Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ambition, I Haz It

am-bi-tion (noun): a strong desire to do or to achieve something typically requiring determination and hard work

Why do we feel this "strong desire"? I amaze myself sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I'm like the queen of sitting in front of the TV watching tennis or whatever. I also spend a lot of time in front of the computer. However, I found one of my lists from last week, and I nearly cried just looking at it. (Just FYI, I'm a list person, and I sometimes make a list AFTER I've done most of the items on it. This makes me feel accomplished. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this.)

Anyway, here's my list:

  • Fill out DH's graduation papers.
  • