4. Cleaning up Desktops and Inboxes
Don’t know about you, but it’s amazing how many email lists I manage to get myself on over the months, and how many files accumulate on both my physical & PC desktops. So I’ve sorted through my Inbox. I’ve unsubscribed from the advert lists that distract rather than aid, and promised myself not to check email, during NaNoWriMo, until after my daily quota is logged.
I thought about setting an email autoresponder, but I don’t like getting those myself. Once a day email processing seems like the wiser compromise. And I’m letting fam, friends, and colleagues know via FB & Twitter that I may be a bit more unresponsive than usual.
As for my work space, I cleaned all my physical and digital desktops with an emphasis on backgrounding non-NaNoWriMo projects that must wait till December. I’m also giving the computers a bit of a tune-up–cleaning out caches, running defragment, updating, and backing up on both Dropbox and an external hard drive. My hope is to have a low-maintenance, smooth-running writing experience. There are few things more frustrating than having creative flow impeded by sluggish and buggy programs!
5. Prepping & scheduling blogs & social media
I’ll keep up on Twitter and Facebook at least, and my shiny new blog. (I enjoy these too much to go silent.) But I’ll be limiting social sharing to a couple of short time blocks a day. I’ve gotten a head start on the month’s blogging with a half dozen or so postdrafts that I can polish and upload with minimal stress.
6. Preparing my Office-away-from-home.
Much as I love my wee studio (a converted 8 x 10 shed), sometimes it helps to get away from the “dailiness” of one’s home office.
My writing home-away-from-home is the Boulevard Cafe in downtown Ashland, tucked inside the Stratford Inn. The place is bright and spacious and has free WiFi, and the coffee is yummy. (CLan Murphy regards good coffee as a form of Infused Contemplation.) Boulevard even provides convenient electric outlets for charging laptop batteries. Nor does it hurt that the place is directly across the street from the library and a pleasant two mile hike from home—the distance motivates me to get up off my sedentary writer’s arse and get some blood flowing.
To prep for my office-away-from-home, I’ve saved up coffee money, cleaned out my waterproof backpack, and drafted a forget-me-not “Walkies” list to tack on to my bulletin board. The list includes getting a good research or writing audiobook loaded on my cell, to listen to on the way. I suspect my first listen will be a re-run of one of my fave writing books, Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.
Speaking of my laptop, I also ran it through the same clean-up and syncing cycle as my desktop PC, so the twain will talk to each other nicely and not spit out conflicting files.
Tomorrow, the final three things I’m doing prep for NaNoWriMo.
On to Part 3