Everyone has a to-do list. I follow mine religiously. When I get all the boxes checked off for any given week, I feel fabulous. It’s such a great tool to help keep me clear about my goals for each week.
But what about writing down a not-to-do list? I got this idea from Christine Kane’s blog post for entrepreneurs. It’s a great post, but I’ve decided to make my own “Not-to-Do” list for writers.
If you’re like me and love the feeling of checking off boxes to keep yourself on track, then this might be just the thing for you. This is my own list of “Not-to-Do” list for Writers.
No. 1 – Keep on top of Accounting
There’s a lot I’m interested in. Accounting is not one of those things. I geek out about words, not math. Combine math and 1040 form and, if you’re like me, I run away and do the dishes.
I hoard my receipts. Even the ones from the drive through lanes. They get tossed into a box or shuffled to the bottom of my purse. Meanwhile, I spend 10 minute chunks of every day stressing about organizing them, but not. Then on Saturday, my guilt becomes overwhelming. I’ll spend hours in a fit of organizational craziness attempting to figure out – not my budget – but if I should throw out all these little slips of paper that must be important because someone handed them to me with my debit card.
Thank god for online banking. My bank lets me assign categories to each transaction so now I never have to stress about all this paperwork. Now, I just keep the receipt til it shows up in the account and then into the shredder it goes.
Then all the important documents, I send the accountant every spring.
No. 2 – Do Chores
I have a confession to make. I rinse my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. Sometimes, on particularly grimy pots, I’ll even give them a good swish with my scrubby wand. There’s just something about all the leftover bits and pieces from dinner floating around in the dish washer and bumping up against my coffee mugs in the top shelf that grosses me out.
Thankfully, my hubby finally agreed to help me find the professional help I need: a house cleaner. As one of my favorite magnets says: A mind is too valuable to waste on house work.
No. 3 – That platform thing
E-mail, Facebook, Twitter and my new favorite Pinterest are all time sinks. I tell myself I’ll only be a minute, but then I find this, this, or, even worse, this. (If you value your writing time, don’t click on those links.)
I’ve spent the past five years listening to people talking about the value of building a platform with social media. All I’ve managed to do is waste a lot of writing time. Even though Klout has assigned me a decent rank, what I’ve realized is maybe I shouldn’t worry about it so much. First, I need to write. Otherwise, I won’t have anything to set on my platform.
No. 4 – Be a special little snowflake.
Some writers think they’re going to become published millionaires as soon as they pen “The End.” I used to think a similar variant of this myself. I expect to write this amazing first draft full of butterflies and unicorns that would inspire mass love and money throwing by every New York publisher ever everywhere.
People who believe this are cute. If you suspect I might be talking about you, go join a writing group. It’ll only take a few meetings for said cuteness to disappear. The process is similar to how kids become teenagers.
Sometimes, I wish I were still cute.
No. 5 – Say Yes
Saying ‘yes’ is absolutely the worst possible thing I do as a writer. Whenever anyone asks me to do something, that awful word pops out of my mouth faster than a Jack in the Box. I’m way too darn nice. Curse my good, Christian upbringing.
It’s amazing how quickly time slips by without me noticing. Between family events, friendly gatherings and charity commitments, it’s already August and how many writing goals have I accomplished.
Ugh! I can’t bear to think about that. The important thing to remember here is:
Just say, “No!”
No. 6 – Hate to read
This would be like someone who can’t stand chocolate deciding to become a baker.
A good writer is a good reader. Nuff said.