Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kiki: Learning how to practice what I preach

Hello, my name is Kiki, and I have attention splatter. (Be sure to read part 2 and part 3 of the series!)

Specifically, I have difficulty with three things:
1) Focusing on creative output rather than blocking myself with all the goodies on the web
2) Spending too much time supposedly working on things that I am really completely splattered about
3) Not practicing what I preach in terms of priorities

Now that I am really committed to growing Yogademia, it is taking much more time. But I am also making it take more time because it is easier to claim reading other websites/tweeting/etc.  as "inspiration-gathering" rather than just calling it by its true name: creative blocks and avoiding my creative output out of general creative fear and the fear of imperfect products (it's not me saying that; it's Julia Cameron). I've noticed that even my yoga practice is starting to suffer because of this, which tells me I am definitely not practicing what I preach.
*Get at least 10,000 words down on paper for this final chapter draft
Only made it to about 8500, but a pretty quality 8500 with some important translations.

*Spend 2-3 hours working on the book review for a complete draft
Made a good start, but the fact that I don't think too highly of the book makes it difficult.
*Draft at least five longer Yogademia posts to have in the arsenal for next week
I've started working on them in my morning pages, so they exist at least in idea format.

*Work on refining my Yogademia niche through better quality posts
This I feel I've actually made some progress on.
*Draft and post another episode of Beijing
Not even close.
*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
Perhaps I've come to terms with this rather sooner than I expected given that I couldn't "find the time" to write Beijing this week.

*Daily Yogademia posts, yoga practice, and morning pages, of course
Missed Thursday's practice completely, and invested 20 minutes or less at least twice otherwise out of "busyness" that came from too much attention splatter. Posts and MPs are going strong, though.

The Artist's Way has just been spot-on in its essays and tasks for every week. This week, "recovering a sense of self-protection," talks precisely about identifying your "deadlies" (those things that we actively choose as creative blocks) and battling them by setting a "bottom line" rule that specifically targets them. This week, in a variation of my writing goals, I am setting bottom lines:

1) I will only do one thing at a time by monotasking with a timer to hold myself accountable for all things prone to attention splatter: dissertating, tweeting, reading blogs, writing my own blog, and doing Yogademia work. 

2) I will not postpone yoga because I feel I should be blogging or reading first. Practice first; blog after.

3) I will limit my tweeting to 30 total minutes per day, and limit e-mail time to a maximum of 90 minutes to be batch-checked ONLY at 7a.m. 11 a.m., and 4:15p.m.

4) I will spend at three hours working on Yogademia daily, but NO LESS THAN two hours of that will be spent writing and drafting posts, and NO MORE THAN one hour on inspiration-gathering.

5) I will dissertate for five hours daily and cross 20,000 words this week (about 2300 each day).

Reward: Good question. I'll have to get back you on that one.


  1. Oh my lord, kiki! That "attention splatter" series is great. So many great tips & I love the metaphor about eating but not FEEDING yourself. I'm definitely an attention splatterer too--I bet a lot of academics are because there's always something new to explore or research or respond to.

    Despite the splattering, it looks like you still had a productive week. Maybe now that you know that the Beijing story is in a place within yourself where you're ready to access it, you can file it away until the right time comes and focus on some of the other interests tugging at your sleeves.

    I'm going to borrow your monotasking technique and try that today! Good luck with your writing and yoga practice this week :)

    PS~~and thanks again for those 2 posts about bra fittings bc without them I'd still be slumping around in my old stuff. ;)

  2. hi, my name is dharmagirl, and i'm an attention splatterer too:) so good to have found you!

    i really like your focus on monotasking and setting up a system to keep yourself on track. it's easy to get pulled into the sway of one moment and spend way too much time on something (i.e. internet browsing) with nothing to show for that time...

    good luck this week:)

  3. Monotasking can be really tiring, but you know that things have a definite end point and then you can go on and direct your energy elsewhere. Let me know how it works for you - I'm interested to hear how other people are finding it.

    I wonder if attention splatter was this bad before the internet...

    Revisionista - so glad you had good luck at Intimacy! It's expensive, but oh-so-worth it. My TranquiliT never looked so good as it did when I walked out of the Boston branch with first properly fitted undergarments.

  4. I am an attention splatterer too. Every few weeks I have to set myself back on a timer for a while. It really does work quite well until it doesn't again. I did like how Christine Kane builds in some splatter time and calls it moodling.

    Good luck with your goals. :) And monotasking does work :)

  5. Ditto on the attention splattering! I really need to get a kitchen timer, as Kimberly suggests...

    Now, as for your goals, 30 min. of tweeting a day?? Haha. No I think that's very admirable (and wise), although I will miss you! :)

  6. You're so right about 30 minutes of tweeting being a little on the low side. So many good links! So many little bits of news!