Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kiki: How do you prioritize?

And suddenly, it is August. Sigh. This post is therefore composed to the sounds of Brandi Carlile and Vienna Teng with a large glass of Merlot.

Wanting desperately to earn my rewards of a slice of Lush soap and a scarf last week was what kept me powering through a conference abstract, two paper revisions, chapter sorting, and drafting a review. And while technically I met all my other goals last week (missed daily yoga on Friday, when I kept thinking about it and thinking about it, and then just got caught up in helping Darcy prepare for his race), I'm left feeling like I'm not paying enough attention to Beijing.

Granted, between full days spent on professional writing, plus blogging and morning pages, I feel like do an imperial buttload of writing in the course of a week. So it's probably understandable that I spent several hours this weekend watching Hotel Babylon rather than writing Beijing. But I'm also returning to another book idea I had a while ago now that I'm refining my niche on Yogademia as well - hopefully that can be unveiled next weekend. While we have just enough time every day for what is important to us, sometimes there are just too many things that are important to me. In other words, I'm having difficulties with that prioritization thingy.

Oh, and this conversation with my parents yesterday was priceless:

Mom: "Why haven't you called?"
K: "Because I've been working - I'm trying to get the dissertation draft finished before September, and this week I had to revise the papers I'm giving in the fall."
Dad: "Have you finished your speeches then?"
K: "Dad, politicians give speeches. Academics give papers."
Mom: "Have you really been that busy?"
K: "Mom, what do you think I do all day? Sit around with my feet up eating bonbons collecting on the sales from my self-dissertating pens? Until that happens, I dissertate or do other work-writing nearly eight hours a day!"
Mom: "Oh, I didn't realize it took that much time."
K: "I'm beginning the seventh year of my Ph.D., and you're only just figuring this out now?!"
Mom: [silence]
Dad: [chuckle] "Busted."


Goals August 3-9
*Get at least 10,000 words down on paper for this final (dear lord, I hope so) chapter draft
*Spend 2-3 hours working on the book review for a complete draft
*Draft at least five longer Yogademia posts to have in the arsenal for next week
*Work on refining my Yogademia niche through better quality posts
*Draft and post another episode of Beijing (loved the Victorian serial reference, Revisionista!)
*Come to terms with the fact that Beijing has to be my creative writing side project and that the book I really need to write is more in line with my Yogademia niche
*Daily Yogademia posts, yoga practice, and morning pages, of course

Reward: Two-day Homemade Writer's Retreat next weekend, including taking my non-work writing out for a brownie and tea at Origin8.

Artist Date: two hours spent playing the guitar and singing at the top of my lungs without caring if the neighbors hear. Man, do I miss singing - using the Bon Jovi chant to close out my yoga practice only goes so far.


  1. You made me laugh out loud with your post! Especially with the 'playing the guitar and singing at the top of my lungs' bit. Yesterday I was actually thinking I haven't sung in aaaages! When I was younger and lived with my sister we used to spend hours playing guitar and singing together, God I miss that!

    I know exactly what you mean with the need (and difficulty) of prioritising. That's to me when chaos takes over. We'll learn to do it, I'm sure! I keep telling myself, sometimes what is important is just 'being' rather than 'doing' all the time. I think we all in SWIM have been blessed with an infinite curiosity and energy and that's excellent but the sidedown is a slight problem with finding balance and stillness within our constant movement, don't you think?

    The transcript of your conversation with your parents shows exactly many other conversation I've had with friends, parents, other relatives, colleagues, or any other people who are not writers or involved in any way in the writing life. Some people have the feeling we actually 'do nothing', or do something but just for a small period of time. I don't know if, at some degree, that affects us and blocks our creativity, when we hear and hear so many times how we 'waste time'. Probably that is the stigma of the artist. So here we are in SWIM TO APPRECIATE EACH OTHER'S WORK AND TO SAY DAY AFTER DAY HOW IMPORTANT IS WHAT WE DO!!!
    Good luck with your next goals. You are being so productive. Congratulations!

    Oops! That was long!

  2. Vienna, you totally rock.

    Thank you for pointing out that we need to find both balance AND stillness within our constant movement. And that hearing people say that we only work for small periods of time blocks our creativity. That is so true - no wonderful I could do nothing but sit on the couch watching Hotel Babylon after talking to my parents.

    I'm so glad we're all SWIMming together.
    SWIMmers are my guaranteed lifeline.

  3. LOL aren't parents the best? ;-)

    Btw, so awesome that you're a Vienna Teng fan! I've seen her twice in very intimate concert settings here in Austin. Adore her. :)

    P.S. I'm glad we're all SWIMming together, too!!