Monday, 20 October 2014

The Mini-King: Wise beyond his years

The Mini-King gave me an order yesterday: “Mum, you just finish your work. Don’t worry about doing anything. You don’t even have to get out of your pyjamas.”

And who was I to argue? The Mini-King had decreed it to be so. I love that sweet, benevolent little dictator.

So I did what was ordered – stayed in my PJs and finished my last uni assignment for the year.

At 1.30pm the Mini-King demanded to know why I was still in my PJs. He’s benevolent, but forgetful. At 2.30pm, with the assignment submitted, he wanted to know why I was dressed. “You can wear your pyjamas to the supermarket,” he said. Such a benevolent, sweet, naive leader.

This morning I got up and decided to... I wasn’t sure. There’s no more study, the housework’s done, then I realised – I have a list of goals. I posted it on my blog. I haven’t looked at it for months. Maybe I should.

So here’s the update:

  • Finish another story and submit it to at least five publishers in the second half of the year: Done-ish. One story done and sent to three publishers; one story to two. I am also waiting on written confirmation about endorsement for an issues-based book.
  • Write six first drafts from my PiBoIdMo ideas: I had to look at my notebook for this one... 50% done. Three stories at various stages from last year’s idea list.
  • Enter two competitions for the year: Still 50% done. The hunt for further opportunities begins...
  • Submit two stories to magazines for publication: Not done. See above.
  • Read 50 books this year (pledged through Goodreads): I've read 39 out of 50 books. I may have updated my read list this morning. My unofficial goal of reviewing every book I read this year is also up to date.

Other goals I listed were:

  • Take regular breaks from study – TICK
  • Try not to stress about the blog – TICK. As evidenced by the lack of posts.
  • Update the blog at least once – TICK. Admittedly, it was an easy goal.
  • Find way to cat-proof desk area – TICK. It’s called going to the cafe.
  • Always have something on my desk to do the next day – TICK. Even if it’s taking a dirty coffee cup to the kitchen.
  • USE my notepad – TICK.
  • Set out time to study and write – separately. Be flexible enough to vary depending on what's due when. But ALWAYS leave an average of one hour a day to write – CROSS, TICK, TICK. Many of my uni subjects involved creative writing, so there was no separation. There’s a fine line between flexible and can’t stick to one thing. I’ve hit the average – yay me!
  • Leave the house if needed to complete above goal. Feel no guilt about practically living at the coffee shop and library – TICK. But I have learned to avoid library when school groups are there. Too much competition for books.
  • DO NOT check email constantly waiting for offers of publication. They will not email, they will call. Also DO NOT check phone constantly for missed calls offering publication – TICK-ish. I’ve checked, but not constantly! 
  • Limit non-writing computer time to 30 minutes total a day – CROSS. I’m taking this goal as a sign that I have a sense of humour. Or occasional episodes of delirium.

So the reassessed, bright and shiny new goals are:

1. Submit finished PB MS to two more publishers by the end of the year.
2. Write three more first drafts from my PiBoIdMo ideas.
3. Enter one more competition for the year.
4. Submit two stories to magazines for publication.
5. Read 50 books this year (which I've pledged to do through Goodreads).
6. Update the blog at least once a week.
7. Be more disciplined with setting and keeping writing time.
8. Leave the house if I need to in order to complete step 4.
9. Print my goals, and refer to them!


  1. Long live the Mini-King! He sounds great.

    Any update on these goals? I often find it's hard to keep focused when there's so many different things to do.

    1. Thanks, Anon! The Mini-King is great - and a goldmine for ideas. The post updating the goals is under December 2014 - Out with the Old.

      Focus is definitely hard, but I find separating my time works well - study in the morning, writing in the afternoon. Updating the blog regularly has fallen by the wayside, though!