Squirrels Chasing Gold Stars

I sit down every day, hoping to accomplish ALL THE THINGs. The problem with that is I have very little focus. I start one thing, then run into an issue with needing to finish another to finish the first. Next thing I know I’m on Facebook doing NOTHING. Or worse, I get so hyper focused on the first task I don’t timebox it and boom it’s three in the morning.

I did this to myself. I decided I wanted to run two businesses that require a lot of “work time” to build the product. The first business is The Great Yarn Dragon. I started this business in January 2020 with all the plans to get it off the ground and running so I could spend the year making enough money to have a buffer to get a store front. I want a yarn store that also provides crochet space, and classroom space. I took a business course and I got it all in order. Then the pandemic went into full swing.

The other business is J.R. Froemling. I’ve been writing my whole life. The first thing I ever wrote was a play in fifth grade about Joe Willis and Santa Claus. I still have it in the adventure box. In October 2021 I decided to get paid to write and here we are. This business is INSANE. It takes so much more work to make this one thrive than the other one.

Now, I was a part of another family business, Whimsy Outfitters. It was costuming, jewelry, props, and yes crochet. My sister started it, shuttered it, then opened it again. I wasn’t a good fit for that business. The first reason is having three creatives and no business mind leaves no one to organize the chaos. The second reason I went in a different direction is my stuff didn’t jive with their stuff. I love my mother and sister, but The Great Yarn Dragon has a whole different business plan and needs than Whimsy Outfitters. They took the costume and quilting route! There were only a few hard feelings on my part for a short while. But here I am, happy and successful. They’re well on their way too. It’s much better than having family drama over something that is creative and fun.

See, I have already digressed on this entry about keeping on task. I’m like Doug in Up. SQUIRREL!

Today, I finally moved my undated planner back to my desk and wrote down all the things I could think of I want to get done today. Here is how this list ended up:

Priorities (left side of the page)

· Pack for Peoria

· Put edits in ADH

· Wash Tablecloths (for show)

· Finish Gen Con Kits

· Order New Art Sleeves

· Groceries

· Clean Bathroom

To-Dos (right side of the page)

· Poltergeist Girl Chapter

· My Celtic Luna Chapter

· The Drifter Alpha Chapter

· Shamrock Shakedown Chapter

· Magic, Mayhem, & Make Believe Chapter

· SIN Network Chapter

· The Wedding Lottery Chapter

· Do Reads

· Join Promos (because FB ads aren’t going to cut it)

· Finish GYD Money Workbook

· Make Marauder’s Map Book Cover

· Ship Fall of Avalon Hardbacks x 2

· Get eBooks on Ingram Spark

· Server Maintenance

· Pick Up Prints Re-order

Before you have a heart attack, this is just what needs to be done. I, in no way, will get all this done. If I do, I’m buying myself some damn Starbursts.

Just looking at this list I can see how someone with executive disfunction (which I have) ends up with a bag of Oreos watching Bar Rescue all afternoon. This is why I quit working on my laptop in the living room during the day.

This also is a LOT. I always do this to myself. I feel like if I’m not doing SOMETHING I’m being lazy/idle/letting people down. Mr. F teases me for being a workaholic. I blame society for teaching an entire generation that rest and recovery is wasteful and bad. Gen X, which I am (I will cut you if you call me a Millennial), had it pounded into our brains that we had to work that grindstone so hard to get ahead. Sure, that does work in some cases, but Jesus Fucking Christ, taking a break is not a sin.

I also have to complete a task I start. Mr. F will work like five minutes, take a break, come back and work again. I can’t do that. If I walk away, that task now lives in the ethereal portal of never getting done…until I remember I was doing it. So I like to start and finish it.

Which then makes writing hard. Because a lot of writers will write a little bit when it comes to them, put it down and come back. I can’t. As soon as I start a chapter, I will fight fuss, cry, and write until the end of the chapter. I also can’t write a story out of order.

I’m working ten times harder than I ever did in Corporate America. I also am dealing with about one million times less bullshit. Mr. F has agreed to gently remind me to write a chapter every day (like I want). I promised not to turn feral and bite him over it.

But listen, you ADHD people (or people who feel the same way but aren’t diagnosed). You can function. Find the trick that focuses you. I happen to like check marks and stickers! So I have a check list to color in for my lists. I also made a tiny success chart to put little smiley face stickers on. The sense of joy at getting the proverbial gold star is enough to focus me. May not work for you. Find what does. Because giving up is not an option.

I feel overwhelmed and scared. What if I’m ruining us by chasing my dreams? What if I’m not good enough to make a living doing this? Every day I fret and worry. I overcompensate by overworking. It’s like being trapped in a manic state all the time. Mr. F has been so supportive and is my biggest champion! If you don’t have that kind of support, you have me! I will cheer you on. I will remind you to eat. I will gently try to tell you that your choices are making your life harder. This one is the hardest for me to hear, by the way.

Anyway. I have accomplished at least one thing on my list today! Yay!