Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pinching Your Pennies

by Heather Horrocks

Has everyone recovered from Christmas and New Year’s celebrations yet? Whew. And only about 350 more days until the next Christmas. (Don’t strike me!)

Actually, I want to share a great website I used during December and now for after Christmas sales and I’ve picked up a bunch of stuff for the 2008 holidays for 75% off. It’s calling (appropriately enough) PinchingYourPennies.com. There are a couple of others (MyBargainBuddy.com is one of them, if I’m remembering correctly) but this is the one I’ve used the most.

If you click on their website and then go down to the bottom/middle of the web page and click on Online Deals, a whole world of savings is opened up to you. And I like that. I have nine children, four, children-in-law, nine grandchildren, seven siblings, and many, many friends to shop for, and I do love a good bargain.

So, even though I’m always tired of shopping by January, this year I was determined to buy ahead at great prices, and I’ve got my 2008 shopping well under way. But I’ve spent my January money, so I’m sitting back for now and waiting for February.

I’m working, this year, at taking the stress out of my life. In fact, I’m making choices of what I’ll do and not do, or when I’ll do it, based on this. For example, if I get my writing done during the normal work/school hours (9 to 3/5), I have little stress; if I don’t get it done and then have to try to get back to it with my family home, it becomes stressful. If I watch the sales all year, once or twice a week, then I can buy many gifts ahead of time and for a great price; if I wait for December, it becomes incredibly stressful. If I sit down and push-push-push and actually get my scenes done for the day, I’m happy; if I piddle around on email or the internet or on games and my writing doesn’t get done, I’m stressed.

And then I have to ask myself questions like, “Why would you create a scenario that makes you crazy?” I haven’t come up with a good answer yet. Sometimes I think writing fast scares me because surely what I’m writing so fast can’t possibly be good ... yet my critique partner (whose judgment I trust) says it is good (well, 14 out of 15 or so scenes, anyway : ). So I have to continuously push down that little whiny voice saying, ‘It can’t be good if it’s fast’ and just push-push-push. Because the writing is a biggie for me – if I get it done regularly, I’m happy. If I don’t, I start getting cranky and unhappy.

And this year my goal is to be happy and productive. I’m going to write fast – no matter how much I fear it will not be good if I do. Worst case? I’ll end up with four completed no-good books. : ) Best case? I’ll end up with four completed books this year ... and they might actually be good enough to sell.

Hope you create a happy world for yourself this year.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting post, Heather. Good insights. Well said. I can see myself there, too. Thanks.

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  2. Here ar the trade publication I work at, we often find ourselves having to do a last-minute piece, generally something that needs more time and effort. And yet, we find on the whole, it is done well. Which reminds me of an old saying I think maybe true: Intelligent people procrastinate because they can do it fast. Let's just consider ourselves really intelligent.

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  3. Heather, that's the Sixty-four dollar question. (Woops, that really dates me. That was big money back in my youth, and the grand prize in a radio quiz show.)

    The question is still a biggie: When do we stop and smell the flowers, read email, play games, relax, or whatever fills our pitchers; and when do we work harder, smarter, and fill our work goals? And which takes precedence when we want to do both? Just which kind of preparation fills our lamps (to light our way and inspire others) and which activities fill our pitchers (so we have wherewith to pour into the lives of others)? Neither is selfish, both are giving.

    Maybe AA's prayer gives the best hint. Change what we can change, accept what we can't change, and pray for wisdom to know the difference.

    Thanks for the pondering material. And congratulations on actually getting some shopping done nearly a year ahead.

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  4. I say that writing fast is the best way. I can always go back and tweak what needs to be fixed. But if I don't write then there is nothing to be fixed, and frequently what thoughts I did have are gone with the wind.
    Margaret L. Turley

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