And here comes guest post number two. Please welcome Amy L. Sauder. Amy has been called “Quirky Meta Mystery” and “Walking Fairytale.” Since gaining her English Lit degree, she has studied creative writing and dabbled in other arts she probably has no business dabbling in. Amy strongly believes that in some parallel universe her clumsy self figured out how to become a trapeze artist. Amy writes quirks, obsession, madness, and misfits.
WORLD DOMINATION AMIDST LOVABLE VILLAINS LIKE DAY JOB & FRIENDS & SLEEP
Some people have resolutions and goals…we have plots and schemes. The hustle is strong, and then a well-meaning villain comes along to wipe out our world domination plans. But not this time!
My writerly dreams battle against lovable nuisances like a day job (Cha-ching$$$$), family & friends, self-care, and of course household chores. And I have found three strategies that keep me writing even amidst ALL THE THINGS that will squeeze their way into my calendar.
1. SAY "NO" AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Apparently my first baby word was “no”. I was born a rebel like that! Muahahaha. But somewhere along the way, I forgot how to say “no” so well.
Someone once said, “God has a plan for your life, and so does everyone else.” We get too busy building everyone else’s empires if we default to “yes”, so us dreamers need to default to “no”.
One day I listed out my priorities and cut everything else from my calendar. And little priorities – chores, sleep, exercise – can be parsed down:
- I want to prioritize exercise, but how little is enough? (for me, the answer was 8 times a month)
- I need to have a clean enough house that I stay sane, but how much can I stack the dishes before I stop writing and start scrubbing? (for me, two days worth, tops)
- I want healthy food on a budget, but do I have to cook from scratch every meal? (I get moderately healthy, moderately cheap frozen foods to pop in the oven during writing time)
- I need sleep, but – okay, I’ll be real, I didn’t parse down sleep because I need my ZZzzzzZZZZzzzz’s, please understand.
2. SCHEDULE TIME FOR WORLD DOMINATION
Once I make free time, all the non-writerly priorities squeeze right into those time slots and there’s no time for world domination. Anyone else have that problem???
So my next trick is putting big X’s through certain days on my calendar. Those are world domination days. I fill my calendar with X’s before loveable villains can squeeze their way in. The important rule is, I can move those X’s around within a month if something comes up, but I have to keep all those X’s within that month.
Bonus trick: I also schedule rest days in the calendar, because if I don’t have rest days, those X days very quickly disintegrate into “Ughh, I’m exhausted, I’ll work on world domination later” days. No good.
When someone asks about meeting up on, say, Thursday, I can look at the calendar and say, “I got something else on the schedule. Raincheck, mmk?” (No more of the awkward, “I was gonna write…” then the villain-friend saying, “Write another time. Join usssss!” *Grrr*)
3. RECRUIT ACCOMPLICES
Any great world overlord has accomplices in world domination, don’t ya know.
- Each month I get coffee with a friend to share our writing, so I am required to accomplish *something* in that timeframe to share.
- I discuss writerly schemes over social media with a friend, and we encourage each other to hit those weekly goals.
- I talk about my writing in person and online so my creative community can pester me for updates. Then I have to keep writing or be a failure for the world to see!
I tell people when I’ll have something done. I set a [reasonable timeframe based on X’s] deadline. Large goals are nice, but difficult to accurately assess. Mostly I give small chunk deadlines. “I’ll finish a blogpost by next week”, or “I’ll send you the first chapter by next month.”
Built in motivation. No evil overlord wants to become a laughingstock, so there has to be follow-through to those threats, uhh, I mean goals.
That’s my 3 secrets to taking over the world – steal the ones that work for you, and then we’ll all be evil overlords together! Oh, and tell me your world domination secrets too, so Ksenia and I can steal them and become more powerful.