Friday, February 05, 2010

A Month in the Life of a Scanner - Lindquist

For the last month, I've been so busy just "doing" that I've had virtually no time for reflecting, thinking, or, alas, writing. So I thought, why not just tell you what I've been doing? Especially since I'm a very high scanner (see Barbara Sher's books I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was and Refuse to Choose. I like them so much I created an Amazon store so you can actually buy them on my website.
They're in the creativity section.

Many creative people are scanners. Unlike those who are able to maintain a focus in one or two key areas for a long, long time, we simply have a LOT of different interests. Some of us focus on one thing and "finish" with it before moving to something new (totally frustrating friends and families with our flightiness). Others seem to juggle all kinds of interests, like the guy who used to keep a dozen plates balanced in the air on the Ed Sullivan show. I'm kind of a mix. I find learning something new exhilarating, but I also go back to certain things, not wanting to just leave them behind.

So what does a month in the life of a scanner look like?

I started out on January 4th with the goal of writing my memoir. The one I’ve been talking about writing for, oh, say, 12 years at least. January to March was my designated time to write the first draft. Only I got sidetracked by trying to understand my parents, which led me to want to know more about their families’ history, which led me to ask if anyone knew how to check on a few details about my grandparents that I’d been told but couldn’t confirm. The great news is that another member of The Word Guild knows something about this and sent me copies of birth certificates, marriages and census information. Very cool! The bad news is that I haven’t gotten much actual writing done.

Related to my memoir, I had bought a book for a friend’s birthday called Fearless Confessions by Sue Williams Silverman. I decided to order a copy for myself, too. After reading about 25 pages, I told my husband that if I’d paid $500 for the book, instead of the $20 or so it costs, I’d count the money worth it. Still reading it a little at a time. And it’s going to change the way I write my memoir. Assuming I get to it one of these days. Maybe sometime in February? Yeah, right. During the Olympics is not a great time for me to write. Which reminds me that my third son was born on December 18, 1980, and I got to spend two weeks int he hospital with him watching the Games (longs story involving a C-section, jaundice, doctor forgetting to do some things, and a case of the chicken pox at home.) Best possible timing! I had a terrific excuse to lie around wtching TV.

Where was I again? Oh, yeah. Early in January, I started blogging about writing at my new site Write With Excellence. This is something I want to do so that I can create a book from my "Get to Know the Writer in You" class. So I’m taking various points from my materials and expanding on each one. I started with Finding Things (i.e. getting organized in general) and moved from there into how to organize your ideas and then how to find new ideas.

In the process, I decided to give concrete examples of how I got some of the ideas I used, and post the resulting articles or books. That entailed finding my articles or stories, formatting them, and creating pdfs of them to attach. But it was good because I wanted to put up more of my writing anyway, and this gave me a reason (and a deadline) for doing it.

But January is also crunch time for Write! Canada. I was editing blogs and posting two a week, plus coordinating to make sure all systems were going, putting the information all on the website and making sure everything was working and accurate. Sounds easy, but actually took me a lot of time. There are just so many details to finalize, people to contact, and so forth. And a registration form to get ready – which my husband spent a number of days working on, too. But we’re happy with the end product – we think we have a fantastic conference - and registration opened on schedule Feb 2nd.

At the same time, I’ve been creating three new websites to hold all of the information that we’ve had on the old The Word Guild website. Why am I doing it? Because I'm the only person we can afford. :) And I'm the only person I know who would volunteer to do it who could do it. So I've spent hours testing themes to find the one that would work best for what we need, creating new headers for each site, and transferring tons of content from the old site onto the new ones. Again, it all takes a ton of time, because every time you fix one problem, another one rises. But we’re almost there. The first site is in use now:

My next goal is to create webinars to teach our TWG staff and volunteers how to use these sites. I don’t mind setting up the sites, but I’m not into maintaining them! I'm thinking of offering the webinars to other people at a moderate fee, too. Need to do something with all this stuff I'm learning. (And I am learning a lot.) Actually, I need to do the webinars so that a year from now when I want to do another site, I'll be able to watch and remember what I did. :)

What else have I done this month?

I’ve interviewed a number of Hot Apple Cider authors, then formatted the interviews and posted one a week on the Hot Apple Cider site.

Last night I created a form for keeping track of my eating and activities. I've also been keeping one eye on the Scotties Tournament of Hearts this week, and I’m trying to keep up with what’s happening with the Blue Jays and Raptors. And I’ve read a few books. I did a bit of shopping at the winter sales. Had a meeting about possibly teaching a course next fall for a college. Did some paid critiquing. Hmm. That reminds me, I have to get the forms for the critique program for Write! Canada updated and finalized next week.

After that, the next thing on my agenda is to start doing some Web TV programs based on my Release the Creative You workshop. We’ve set up a studio in our loft and we need to get going on that.

And then there’s the fantasy I started writing in the fall. The one my granddaughter is waiting for somewhat impatiently. And the mystery I've started that a number of people keep asking me for. And since my husband left his job with IBM in April, he has the strange idea that we should both start doing some things that actually pay, so I'm looking at doing more workshops across Canada this year. Of course, they need to be planned....

N. J.

N. J. Lindquist


Kimberley Payne said...

Oh, Nancy, just reading your post is exhausting! But I can totally relate. It's so wonderful to know that I'm not alone in my crazy "Jack-of-all-Trades Scanner" personality.

I'm one of those people still waiting for your next mystery (:

Peter Black said...

Kimberley's so right -- I was tired before I began, but was REALLY tired by the time I finished, Nancy!:)
I didn't realise till now how many traits I share with you (I'm not a good scanner, though, and and far from as productive!). However, may you accomplish all your goals in God's own good time, and may they prove eminently successful (or better, fruitful -- I like that word).

N. J. Lindquist said...

If you think you're tired.... :) But I know I'm not alone. There are lots of us who see so many interesting, exciting things to do and just have to try them.

N. J. Lindquist said...

Thanks Peter. Fruit is what I'm hoping for. :)

N. J. Lindquist said...

Don't hold your breath, Kim. The mystery is in here somewhere, but... there always seem to be so many other things that are more urgent.

Popular Posts