Posted by: devonellington | January 5, 2009

January To-Do List

First, let me say that I’m not a big fan of “to do” lists. I’ve tried working with daily and weekly lists. It’s too structured for me. I wind up acting as though I’m five and rebelling against it and not getting anything done.

That said, in order to achieve one’s goals, dreams, and resolutions, the big things need to be broken down into smaller, manageable bits, and a monthly list helps me see what I have to get done (especially when it comes to deadlines). I often shuffle and re-shuffle as new projects come in, especially if they are projects that pay. But the list at the beginning of the month gives me a clue as to what I need to do and how to get there.

That said, here’s my list for January:

–3 men’s monologues
–2 women’s monologues
–Write & edit the first Mick Feeney Story
–Begin the next Jain Lazarus story (from Billy’s POV)
–Get back to The Big Project
–Get back to the Helena Francis Mystery
–Finish ANGEL HUNT revisions
–next Merry’s Dalliance story
–Pitch 3-5 jobs/week (total for month 12-20)
–Create, print, and send out new brochure
–New Jain Lazarus press release
–January newsletter
–at least 2 SDR blog posts
–clean up 2008 submission log and do follow-ups
–create 2009 submission log
–create 2009 Pitch log
–look at back log of short pieces and send out at least three
–begin Project S
–work on material for Confidential Jobs 1 & 2 as it arrives
–Polish materials for February workshop
–take a look at ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT to see if it can be salvaged
–work on next Nina Bell?
–work on Meribeth story?
–work on Carlton Thorne story or other genre expansion story?

I’m happy to say that I can already cross off several items on the list. The three last items, with the question marks, are possibilities — I’ll slot them in if I get everything else done, but they are maybes, not definites at this point.

What is on your list for January?



  1. That’s one hefty list, Devon. Good luck with it.

    I am a list person, very much so, and I love to see a line of ticks rather than a line of crosses. I’ve merged my home/work to-dos together as they all get a place in my diary.

    Here, then, are my to-dos for January (ahead of my blog):

    – write something every day
    – write 25,000 words on Stevie Tarot 1: The Fool
    – type up 3 fillers written during writer’s retreat weekend (my notebook, I’m hoping, is at the office, as I can’t find it anywhere at home) (topics – readers’ letters)
    – write at least 1 reader’s letter
    – write at least 1 article that can be submitted on spec (Barcelona – 1,200 words)
    – start second article that can be submitted on spec (Walking in the Wye Valley – 1,200 words)
    – write at least 1 short story (using Devon’s 5 in 10) (Lycra Louts – 1,500 words)
    – update writing blog at least every working/week day

    Day job
    – start ball rolling for department brochure #1
    – get going on website
    – work out content for March magazine
    – trawl for content for March newsletter
    – weekly timesheet
    – email contributors to magazine + reminders
    – email contributors to newsletter + reminders
    – arrange video conference for editorial board
    – attend and chair (?) video conference for editorial board
    – attend video conference for continuous improvement panel

    Health and fitness
    – week 1 – walk for 10 minutes every day
    – week 2 – walk for 15 minutes every day
    – week 3 – walk for 20 minutes every day
    – week 4 – walk for 25 minutes every day
    – weekend yoga workout
    – 1 long distance walk
    – weigh myself every week
    – keep within daily Points allowance
    – update slimming blog at least once a week
    – continue to cook healthily and from scratch

    – consider the comedy club held every weekend in Sheffield and go along to one
    – if there’s a football game at our local ground, go watch
    – bake and/or batch cook something every weekend
    – have 1 jolly with Shirley (Great Houghton)
    – only attend gigs that I want to, rather than when I feel obliged to
    – update gig list every day
    – make Saturday a housework day and Sunday a Rest & Relaxation/writing day
    – R&R every weekday night from 9pm

  2. You’ve both set the bar high! Good luck with everything as we kick off into 2009 🙂

    I quite like to-do lists but I prioritise within them so the important stuff gets done first and I don’t end up kicking myself on the ones that don’t get managed.

    Here’s my January list:

    * Work on Blood Ties
    * Write one new flash/short story
    * Re-submit any rejected/recalled short stories
    * Enter the Fort William Mountain Festival short story competition
    * Work on the fiction output from October’s Muse Festival

    * Write one poem per week – 0/5 (0/52 overall)

    * Work on Scotland’s Treasure column for SDR Spring edition (Apr)
    * Query higher paying writing markets, not more lower paying ones
    * Remain flexible for any TLB assignments that come through

    * Keep company accounts up to date
    * Continue work amalgamating web design and freelance writing sites to
    * Examine TLB contracts prior to re-negotiation

    * Stay on top of Ranfurly Review submissions
    * Start laying out Ranfurly Review issue 6

    Marketing and Promotion
    * Brainstorm ideas for podcasts/videos
    * Publish January newsletter
    * Prepare February newsletter
    * Prepare January GDR Review
    * Prepare February GDR Plan
    * Keep website(s) up to date

    * Start new diet

  3. Wow that is a giant list. I have one goal for this week, which I posted on my blog here:

    I have to start with small goals week to week.

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