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Monday, March 12, 2007


"Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and molars."
Walter Bagehot 1826-1877 "Estimates of Some Englishmen and Scotchemn" 1858 (The First Edinburgh Review)

Every once in a while one needs to sit down and take stock of the progress in whatever it is your goals are and if you are achieving any of them. This not only goes for writing, but in other aspects of life as well. For me I'm not only checking myself to see if I'm wasting time when I should be writing, but also if I'm fooling around and not paying attention to my diet. So far, after nearly a year on the Weight Watchers program I am a serious failure. Sure, I'm trying to tally 'points' and watch what I eat, but not watching carefully enough. And I certainly try to get enough exercise, and for awhile I even got into the routine of doing daily stretches at home, but once I get off track that's it. And here I am again back at Square One, sitting around too much and not getting the cardio and stretching exercise I need to do in order to tone up and lose weight.

So this weekend I gave myself a serious talking-to about my diet/exercise program. I had an appointment with the trainer at the gym yesterday and found out how to use the big machines (still have to go back to set up a new regime of exercises for toning). And in making out my weekly menus I was a lot more careful to try and choose W.W. recipes and low calorie foods so that I won't over-do it. (I am careful not to keep 'forbidden' foods in my fridge or cupboards and have to remind myself to buy appropriate snacks.) I haven't been going out to party with my friends so much but when I do I need to keep it in mind that over-doing it isn't good.

I decided to assess my writing goals as well. Am I staying on track? So far, in the last two months I've done a lot of writing -- completed 7 travel stories and started a new chapter of my novel. But since I got my new scanner last week I've spent far too many hours trying to scan photos the proper resolution for publications. Now I've got that figured out, this week I have to start marketing the new writing and then I still have the Chile stories to write. What I really want to do though, is get back to the novel because I had h oped to get it finished before the middle of May and at the rate I'm going that's highly unlikely. One good thing, my night school classes end this week so that will allow me more time to relax and get more work done. (What's been in my in my favour is the non-stop rainy weather which made it easier for me to stay home -- also to avoid going out to the gym.)

I noticed a Meme on Marie's blog the other day and thought I'd try it just to see if it helps me focus on what I really want to accomplish in the short/long term. (This includes not only my physical fitness regime but my writing aims.) So here goes...

What are your short term AIMS (6 - 8 wks)
Writing: Send out all the new travel articles to paying publishers. Write Chile stories. Finish another chapter of Shadow.
Physical fitness/diet: Count points BEFORE eating. Get to the gym at least twice a week and waterfit twice a week. Start doing stretches and sit-ups at home every day!

Medium term Aims ( 6 - 8 months)
Writing: Finish "Shadow of the Lion" up to final draft ; rework Sappho play; do more travel stories (and market them) (Travel plans include Venice and Greece and I have already planned what I want to write about.)
Physical fitness/diet: Lose at least 10 pounds and keep active (more swimming and cardio)

Long term aims (6 - 8 years)
Writing: Have my novel out to market and rework my other w.i.p. "Dragons in the Sky". Complete it and the Sappho play and start a new novel (one already planned) Keep travelling so I have lots of travel article material to work from.
Physical Fitness: Stay active and keep on target with the diet!

What do you need to do to realize these aims?
Short term:
Writing: Don't waste time with unimportant tasks and procrastinations.
Physical Fitness: plan menus carefully. Don't make excuses for not exercising.

Medium term:
Writing: Revamp my writing class program, get more editing jobs, keep writing every day no matter what.
Physical fitness: Increase exercise reps at gym, walk every day, do more swimming. Be aware of what I'm eating and try to keep it healthy.

Long term:
Writing: No matter what, don't give up til you get your book published. Try to get more travel articles published and aim for more of those FAM trips. (I deserve it!)
Physical Fitness: Keep my weight down to a comfortable size and stay healthy and active.


"The road to resolution lies by doubt:
The next way home's the farthest way about."
Francis Quarles 1592- 1644 "Epigrams"

"The longest way round is the shortest way home." Proverb.



Sam said...

Hi Wynn,
Would you consider making a travel diary in book form and proposing it to Calderwood books? We have a non fiction section (or will have, lol.) I think self-help and travel books have an important place in a bookstore!

Wynn Bexton said...

Hi Sam, that's a great idea. I'll definitely give it some thought and be in touch. thanks, wynn

Divino Vino said...

wynn I recommend walking. its great exercise and it can be fun too. its free and estimulates the mind.

Wynn Bexton said...

Hi Devino, it happens that I am a walking writer. A great deal of my novel was constructed while I was walking (I especially like to walk the sea wall when I am trying to sort things out). My other W.I.P. was largely conceived while walking to and from the sea port on Evvia in Greece (5 k up and down the mountain from the village). I think in this windy,cold,wet winter I haven't been able to get out to do so much walking and being stuck hours in front of the computer isn't always conducive for inspiration.

Divino Vino said...

then.....dont worry anymore about exercise! diet: a lot of rapesee, avocado and olive oil... a ton of olives tomatoes and pasta and fresh basil and fresh mushroomss... c'est tout q vouz a besoin!

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, olive oil would so work for me. The stuff gives me a mean diarrhea. :)

I'm not good with goals. If I fail them, it will only make me feel bad. So I prefer to enjoy achievements when they happen.

Very un-German, I know. ;)

Wynn Bexton said...

Oh damn! I tried so hard this week -- counted all the points and was pleased that on a few days I didn't even go over, and so far haven't used up the extra 35 points either. But...I had GAINED instead of losing. GRRRR. (The woman who weighed me in was very kind and suggested next time i wear lighter clothing as, she said, "jeans weigh more and you are also wearing a heavier sweater." In all, it's very discouraging.

And I'm so GOOD, too. Here it is Friday night and I stayed home and finished editing the Africa travel book that I was doing for a guy, and also sent some stuff of my own off to markets.

Now I think I deserve to spend part of the weekend partying as my classes are finished and I'm on Spring break!