...to get organised.
And I am! getting organised, that is.
evidence of me getting organised.
I have an exciting year in front of me, because, as well as taking on a new role at school, I’ll be working part-time for the first time.
First and foremost, I made the decision because there were some family things that I needed to take days for last year that left me feeling as though I was letting my class and my team down. This year, the plan is to have a day in reserve each week that I can use for that ‘family stuff’.
That aside, it also means that I have a day where I can be a writer instead of a teacher, and I’m looking forward to making a bit of headway on a couple of projects.
evidence of me being a writer,
(my 2015 writing log, research [yes, school version of Romeo and Juliet, but the only other copy I have is in such tiny print that it was all too hard], my nascent planning journal, and a pretty notebook where I write notes from workshops, etc..)
The important thing is to be ready, and not let that day be subsumed into the planning and prep and assessment and evaluation that rules the lives of teachers. Nor do I want it to become a housework day, which is something else I never have enough time for!
My writing plan is my ‘big picture’ overview, where I’ve prioritised my projects and tried to mix things up a bit to keep my thinking fresh. I have a range of ideas from children’s novels, to picture books, to YA to write my way through, as well as trying to liven up my website and reach out to my readers.
And I am always learning new things about my craft – that takes time, too – and reading others’ books for enlightenment, as well as pleasure, is a vital part of being a writer.
In response to all this, I realised that I have to find a way to keep myself in line and not allow myself to be distracted by all the other shiny (and not so shiny) things around me.
A couple of weeks ago, I was panicking about setting goals for the year and I realised that things were getting out of hand. It was too easy to get overwhelmed with all the things I wanted to do, or thought I should do, and, in the end, I simplified it down to two words: Now and Decide. I will point out, however, that without all the other information I had underpinning this, these words are just words.
I also had to work out how to to implement the sentiments behind these words.
How, in other words, to get myself organised.
Enter the idea of a bullet journal. I love lists. I love the sense of achievement as I tick off the boxes. I love looking at all the ticks at the end of the day and seeing that I have actually done something more than just muck about.
Well, a bullet journal combines that with keeping a calendar, taking notes, scribbling ideas, recording actions, and generally keeping on top of everything in a nice, handy, transportable package.
I was directed to the idea on Kate Messner’s blog via a facebook group I follow, and then went on to check the original as devised by Ryder Carroll. Kate's site explains how she has implemented it, and the actual bullet journal site has a great video and then breaks it right down into easy to follow steps.
I’ve set up my notebook, and started for January. I’m still getting in the habit, and there are ways of doing things that I will probably tweak as I go, but it’s a start.
One of the things I did on my January tasks page was set up a couple of boxes for writing posts for this blog... two per month is my goal, and, once I get this one up and organised, I’ll be ticking off a third box (I posted an extra one)!
In addition to that, I’ve been able to tick off a complete edit to polished draft (I never say ‘final’) of one children’s book, and finished writing the first draft of another one.
I’m now having a bit of fun writing a short piece for a competition which is entirely different to anything else I’ve been writing lately.
It feels good to have a sense of not just where I’m going, but how I’m planning on getting there.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Oh, and my title quote is from Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, part of the poem, 'The Walrus and the Carpenter', recited to Alice by Tweedledum and Tweedledee:
‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
‘To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax,
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings.’
Not sure why, but I’ve always had a fondness for this stanza and (mis)quote it often!