In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, August 22, 2011

In Others' Words: The Significance of Postage Stamps (& a fun giveaway!)

"Consider the postage stamp: It's usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing 'til it gets there." ~Josh Billings, pen name of 19th century humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw

Ah, Mondays. The week stretches ahead with a long list of to-dos and must-dos and you'd-rather-not-dos.
And if you're like me, it's so easy to get sidetracked. I start in on one thing--say, editing, for example--and then I get diverted by Twitter. Or a phone call. Or I go work on a chapter of my work-in-progress. And, hey, I think I want a new title for that because the one I've had for months just isn't working for me. And I'd better go move the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer . . . And why didn't I blow dry my hair before these freakish cowlicks formed in my bangs . . . How did all these emails pile up in my inbox . . .
Where was I?
Point made.
It's not that I don't want to accomplish all these things--including corralling my cowlicks. But I'd like to see some forward motion, rather than feeling like each day is another chance to spin doughnuts in the parking lot of my life.
This week I'm going postal--as in I'm living life like a postage stamp. I'm sticking to one thing until I get there. That one thing? I set aside a collection of wedding and graduation announcements with a promise to get to them after my daughter's wedding. Well, Katie Beth has been Mrs. Huntley for over a month now. Time to fulfill my commitment.

In Your Words: Want to join me? What one thing do you want to stick to this week until it gets done? We can check back here on Friday and see how we did! Leave a comment and I'll put your name in for a drawing of . . . a cute set of stationery and some stamps! ;o) 

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At 2:48 AM, Blogger Keli Gwyn said...

Beth, I love the postage stamp analogy. Like you I can get distracted by the many things vying for my attention and need to focus on the most important tasks. This week they are writing and preparing for a local writers conference I'm attending Friday and Saturday with our agency mate Joanne Kraft and some other talented writers.

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Pat Trainum aka P. T. Bradley said...

The week stretches before me: 2 days talking to 7th graders. All.Day.Long. then a trip to Nashville for a forensic/writer's conference for three days with a side trip to Chattanooga to check on my Mom. My goal this week? to survive it. lol

Great post, Beth. I'm going to use the stamp analogy to keep me on track.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Donna said...

A great post and wonderful idea about sticking like stamps to what needs to get done! This week, Chapter 1 to my editor without fail! I'll keep you posted. :)

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

Wow, one thing. That is sooooo difficult for me. I'm thinking spend chunks of time with my kids during their last week of summer, tackle edits for certain number of pages, prepare for conference.

Clearly I'm not so good at this one thing focus.
~ Wendy

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Edie Melson said...

I think I got up distracted this morning! This is a perfect post for me today. My one thing? I have to move forward with editing 10,000 more words on my WIP. (Somehow I've got to get prepared for the ACFW conference in St. Louis).

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Melissa Tagg said...

You had me at the picture of stamps...'cause my dad is a letter carrier. :) I want to revise (for the 27th time) my first three chapters of From the Ground Up until they are so amazing they'll make Thomas Nelson himself cry. That is, if Thomas Nelson was a real person...

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Okay, commenters: Lets' all keep Wendy focused on focusing on one thing!Ya'll game?

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

I'm game. So, Wendy, choose one thing, one thing. And as I write that, I'm seeing my need to focus on one thing. So, my one thing for this week, is to make sure I spend at least one hour each day sticking to my wip. Monday to Friday.
Love the quote, Beth!

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Evangeline Denmark said...

Hmmm, one thing I want to stick to and finish this week? What could that be?! Maybe a certain novel that has nearly killed me several times.
To that end--I'm signing off. I have a shirtless murderer to contend with.

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Reba J. Hoffman said...

Oh Beth, did you have to insist that I stick to something until it's finished? What will I fill up my day with if all those things I spend two minutes a day on suddenly get accomplished? What will I do with my accomplished, overly organized self?!
Great post!

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Stacy S. Jensen said...

I need to complete a photo notebook I want to send to my little cousins as a thank you. I've been "trying" to do this for two weeks. So, it is written. I will get this completed and shipped to the boys by the end of the week.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

Oh Beth, you are too much fun!

Okay, I'll opt for spending chunks of time w/ the kiddos. Went shoe shopping today and it took far longer than it should have. Check. Day one counts. :D

I will be sprinkling in some editing though. ;0
~ Wendy

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Sprinkling in editing always counts, Wendy!
Love this "stamp" list! Can't wait to check back in on Friday!

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Sonia said...

Oh my word girl! Your brain works just like mine. Your rendition of your typical day sounds very familiar. I thought you had moved into my head there for a minute. (Oh yeah, I remember, you moved into my head long ago!)

There are so many things I could stick to, I'm not sure where to start. There's my desk. It would be nice to see it again. I think it could take me a whole week to go through all of the mounds of papers. Then when I meander upstairs and see the mounds of laundry, I realize a full day could be spend on that project. Then there is the issue of cleanliness. The furniture needs dusting and the floors and bathrooms need cleaned. It would be much nicer to focus on reading a book from front to finish this week too. Ahhh. I can't even think about being focused without getting unfocused. Well, you understand. (I think I may be worse than Wendy.)


At 11:26 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Sounds like we may need to tag-team Wendy and Sonia! One thing, friends. One thing. Sonia--read that book!

At 12:06 AM, Blogger Julie Coleman said...

Wow, you hit me right between the eyes into my whirlwind of a brain. I'm exactly like you-- I've got several documents open at once, check email and FB too frequently, and of course, can't let the house go to pot just because I'm writing!! (Reminds me of how clean my dorm room always got during finals week. Pretty sad when cleaning is a happier option than the work at hand.) My goal this week: finish the prep for a seminar I am teaching in Sept. on how to study the Bible. I'm giving myself until Friday. There, I've written it out loud. Now I have accountability to actually follow through!! Thanks for this excellent post!

At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, I'm always getting sidetracked by something. Whenever I get a chance to write, I sit down and end up doing something else. And thanks for reminding me that I have to buy postage stamps to have at school, those are important.

At 1:14 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

So ... when we see a postage stamp this week, let's remember: What one thing are we sticking with this week?
(Now to go write one long-overdue letter out of my pile of overdue letters!)


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