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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Your Productivity Road Map

Are the disruptions of daily life getting in the way of your writing goals? These tips will help you reach your destination faster and happier...without sacrificing sleep or sanity.  By Sage Cohen


Most writers want more time. Yet many of us aren't making the most of the time we already have. What gets in our way? Anne Lamott famously said, "My mind is a bad neighborhood I try to not to go into alone." It's our attitudes and habits that can make the neighborhoods of our minds difficult to navigate.

There are 11 steps. 1. Know your destination When you know what matters most to you in your writing life, you can steer the time you have toward getting there.

2. Chart your course. In your writing life, understanding how side errands inform the path toward your goal can likewise help you chart your course. If you want to complete a short story collection and are also building a social media platform, it's important to recognize whether and how one goal informs the other in order to allocate your time in a that delivers the greatest value.

3. Tighten your leash. If you have a tendency to wander off into endless research when you need only a factor two, or you sink an hour into Facebook where you could've left a quick comment, the leash of intention can call you back. Try setting a timer when you need to use designated writing time to tackle an unrelated task.

4. Let your life inform your writing. Have a system for capturing ideas, a recorder for the drive, a bathtub marker for the shower, a notepad in your gym bag. Or I have a HUGE post-it pad on my computer room door, to jot down thoughts, ideas.

5. Put a squirrel on the wire. When a dog, who is old, who can barely move, sees a squirrel, they'll go after it. Discovering what your own irresistible motivations are will give you the most value from the time you invest in writing.

6. Plant in the parking strip. Are you overlooking any margins of time that could help your writing flourish? It's easy to pass up the sliver available as we yearn for the whole pie and yet, writers often panic, flounder and waste swaths of perfectly good writing time when we have them. A lot of my writing was found when my students were taking a test (PARCC, Star 360), or at a hockey game (really hard, but do-able), in the car or doctors waiting area.

7.Travel in the Off-hours. The less traffic on the road, the faster you'll get where you're going. Same is true for writing in the off-hours. What you can achieve between 5 and 6 a.m. while your family is sleeping and your mind is fresh may be twice what you could accomplish at the end of a long workday.

Leave yourself a trail of crumbs when you have a work-in-progress, particularly in the great, uncharted middle.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Wickedness


The demons, they keep a constant vigil. Their pointy heads and glaring eyes, stare at my face…beckoning.

Just one wrong move…

         One pointless and needless move...and I am dirt. Ready to be stomped on

Again…

                And again…



And though I keep on, with head held high, a smile on my face, inside I am shredded…

So much so that I am ill, weak and cry myself to sleep, for days on end.

 I am in need of solace.

I am singled out, tormented at best. These evil creatures who torture my will to no end have not met their fate, for in time, I will win out. I will be the victor and I will have…peace.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bullying

It has come to my attention that not only do kids get bullied at school but so do teachers. Yes, you heard me correctly. Teachers are bullied. They, teachers, give so much of themselves to teach children to get a good education, to get their dreams started, to build characters that one day will be a great success later in life. They even go above and beyond just teaching. They give positive feedback, they help build their students to be their best, to DO their best, they make sure they have supplies, which they buy themselves. Do they have too? No. They do it because they care.  So where does the bullying come into play if this is how they treat their students?

There are some, not many, but some who, for whatever reason, need a lot of attention. They crave it and when they don't get the fix right away, they make bad choices. It's trying, especially when you have 29 other students to deal with.

I have dealt with many students, in varying ranges in behavior and disabilities. It has been stressful, so stressful that a few years ago after school had let out for summer vacation, I broke out with huge, itchy, welts all over my body...stress. There were other times where I had to have a walkie talkie with me at all times when I worked with one student because you'd never know when he would have a meltdown. Yes, I have been threatened.

I have left that school and I find myself in yet another school, but this one is different in so many ways. I love the teachers, more so than I did at my other school. They genuinely care, appreciate everything you do for them. It's been a great experience. The thing that is new for me is being bullied.

I am a forgiving person, I may get mad when pushed to my limits, but in seconds I will forgive that person and help them out as best as I can, but...

I have found good in a lot of students who are making bad choices, but have come to me for help and have behaved beautifully towards me and for them I am grateful. There is one who I have tried my best to see the good in him and still do, but it has gotten to the point where he is harassing me and talking about me in the classroom. It's done in front of me, smiling and laughing the whole time. He calls out my name and laughs when I come over to help him or so I thought, and starts to whisper to another student as he is looking at me. Oh, I know it's about me because I can hear him mention my name.

I've never in my 13+ years of being a paraprofessional, have come across a student who blatantly taunts me. I choose not to listen and ignore him, for I feel that if he can't respect me, why should I make the effort to help him. I know that sounds awful, not helping a student, but I can't and won't.
It's a two-way street, you respect me and I  will do the same.

I'm at my wit's end and I'm frustrated to the point where I wish to leave the school and go somewhere else. I can't deal with it anymore, but better judgment says, "no." I keep telling myself just four more years, four more then I can quit. Besides, he has one more year and he's off to High School. I CAN DO THIS.