes, too.

The Great Quandary

I’m a follower of about two dozen blogs. On Mondays I usually scroll through the last week’s postings. It actually took over an hour—about three hours, with hit-and-miss computer time while mothering the little ones—to catch up on all the posts this time. I’m in need of a new strategy to combat the blog information highway. Several of the blogs I’ve just started reading. If they don’t turn out to be what I hope them to be, I’ll quit wasting my time with them. But for now, I think I’ll have to check in at least twice a week to keep my time more manageable.
And my Twitter feed is backing up, too. I’m only following twenty-three people. Mostly writing related, of course. I used to only check in once a day but it’s getting difficult to keep up with those as well.
I won’t even get into Facebook… well, maybe. I keep my friend list small. I’d like to keep it under a hundred always, it’s in the low eighties right now, but I’ll see how that works out. I have deleted a few people over the past year. Like those who never, ever comment/message me and have over three hundred “friends”. I figure they wouldn’t miss me anyway. FB, since it is my family and friends on there, I try to check twice a day. And even then, it’s usually between a hundred and two hundred updates within the past ten-twelve hours. And that’s with blocking apps!
I deleted my MySpace account months ago. There was only one friend I haven’t found anywhere else—on the sites listed above—that I’d like to keep up with, but it wasn’t worth keeping MySpace open just for him. Well… no!
And, yes, because of my OCD I do feel the need to scroll back through EVERYTHING since I last posted on each site. I just don’t want to miss that one thing that might make the difference to me or be oblivious to the vital information in the life of a loved one.
I’m trying to decide what online tools are the best use of my time. My goal is to build a network of writing related people/information. The Twitter account is great. I mean, the likes of Laurie Halse Anderson and Meg Cabot are following me—can’t beat that! Though I doubt they scroll through all the tweets on their lists… especially Meg Cabot, since she’s close to twenty thousand or something crazy like that. And most of the blogs I’ve started following recently were from links on Twitter. People keep adding me, mostly other writers—I do block the spam/weird ones. I think when other writers/etc see me being followed they are adding me to their network, too.
But since my FB account is private I need a public place to link my blog to—don’t I? Or do those of you reading out there—that linked to this blog via Twitter or Blogger—do you think a blog is necessary for an emerging writer? Can I create a decent enough writer’s space on a Twitter home page? Or should I make a public page for my writing on FB and people can become my fan? (Oh, I feel the ego swelling…)
Please weigh in on this, either in the comment section below or on FB, if you are lucky enough to be my friend, or tweet me.
And while you are at it… do you prefer this blog to be personal (child number three did x, y and z today) or keep it more about reading/writing/etc? Or a mix of both?
Speaking of… in the last post I mentioned I wanted to start listing what I’m reading. Last week I read three little devotional-type books about motherhood plus finished up True Blue Forever by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough. (For those keeping score, I try to read non-fiction during the day and fiction at night to keep myself diversified.)