Monday, January 31, 2011

January Story: The Girl Who Did Too Much OR Jack Palance Knows Best

"One.  Thing."

Classic City Slickers moment, classic thirty-two seconds of advice (rated PG13):

Oh, but did our Reader Princess (RP) heed it?  (Reader Princess? What's that?  Read this and this for the backstory...) Did she?

Three guesses.  Wait.  No.  One guess

So check out how she set herself up for failure (Shame on RP! When she doesn't have the general public doing it, she's doing it to herself!)...

First, take look at The January To-Do List and tell RP:  Do you notice any CREATIVE actions on here?  Or are they all pretty much citizen action or self-improvement-y?  Hmmm? 

Then, tell me you agree that, not only are most of RP's January actions pretty time-consuming-yet-not-particularly-creative, there are WAY too many of them! 

Yup.  So instead of making great strides, focusing hard to slap one fabulously transformative project into high gear, she scattered, blipping back and forth among three major initiatives while attempting not just one action for each of the twelve (12) books she read this month, but ... wait for it... a total of  twenty-six (26!) total actions.  What was she thinking?  Clearly, she was not.

No wonder she's lost the spark.  And the thread.  Drizzle all over RP's overwhelm with 28 days of rain out of 31 this month, and that oughta pretty much drag any princess down...

But.  The Half-Full Glass? It only took her this reflection to figure all this out, and she did - in fact - get a good bit accomplished on her projects, actually.  And - thanks in part to writer Maile Meloy's mojo - she happened upon an excessive number of truly good books this month and got a bit carried away.  But seriously? Too much dinking around, too much avoidance of action sparked by too many divergent tasks on her plate. 

And here's a sneakily nagging issue for consideration as well:  Reading and blogging can wax time-consuming, not to mention distracting/addicting, so careful rationing of these activities may be in order.

So, what's to do? 

Re-group, refocus, and stick to ONE (1) thing in February.  One major project, one action per book.

First action: an adjustment in review posts to offer you all "jump start" action choices for each book so you can play along if you  like.  For next month, I'll include four choices with each review
* an online action link (to a community group or national/international non-profit, etc. where it's easy to take action immediately by sending a letter, contacting a representative, clicking a button to make a donation, etc.),
* an online inquiry link for studying a related subject in an interesting way
* a creative spark for an activity or practice (w/link if possible)
* and a connection idea (either to the writer/participants in the book or to one's community)

I'll choose one.  At the end of the month, we'll see where for my February story's taken us.

In the meantime, even if it's just by chance, let me know what you've done on account of your reading, so I know I'm not alone.

MFB, ONE thing at a time,

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