Friday, May 21, 2010

Don't Be A Shlumpy Underachiever

Yeah, so I went to a conference last weekend. I presented. It was pretty good, but I had to condense 2 hours of stuff into 50 minutes. I didn't get to tell as many jokes or go off on as many tangents. I did keep the picture of Legolas. *swoon*

But this is not a post about THAT.

No. This is about rising above the shlumpy underachiever. Dan Wells (I Am Not A Serial Killer -- go read it, stat) gave a presentation on story structure. I've heard it before, so I just sat back and relaxed.

And you know what? He's pretty funny too! One of the things he said was "shlumpy underachiever."

I LOL'ed. (The poor people next to me.)

So I'm here today to tell you how to avoid becoming a shlumpy underachiever. Some pointers:

1. Take showers. This will eliminate your physical shlumpiness, thus giving the persona of non-shlumpy. Hey, at least pretend, right?

2. Recognize that you have the Force. This will allow you to become Neo ("I am the One.") or Luke ("Use the Force, Luke!") but in your own special way. You might need to pen a motto for yourself. Mine? "Hey, at least I didn't kill anyone."

3. Share your awesome. This will help you realize that there are a lot of other people out there trying to be less shlumpy too. (I'm dishing on why I write YA here. And I'm one of the prizes in a pretty cool contest thingy here. No, I won't come home with you, but we can Skype...)

What are you doing to avoid becoming a shlumpy underachiever? What could you do better? Me? You expect me to confess? Well, all right. I seriously need to get on the treadmill or I'm going to d-i-e when tennis starts in oh, two weeks. Yikes.

73 comments:

L.J. Boldyrev said...

I showered. And um...Well, I showered.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I need to keep up my exercise routine too. All this sitting at work, writing, and blogging does not burn calories. And I need to pencil in more time every day for writing.

Slamdunk said...

Funny post. I actually posted on overachievers this morning. I talk myself to run faster or do more sit-ups--only the neighbors know that I am not well.

lbdiamond said...

Certainly, a daiy shower is key. Sometimes two showers are needed, depending.

I avoid schlumpiness by doing my best--kinda trite, right? *shrugs* Seems to work. ;)

PS, I totally LOL when no one else does too. Means we have a great sense of humor, right?

Cheree said...

Um, exercise, what's that? Seriously though, I need to learn how to become organised so I can manage to do everything all in the course of 1 day... but, keeping extremely busy does help with avoiding the "shlumpy underachiever", I have no time to excel at underachieving at the moment.

Stacy Post said...

To avoid schlumpiness (love that word!) I spend at least fifteen minutes a day outside. This helps prevent that pasty-skinned writer look and it always lifts my spirits too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I go to the gym four days a week to avoid schlumpiness!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I love shlumpy too. I would have LOLed with you.

I do shower daily, but I really need to work on that treadmill idea.

Have shlumpy-free weekend!

Crimey said...

I'm training for the Tour de France. How's that for anti-shlumpy underachiever. But I'm lying so.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I'm heading to the gym right now.

I must admit I don't miss having to be showered and out the door by 7:15.

Piedmont Writer said...

Yes, I showered to. And I do need to start walking again. And I think reading more but where do I find the time.

Candyland said...

You had me until shower...

Linda Kage said...

Thanks for advice! Love it, and I love the way you phrase things.

PJ Hoover said...

Perfect reminder, Elana. I need to get butt on elliptical and start with weights. Actually, I need to reassess the balance I have in my life and make sure the levels are good.

Lisa said...

Okay, first things first-Legolas=HOT!

Now that that's taken care of, lol, I need to incorporate some cardio into my day to day life. With all the sitting and typing I do, it's a necessity, not to mention a great stress reliever.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I find the golf season cures any of my shlumpy behavior. I have to accomplish so many words/pages before I can hit the course. Talk about motivation (for fanatics like me)

Charity Bradford said...

Yesterday I exercised and I wrote my hubby a love note. I'm afraid I let writing turn me into a shlumpy underachiever with my personal relationships. This is not a new epiphany, but yesterday I took steps to perk things up.

Great post as always! If I pull together some kind of Amazing Blogosphere scavenger type game, would you be willing to participate? You guys have my imagination going now.

Christine Fonseca said...

I'm sorry...I got too distracted my Legolas to remember what I was going to say...

Kelly said...

I do feel schlumpy if I don't exercise and I didn't have time to the first three days this week. Will hit the treadmill and shower. No schlumpiness for me today!
I also feel less schlumpy when I have a productive day and check lots of items off my list.
read Elana's blog. Check. See I feel better already!

Corey Schwartz said...

Hey, i think you should write a book with the same title (as this blog post)

I know I'd buy it.

Off to shower!

Shannon said...

I just IM'd my better half and said that I need to avoid the computer before getting in the shower because here I am, an hour later, still not showered.

Okay, washing off my shlumpyness. Thanks for the kick in the rear!

Lydia Kang said...

