Lookin’ at you, fledgling little habit

Well, February is staring at us, Kilroy-was-here-style, and I’m happy to report that January has been productive.

I can’t say I’ve totally followed my own advice about goals in the new year (on January 4 I wrote a post about habits and goals), but the nugget of advice that I’ve tried to implement is breaking down my work into small tasks. When I made that post, I’d envisioned it would look something like early morning childcare, then teaching and grading work, then some me time (maybe even on the treadmill!) and then some time for blogging. I’d take a lunch break, then do some other writing– reviews, manuscript work, freelance work, things like that. Maybe I’d have more time for me and time for reading in the afternoon and evening. Maybe. Have you ever raised a toddler? Yikes.

But we all know that good plans deserve, nay, invite, serious challenges. My dog had surgery, and caring for a sick pup who becomes a pup with an unzipped belly requires a lot of emotional energy.

While I was working through my fears and sorrows, however, I managed to make small strides forward in manuscript work, namely, searching for agents. Using QueryTracker, this month I’ve compiled a list of 30 or so agents who want the type material I have to offer: memoir with a strong voice, punchy characters, a compelling plot and literary treatment of the work. I’ve spent time crafting a good one-liner about the book, a succinct overview, an engaging author bio and a letter unique to each agent I’m querying. This is almost as much work as raising my toddler. Almost.

What this activity has meant, in terms of breaking my work into small tasks, is that I pretty much broke off all other non-necessary work. No blogging. No story pitches to magazines or other publications. Just a little bit of review work.

So I don’t think I can say I’ve completely followed my own advice, but I can say I see the first tendrils of a new habit forming. Additionally, the puppers is on the mend, and an agent has responded, asking for the first few chapters.

Onward!

How are your New Year’s goals coming along? Not a goal maker? Cool. How’s your 2021 workload?

Header image photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kilroy_was_here.svg