On Doing Things By Halves

24 Jun

To do list

I am a doer. I like to make lists and I like even more when I can tick things off said lists. I have a hard time relaxing, (see my earlier post on Letting Myself Off the Hook) and I don’t like to do things by halves.

At the start of 2013 I decided that my Big Goal for the year was to finish my novel. But I also made ten other Smaller Goals I wanted to achieve at the same time. Like losing a few kilos. Or pitching three magazine articles a week. Eating better. Walking more. Cleaning out my wardrobe. Getting serious about yoga.


And because of my aversion to halves-of-things, even if I achieved my writing goal for the day, I’d worry about all the other things I’d let slide as a result. It was a punishing cycle, and my novel writing suffered because of it.

One evening, after I mentally berated myself for cancelling a gym date with a girlfriend because after my five a.m. writing alarm I had barely enough energy to lift a cup of tea, let alone a barbell, I decided that enough was enough.

I was going to start doing things by halves. And I was going to like it.

So what if I ate peanut butter toast for dinner two nights in a row? And who said I had to attend yoga classes three times a week, or not at all?

Writing a novel is hard! And, though I know that there are people who manage to do it while also juggling full time jobs and family responsibilities and can still show up at the gym (and kudos to them), that just ain’t me.


This year, I’m writing a novel. Full stop. And I’m not doing that by half.

To do list image courtesy of dmachiavello on Flickr.
Yoga img courtesy of AmandaD_TX on Flickr.
Writing img courtesy of joelgoodman on Flickr.


5 Responses to “On Doing Things By Halves”

  1. karmicangel June 24, 2013 at 6:49 AM #

    LOVE IT! I’m the same way and tell you what, I TOO am going to write my novel – all in.

    • parisinmypocket June 24, 2013 at 7:56 AM #

      Hi Karmic Angel, thanks so much for dropping by! Best of luck with your novel – and I’ve just seent that you are setting off on a writing sabbatical – what a wonderful idea! Let me know how it goes 🙂

  2. thecookingchook June 25, 2013 at 4:25 PM #

    There’s nothing wrong with be a ‘doer’ (I’m definitely one of those), but you don’t want to burn yourself out either because life can end up being miserable. Those people that you think can juggle everything – it’s all an illusion. There’s only so much time in a day and there will always be something that suffers (generally it’s either health or personal relationships). There’s nothing wrong with doing things bits at a time, at your own pace. All the best with writing your novel; I can’t wait to hear more about your progress 🙂

    • parisinmypocket June 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM #

      Thanks for your comment! I’m fascinated to hear that those ‘super people’ might not actually have it all together – that gives me hope! Will definitely keep you updated on novel progress 🙂

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