I'm going to get back on the elliptical machine today and do some sit-ups to banish my schlumpy midsection.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I can't come up with an answer because I'm still laughing at the word "schlumpy!"

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I haven't showered yet . . . but I'm about to exercise. Once I drag myself off the blogs. Any. Minute. Now.

PS.

Oh, where's the picture of Legolas? I'm in the mood to do some serious swooning and hubby's at work.

Kristi Helvig said...

My 6-year-old's tennis starts next week and I'll be watching him - does that count as exercise by proxy? Wait, I did shower! Maybe I'm just a plain underachiever rather than a shlumpy one! Happy Friday! :)

Lynn said...

Shlumpy. I love it! My shlumpy self sees schedule sticking-to-it-ness sliding. I need to get back on track with goals and deadlines.

Janet Johnson said...

Shower, check. Force, check (I am Princess Mommy to a Jedi Master, Jedi Knight, and a Padowan after all). Share the awesome . . . doing it now.

Good luck with tennis! My current favorite sport.

Theresa Milstein said...

This week, I subbed gym four times, doing the students' warm ups (well, not the pushups), so that kept me from being an underachiever. But if you look at the attire I'm walking around in (yoga pants or sweats), that's pretty shlumpy. My life is a dichotomy.

Christi said...

Take Showers is great advice (probably why it's no. 1). For me? I'm about to scratch out a daily schedule (incl. my writing time), since I'm finishing up my day job and transitioning into summer - aka. no routine. So, your post came at a perfect time!

Nichole Giles said...

What do you mean "the poor people next to me"? I was laughing too! And as for the tree, well, it doesn't know a good joke when it hears it.

Thanks a lot. I thought about going back to bed for an hour since I stayed up editing half the night, but fine. I'll go to the gym instead. You've convinced me. *grumble grumble*

May the force be with you. No, wait, "By the powers of Grayskull, I have the power!"

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I think I love the word "shlumpy"! You are full of awesomesauce today, Elana! :-)

Valerie Ipson said...

No time to shower? Just light a scented candle in your workspace. Yummy...

Lisa_Gibson said...

Note to self: important to lower the shlump factor. Cruised by the contest too. Have a super duper smokin' weekend!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Ooo, I guess this means I should go change out of my pajamas. (But hey--it's only 9:20 here!) At least I went shopping and have clothes that fit now. My two sizes too baggy jeans were looking pretty darn schlumpy. ;)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Ooo, I guess this means I should go change out of my pajamas. (But hey--it's only 9:20 here!) At least I went shopping and have clothes that fit now. My two sizes too baggy jeans were looking pretty darn schlumpy. ;)

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Since I'm a-learnin m'self how to jog, I actually got outside and DID my jog on all the days that I didn't feel like it. And I was TOTALLY gonna go Off Diet and Off Jogging for today - and now I can't, on account of the GUILT from this POST. (lol) SO. TIMELY. IT. HURTS. Thanks!

T.J. said...

I showered! Wait, I do that daily anyway. I finished I Am Not a Serial Killer yesterday. Yes!
I worked on the next chapter in my book! And I studied Elana's great wisdom on query letter writing. Stupid second paragraph! Why are you such a huge mountain?

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Honestly, at this point in my life, it feels like all I can do is shower. *sigh* Notice how sometimes it's easier to get down to work when you have too little time instead of too much? But my time's running out, I only have... *mental math hurts, uses fingers and toes* three ish months of absolute nothing-to-do-ness left!
But I'm TRYING to not be a shlumpy underachiever! I set my alarm clock EVERY DAY even though I technically have no reason to get up before noon. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

I showered AND I brushed my teeth. ;)

Things are looking up!

Maribeth said...

I shower. Sometimes twice.
Some days schlumpy; some days not so much!
Is there a group for those who LOL? If so, information please. BUT I don't want to change.

lotusgirl said...

I didn't go back to bed when I wanted to, and I'm still awake. (I'm looking forward to no early morning seminary for the summer.)

Jill Kemerer said...

Oh, yes! I just went through a schlumpy underachiever phase. Who wants to be around Debby Downer?? No one. That's the correct answer.

Anyway, I bought new makeup. I'm jogging (it's horrible). And I am actually wearing some of the cute clothes in my closet instead of the same old faded jeans every day.

Call me Neo...

Have a great weekend!

Christina Lee said...

*sniffs underarms and then runs to take a shower*

kathrynjankowski said...

Balance balls are great for stretching out cramped, tight muscles and working your core, but not terribly aerobic.
Tried a bicycle but there are too many off-leash dogs lurking around my neighborhood. Considering one of those indoor pedal exercisers.
Weren't there once machines that worked your muscles while you slept? ;-)

Kelly Bryson said...

Val, I'd go buy a scented candle, except I'd have to take a shower to do that. or not;)

I have a serious problem here because my hubby has turned into an obnoxious overachiever- training for triathlons- and it's seriously intimidating!

MBW aka Olleymae said...

I sooo use the force on my kissy-face...

*waves hand thru air* "you will cook me dinner while I write."

works everytime :)

taralazar said...

