Monday, August 27, 2012

August is Awesome Because of Sara Abis

Sara Abis has a sense of humor that can sneak up behind you and grab you without warning, make you read something twice and ponder.  And who can look upon her online dating profile picture and not know she's one of a kind?

But then all awesome people are one of a kind.

And she's a lover of fantasy--which in and of itself is enough to make her awesome, mind you.

Give Sara a warm welcome and make her feel at home!

Writing on a Schedule, or a Calendar, or something.

I've recently had a few forays into the adventures of world of unemployment. And by recently, I mean that I was laid off back in July, July 17th to be exact. As of today I'm gainfully employed again, as long as I pass my background check. However, being employed has very little too do with this blog post. The adventures of unemployment do.

You see, I learned pretty quickly that if I'm super stressed about money, odds are, I'm not going to be able to write much of anything; look at my blog for the last month if you don't believe me (or just go look cause you love me and I'm a followers whore). Anyway, I was a bit too stressed worrying about things like paying rent and getting food to worry about writing for most of the month of August.

Yet on my adventures, going on interviews with pyramid schemes, trying to discover which of the companies that replied to me were real companies, fake companies, lying about what job they were hiring for did (Marketing does not equal door to door sales people) I did learn a few things.

Awesome and one of a kind
You see, I briefly entertained the idea of taking a job selling Aflac supplemental insurance. Now, I wasn't enthusiastic about this job, because it was 100% commission, with no real benefits (I would have been technically self employed), and I'm not a very good sales person. Anyway, I went on two interviews with these people where they mostly told me about how much money I could be making, and I didn't believe them, but they kept offering to send me to trainings and stuff that were free, so I figured hey why not, there's gonna be free food (remember me mentioning that I was worried about running out of money).

If you're wondering when this is going to relate to writing, stick with me, I'm getting there in a drunken rambling kinda way (even though I'm not currently drunk, maybe I should be).

The first and only training I went to began with a man who apparently is a millionaire (he owns race horses) walking into the room. This is an older gentleman, with graying whitish hair. Taller than I am by at least a foot and blue eyes, but none of that mattered because he was wearing a pink and white seersucker suit, with a lavender button down shirt, and a purple tie with pink paisleys on it. His suit was so impressive that actually it was the first thing I wrote down during the training. And I was taking notes, not because I needed to, but because I was trying to convince the other people that I was legitimately interested in this as a career move, so they would feed me. Free food continues to be one of the biggest motivators in my life choices. But anyway, back to the man in the pink suit.

He shared with us a story about someone who changed his life back when he was working as a professional bloodsucker (stock broker) and he was struggling, and this other, really successful man (I imagine he also wore pink suits) came over to his desk, picked up his calendar and asked him, when he was focusing on his #1 priority (which in this case was getting new clients). What he told pink suit guy, and what pink suit guy told us, was to make sure you schedule marketing time, then give yourself a grade at the end of the day of how well you did.

Well, even though I decided not to sell insurance (too many shark like people) I actually think this is a decent bit of advice. I'm notorious for not following a schedule. In fact I'm probably one of the most anti schedule people I know. However, as I'm getting ready to start a new job, I find myself trying to figure out what the best schedule would be. Should I wake up early in the morning and go to the gym by my office? Should I get a paid membership? Should I join the YMCA by my house? Would I go more if I joined the gym by work or at home? What days am I working at the dance studio? How will that affect things? But one thing I noticed. One thing I've found myself not planning, is when to write. And then the thought occurred to me. Would I write more if I actually scheduled a time to do it?

Odds are I probably would. And as soon as I asked myself that question, I wondered what would happen if I bought a week at a glance schedule, and actually graded myself on my writing. Would I get more done? Would I be more successful? Would writing start to feel like a chore, like laundry (although I don't schedule that)? Would I still enjoy it if it was scheduled?

The truth is, even if we aren't we are creatures of habit, routines develop. And now might be the perfect time to actually test what would happen if I decided to schedule writing time. If I decided to grade myself on how well I do. And see if I accomplish something.

Now I'm gonna fully acknowledge this is probably not the best guest post ever. I mean, ideally I'd have an answer for you, I'd have already tested writing on a schedule and told you how it went. But, I'm not that organized. I was originally planning on writing about which attracts more men, wearing heals in a bar, or reading a book. But I wasn't able to get a big enough of a test group to make an accurate assessment of that. But if you want to know how it goes, send me an email sometime in September, and I'll let you know.

What are your thoughts? Are heals or books more attractive to men? Do you schedule your writing? Should I write my blog posts drunk?

About Sara Abis:

Sara Abis is awesome!
Hello, My name is Sara Abis. Blank pages are my enemy, or perhaps nemesis, and caffeine/red bull/energy drinks are my best friend. Sugar comes in a close second.

My obsessions are reading, writing and knitting (not necessarily in that order) everything else I do is to insure that I can continue to feed my obsessions, much like a junkie, except more healthy with better teeth (although not by much).

My sense of humor is often dark, and sometimes twisted, I would apologize for it, but if I did it might imply that I need to change it, and I don't. I aim to entertain. So often I write things to make myself smile. If you're not entertained, take it up with upper management (that's me).

You can check me out on my blog Cutest Landing.


  1. Scheduling writing time is something I've just started thinking about myself. If I don't plan to do it, it often doesn't get done, which is bad. Camp NaNoWriMo made me set time, and it's something I want to carry on with. I feel so much more productive when I do that.

    1. You know, when I did nano I didn't stick to a schedule. I was simply numbers and competition driven.

      But when I'm not racing people in word count I find myself more likely to put off writing.

    2. But that's a schedule as well, of a kind--grading yourself, in a sense, on quantity.

  2. I've got a decently consistent schedule but I think I need to mix it up. It's become too comfortable and I'm not utilizing my time.

    1. Yeah, thats why I think grading might actually work. I mean, if I start seeing myself getting F's for writing I might be more driven to stick to my schedule. Or maybe not

  3. When I'm writing, yes, I do have a schedule. I write every evening after I practice my guitar.
    And I don't go to bars, so no answer for you!

    1. Well, in theory, it could be tested anywhere, not just bars.

  4. 1. High heels, definitively. Changes the shape of the legs and makes women look more curved. Except when they don't know how to walk in heels. You can tell because they walk like chickens with thorns under their feet, or like walking on tight rope. Total turn off. 2. No, but ironically I schedule time to loose. I loose time from 9 to 11.30am everyday, clock checked. Now I wonder why I do that. Hum. 3. Well, it is funny sometimes but I do not recommend it. No editor working then. Very risky. 4. Nice to meet you. Nice post! (Hmm, 4 should have been 1.)

    1. Now, here's my question. I have a plethora of curves, so heals might be a bit excessive.

      As for an editor, I'm not sure if I have one sober.

  5. I have to relate to when I had a job, because right now I'm writing full time. I scheduled in a sense, but not really. I wrote on breaks, I wrote at lunch, I wrote when I got home pretty much up until I went to bed. Then I dreamed my stories. :)

    You're lucky you escaped from pink-suit guy with your mind intact. I think I would have been taking notes as well, as a people watcher.

    Note: One of those sharks probably would have been your "trainer," mining your references until he had everything he could get, then drop you. Seen that before. Until you're actually liscensed you can't get a commission, so it all goes to your trainer.

    1. Reading a book might catch their attention (I've never seen anyone read in that situation) but you'd need the heels to keep it.

    2. Yeah, I know one of the sharks would have been my trainer. Actually I got the job offer on the first day of training with them. It was kinda fun, road around in a car all day, reading the Raven Boys, ate mall food, and had an existential argument regarding the golden rule.