Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Discipline

Yesterday I vowed that I would stay off the internet until I edited two chapters. Seems simple enough, right?

Ha!

Let's just say that I had to resort to my puppy-training methods* to get myself to keep working. Specifically, shouting "No!" whenever my mouse strayed to the internet icon. The one time I caved, Ibis returned home from an errand within a minute of me opening facebook, so I quickly closed the window and got back to work.

I don't do well when I have unlimited time to do something -- I learned long ago that deadlines are my friend -- so I've decided that I want to finish this draft before my trip home in two weeks. You'd think that would be enough motivation for me, but apparently not.

I was able to get through two chapters by reminding myself that I love this story and can't wait to see how it ends.

How do you keep yourself motivated when you'd rather be doing something else?




*I've decided to spare you all and limit the puppy posts to Saturdays. But a one-sentence mention is permissible. (Hey, I'm making the rules here...)

20 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

You are so much better than I! I really struggle. I'd have so much more done (with my WIP) if I'd stick to my guns once a day.

LOL! Loved the visual of you yelling at your moving-toward-mouse hand. :D

EriCan said...

Kudos to you for finishing 2 chapters. Every little bit counts :) I would love to hear about the puppy every day!

I have a really hard time with this one. In fact, most of the time facebook, twitter, google reader wins. Lately, since I've been into the new story, it's helped, but it's hard to resist a good quiz or comment or *gasp* those dang games on there. I get sucked in easily.

Lately, I've been staying up until 2 am when I have to be up at 7:30am. It's kickin' my a**.

Time to find a new method!

Penguin said...

Sorry, I am the master of procrastination.
I learned well from my Father. He is even better at it than me.
So I always wait until it is to late to do something. Then I am under the gun and can then get it done under duress.
Hey, why do something right away when you got time if you can wait and make the task impossible.
Maybe I like it that way, because then is makes the mundane seem like I have accomplished a major task.


Nope, I just hate to do things.


Hmmmm.....the word verification really fits....spazia

Melanie's Mom said...

Melanie, I think you're doomed because your Mom has the same problem. Deadlines are what work best for me. I figure if I do something too early I'll probably just have to redo it, so it's better to wait. {Legal work is that way.] I think you just have to make more "mini-deadlines." Saying something big must be done in 2 weeks is way too loose for me.

JLC said...

I think it would be easier for me to write if I had an office space somewhere away from home. Perhaps a nice putty colored cubicle with no pictures and an old computer that doesn't even have internet capabilities. If I had that, then I would be productive. :)

Good luck with your rewrite! I promise not to make any interesting Facebook updates until you get back from your trip. ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, really? I feel like you're always at it!

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, fortunately Twitter isn't interesting me as much as I thought it would. I'm glad I have it in place, but I haven't really figured out how to find new people, and I'm okay with that. But that Bejeweled game will be the reason I don't finish!

Melanie Avila said...

Penguin, I like your theory about making it seem like you accomplished a bigger task than you actually did. :)

lol at spazia.

Melanie Avila said...

Mom, I think I learned that in the design world too. If you give the client too much time with a project, they'll tinker right up until the deadline. But if you give it to them with one day to spare... you're golden.

My mini-deadline is one chapter per day. I had to do two yesterday because I only did a couple pages the day before. Fortunately I got up early today and have almost finished my chapter.

Melanie Avila said...

JLC, I think that might help me too. I like that you've even nixed pictures, because I could sit and stare at ANYTHING when I'm brain-dead.

Thank you for limiting your wittiness for my sake. :P

Nadine said...

I have to set deadlines as well, but unfortunately since they are self-imposed, I tend to fudge them a bit and my work never gets done. Sigh...

Maybe I will resort to the puppy training method and just shout No. It's worth a try!

Natasha Fondren said...

I wish I knew the answer to your question. I'm enjoying the new life so much, I get to just enjoying instead of working.

I'm trying to set up rewards. I tried rewarding myself with Facebook, but the thing is, I lack the self-discipline to avoid Facebook until it's time for my reward!

Tonight will be better. I promise.

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, yes, the self-imposed deadlines only get me so far. Let me know if that works for you!

Melanie Avila said...

Natasha, while I was editing The Other Side I did pretty well with balancing facebook with editing. I think it's the heat that's making it harder to think. I'm dying right now and my computer puts off a ton of heat.

Robin said...

You could hit yourself in the nose with a newspaper every time you go on Facebook.

Or, drink Clorox Bleach if your pointer touches the Facebook icon.

Or, cut off a digit each time you stray. Then you could only stray about 8 times. (I'm thinking it takes one digit and a thumb, mimimum, to hold a scalpel.)

These are all excellent ideas, if you're a psychopath. Which, apparently I am. Unfortunate, that.

Natasha Fondren said...

Robin never fails to make me crack up! LOL! Maybe I should try that technique. NOT! ;-)

Melanie Avila said...

OMG, Robin, you kill me! I think the rolled newspaper trick might work. I'm kind of attached to my fingers.

Melanie Avila said...

Natasha, I love her late night comments. :P

Robin said...

Melanie, it's true! I seem to go a little more nutso late at night! No need for wine over here!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, I love that I can always look forward to a comment from you at the end of the day. You're like my nightcap.