I'm trying to read more great blogs like yours.

taralazar said...

And trying not to be too corny.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Phew, have #1 covered.

The force is strong here, LOL!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Lori W. said...

Hooray for non-shlumpy, encouraging posts like this one. Thanks for the "at least I didn't kill anyone" motto. :) Some days, I don't rise much above that, but I try to be kind and keep writing, hoping revisions will get less and less shlumpy!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I always feel like shlumpy underachiever when I see what needs to be done but am too lazy to do it and just think 'i'll get to it'. There are so many things that I could do to up my game and I haven't even tackled half of them. Shlumpy am I.

Aubrie said...

Awww Can the next post be pictures of Legolas? :)

I read bestsellers and compare my writing to them (as much as it makes me cringe!) to keep from shlumpiness.

Jojomama said...

Eating raw vegan for a while to cleanse and get my metabolism to jumpstart. Its working.

Krispy said...

I'm trying to push myself to do stuff even if I don't feel like it. Laziness is a big enemy of mine and so easy to succumb to.

Speaking of, I also need to get exercising. Been saying I would since the New Year. :P

Karen Lange said...

I get my hair done at a salon to keep up the polished look (or sort of one anyway:) It makes me feel more presentable. And I push myself to meet certain goals. Most of the time. lol
Have a great weekend,
Karen

Lola Sharp said...

I have to get on (Satan's) treadmill and run. I've been bad about it lately. My thighs are getting meaty.
Hate running. It's evil. But, sausage thighs are more evil.

Happy weekend!
Love,
Lola

Alexandra Shostak said...

Hi! Thanks for the follow and the comment on my blog! I'm such a schlumpy underachiever today. But I DID shower, and I am going to get my hair cut tomorrow (it's down to my low back, I have about 4" of split ends... oy.) And I marked a scene I need to cut in my manuscript. Happy happy :)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Thanks for stopping by Ink Spells! Yay for another YA SF writer! I'm looking forward to that Query Tracker contest, so I'll stop being a shlumper and get on that.

Most of the time I'm not really a shlumpy underachiever, but somehow I've convinced myself that I am. Sheesh. I definitely need a motto: perhaps "Don't be a schmuck" or even better "Schlumpy is as schlumpy does." Okay, that was lame.

Looking forward to more of your blog!

p.s. congrats on being repped. Awesome.

Kasie West said...

I seriously have to read his book because I like him so much. What can I do? Hmmm...clean more? Does it have to be writing related? I generally have no problem obsessing over my writing related goals. It's the non-writing goals that seem to fall by the way-side.

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

I went and showered right after I read this, which was this morning but my computer went bonkers and Im just now able to comment. I'm joining ANOTHER group...how many can there be haha, to help me meet my deadlines. Thats my newest non schlumpy agenda :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Think I need to read that book now. I keep hearing good things about it.
I shower, but my gym routine has gone right out of the window. Better do something about that to avoid the schlumpy. :)

Ann Best said...

I see you just signed into my blog as follower. And I'm so glad you did so I could meet you.

I love what you've shared here. What I really want is a treadmill, and almost bought one a few weeks ago used from some lady on Craigs List. Then my children needed some financial help. But maybe now I can get one.

I love all your pointers and am copying them out for reference!! And I've bookmarked you so I can come back later and browse your blog and website. Cheers!!

Lisa K. said...

A shlumpy underachiever? Perish the thought! I am showered (twice-showered if you could the glass of water my cat spilled all over me a little while ago). And I will even shower again tomorrow. Now about the rest of those things...

Medeia Sharif said...

This post makes me want to have a productive, non-schlumpy weekend.

Kazzy said...

Exercise is where I totally fall flat. I used to be great at it, but it has taken the back seat. And in my forties now I either choose to be the pre-grandma that will wear cute jeans or a mumu.

Carolyn V. said...

Yes! I totally have the force. I think.

I saw Dan's presentation at Ltue. It was awesome!

I am trying to keep up with my goals to stay on track. =)

Shelley Sly said...

Haha. :) Thanks for the laughs. I'm so going to use the word "shlumpy" from now on. It's hard to feel shlumpy when I'm over-working in the real world and feel like I'm crazy busy every day... but I'm right there with you, I'm shlumpy when it comes to exercise. I really gotta work on that.

Myrna Foster said...

Today, I showered and taught Story Time at the library. I still need to do the dishes though. ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

I want a motto too! I'll have to think on that one. I don't suppose "I need to sleep!" is a very good one. Yeah... I'll think some more :)

Jonathon Arntson said...

Being an underachiever is just part of my persona...

AchingHope said...

Hmmm... Right now, not so much. However, I do like the idea of a motto. *starts thinking*

Mary Aalgaard said...

Shower, ya, okay, I get that.
Put on something nice, pack up the writing supplies and "go to work." That worked for me this week. Also, I signed up for a 35 mile bike tour in early June, so am motivated to get my biking butt in shape. Enjoy tennis!

Palindrome said...

wait, wait, wait. I have to take showers?! NO DEAL!!