Here’s what’s exciting to me about this week: I spent a lot of time assessing. Probably more time assessing than actually working on the goals. But through that, I found some incredible resources to move forward with.
Key moment: realizing I’ve gotta do this “learning to write and produce radio” like it’s school. The boyfriend has been out of town for a week, so I’ve listened to podcasts a couple hours a day, mostly while doing dishes or exercising or getting ready in the morning. Fifteen minutes here and there really adds up! And I’m hearing things like “We found this story at the Third Coast Audio Festival” and then I Google the festival and WHAM! OMIGOD A WHOLE PAGE OF PODCASTS ON HOW TO PITCH STORIES, or there’s a passing reference to the intern working with the hosts and suddenly I’m all DUDE I COULD APPLY TO THAT and when I look it up I follow a torturous trail to OMIGOD A WHOLE MANUAL ABOUT PRODUCING RADIO AND EDITING STORIES AND IT’S A $2 EBOOK I CAN HAVE NOW.
So I’m reading and listening to a lot more specifics about producing and creating stories for radio, and setting myself exercises like “analyze the structure of three stories on this podcast you like. Now take three of your potential stories and write them out using that structure.”
It is so exciting.
GOAL: Stronger and thinner – weight 150-152.5, able to do 10 pullups without stopping and 20 pushups without stopping.
I’m working out 20 minutes a day, either conditioning and dancing in the house, or riding my bike from place to place. Drinking more water, trying to be conscious about that. I’ve forgotten about the handstands—need to get back on those—and haven’t stretched my splits every day. 80% yes on this goal.
GOAL: Speak Afrikaans well enough to understand dinner table conversation, even if I have to respond in English. Be able to understand most conversations by Christmas 2013; be able to respond with simple phrases by May 20.
Sessions with my tutor are going very well—one of the keys was learning to say, “Hoe s^e ek ________ in Afrikaans?” so I could stagger through conversations a little more. I have not been doing as many exercises or word reviews as I could, and I’m shy about stammering through the language with my in-laws. 50% yes.
GOAL: Build an addition to my house. Construction to begin June 1, and be able to live in it by the end of the summer.
I’ve been looking through decorator magazines and getting great ideas, and I got the latest plans printed out. The contractor’s working on a cost estimate. I need to examine the latest plans and come up with my last round of questions and changes. 50% yes.
GOAL: Be in a better financial position, including paying off my car by June 2014 and getting my roommates up to date on rent.
Have been reminding people to pay their rent, one roommate up to date, one only a little behind, one a lot behind and I’m worried he’s going to stiff me when he moves out. I have some links from drwex to read. But I’m on my bills and happy with cash flow. 75% yes.
GOAL: Happy relationship with good communication. Email boyfriend twice a week and call once every two weeks. Write daily (briefly) in my notebook, whether I felt loved that day, by his actions and demeanor.
I’m behind on the journaling but fine on the calling and emailing. He added my fingerprints to the housing development’s security system, which felt like a “step” in the relationship, so imma quit whining about whether he loves me for awhile. 90% yes.
1) I want to be on the radio, telling my own and others’ stories
I researched the hell out of this this week and learned a lot! I’m ready to sit down and do some serious pitching. Next step – analyze Snap Judgment stories, because I have a long topics list from them and I want to write good pitches. Also, I downloaded two podcasts about pitching, and will listen to those. 100% here, go me!
2) Publish essays and creative nonfiction in national publications
No essays submitted this week, but I’ve read quite a bit, and realized that what I need to do is block out time to revise essays for submission. I’m going to make a spreadsheet of every piece I have and what stage of readiness it’s at, and that will help me organize my work. Augh, for a so-called “creative,” I really depend on a fuckton of spreadsheets.
No essays written this week, but I went out into the world alone and rode minitaxis and met people and walked around, and came up with some strong new ideas for pieces. And I signed up for Idol which will give some nice deadlines. 50% on this goal.
3) Build my resume with publication to enable me to teach as a guest artist or faculty member, preferably overseas
Hey, I should update that resume! I did work a bit on my bio as a speaker, for a conference in June. 10%.
4) Publish a book that inspires readers and makes them feel connected/validated
I’m staying more or less up to date on pages. I’ve reached an emotionally challenging place in the memoir, which is GOOD BECAUSE IF IT WAS EASY WHO THE HELL WOULD WANT TO READ IT? (<---that’s a realization, there). I’m way ahead of 1000/words day. 90% on this goal, because I wish I was going faster.
5) Write a column or blog that makes money and reaches people
Finish Writer Website – I’ve noted down the things to do and blocked out time this week to do them.
Regular Blogging – ish. Idol is going to help with that, but I’m behind on actual blog posts. Then again, I think people have been happy to see creative work from me as well as more “writer blog” articles. 60% yes.
Hey I’m also writing a nonfiction proposal that doesn’t seem to fit in any of my goals.
So I have two plans about that. 1) Finish it as rapidly as possible, and, 2) think about how the experience of being able to craft a proposal can help me in other areas. Because right now I am not super-enthusiastic about it, but I sure did contract to do it.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress. This has been a groundwork week rather than a week of giant progress, but I do think I’ve taken some major steps on the relationship and radio fronts.