Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bookspotting and Focusing

This week's bookspotting was a little sparse. A young man on the train was reading a book called Be the Miracle. I spotted one of my students reading a Chinese kids' version of Sherlock Holmes (the title was in English). Yesterday I either saw two different women on two different trains reading Kindles, or I was inadvertently following the same woman. This morning a woman in Mong Kok station had a thick paperback bound in the brown paper kids use to cover their textbooks, but I don't know what language she was reading. What are you reading? What are people reading around you?

The month of January is notoriously quiet for me at work. My students study for and then take their exams, and my classes are temporarily suspended. I spend a fair bit of time planning my lessons and printing resources for the next few months, but I also end up with a reasonable amount of down time at the office. During that time, I can either focus or I can faff around on the Internet. This year, there was very little faffing. In addition to finishing the second draft of my Nanowrimo book and planning my lessons through March, I wrote a trio of articles for a new website about long distance dating, a group of contest submissions, a million wedding-related emails, and one long-shot pitch for a large publication. I also completed this interview for the ExpatFocus website about my expat experience. (There are several interviews with Hong Kong bloggers on the site at the moment, and it's well worth checking it out.) I was on such a roll that yesterday I wrote the first 2,000 words of the sequel to my Nano novel. It's amazing what a difference it makes when I start out the month focused on one thing.

What do you do to help yourself focus on a project?


  1. Sounds like a productive month! Loved your interview on ExpatFocus. And congratulations on finishing your second draft from NaNoWriMo. Good luck with your pitch. Not sure it's such a long-shot, though!

    To focus on a project, I need to map out when I'll work on it each day. If I leave it to whenever I have a free moment, it doesn't pan out well. But if I plan to write for a couple hours at night or in the morning, I usually manage to finish quite a bit.

  2. At the orthodontist's office last week, seven people were on their smartphones, two people were watching the overhead TV, and one person was reading a book -- "The Ambler Warning" by Robert Ludlum.


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