Prison Pete

Monday, June 06, 2005
  June, the month of great birthdays!
We still have no cool air conditioning. Even with the increase of the outside air, it is now 8:00 PM and I am typing on the bed, with the sweaty pits and all.

The great master plan of handwriting first, typing next and keeping the flow of information flowing lasted three whole days. I actually had an incredible mail day yesterday. I will detail it in a blog post to be included with this letter. I am slip sliding along and getting into my old habits of allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.

I have been doing some reading, finished off the Exorcist, read some more in The Killer Angels, and a new non-fiction book that I received yesterday from Reverend Paul, written by a pastor's son about the racial climate in North Carolina in the 60s and 70s.

I made another step forward today in implementing some sort of organization so that I can be sure to accomplish what needs to be done each day. I am going to dedicate one of my brown folders to all incoming mail and keep the loose leaf paper in there also. That way I can pull out the file and do the drafts that need to be written.

I am not going to be overly obsessive, but am thinking what I need to do is to break down the work I want to accomplish, into easy to complete steps. Since it requires some effort to actually set up the typewriter, I am going to work on making the drafting phase of my writing separate from the typing.

I think I have told you in the past, I am the master at setting up grand plans and then losing interest with in a few days. I am going to get back on the draft writing track because that does make the most sense. I am able to make my ADD work for me instead of against me. I have some many little projects and each one at its own stage of progress that I am able to paralyze myself into inaction and accept a sense of being overwhelmed, thereby excusing me from any action at all.

For example, I did have a vocabulary building program in place. I had purchased a wireless notebook, covered it with the Macy's ad asking the question, "What inspires you?" I thought I did better on the vocabulary test than the answers show. I actually have not yet gone back to see what my errors were. The point is the last entry in the new words notebook was April 3. I put in two new words today:

Improvident; adj. not providing for the future.
Vagaries; n. an odd or eccentric idea or action. WHIM CAPRICE

I am going to cut out the card playing for a few days and work on establishing an organized, but simplistic, approach to the tasks I hope to accomplish while here. I have more than enough intellectual stimuli arriving on a daily basis, and if I am serious about my writing I need to be able to plot out exactly how much effort is involved in each of my "classes."

For example, I have about six or seven categories that I sort the articles I cut from the NY Times into. I have started accumulating two or three days of clippings before sorting them into the various envelopes and document folders. Well, the two or three days easily become five or six.

As I mention in the enclosed post I received four papers yesterday and one more today. I am really struggling with keeping up on all my tasks, since they all seem to require attention every day and that directly conflicts with my "round to it" approach to life.

I am accepting the realization that I will be a much more productive person in the future if I begin now to deal effectively with the way I spend each day. I am going to work back up to the basic schedule that enables me to feel a sense of progress and accomplishment each day. Even though I was up till 3:00 AM reading, I still was up at 6:45 AM, had breakfast, and was awake enough to make it out at 9:00 AM to walk for the hour. I think today was either the six or seventh day I have now walked. As my recent hiatus proved, I can easily go for days and not walk. But it is important that I do get some basic exercise, and one hour a day is certainly not excessive, but it needs to become a habit.

Today before I took out the typewriter, I went through my eight pocket folder and went through all the scraps, notes articles and other assorted debris to figure out what needed to be done to move all the "stuff" on to the next step. I will be working through that stack over the next few days. I had one clipping that was actually two different articles, one for my "writing file" the other side was one for my Dad.

Tonight I finally typed out the article for my dad, so I can now file the other article in the correct folder. It had been cluttering up the "to do" section of my "work" folder. I need to change my approach to life. I am in dire need of consistency. Now that we have ironed out a few of the stumbling blocks as far as the blog goes, I need to be performing at peak efficiency.

One of the projected outcomes I assume is that I will be able to let go of some projects that I think I might be able to accomplish. Learning to pay more attention to the Day-to-Day output of my life will hopefully lead to some surprising results!
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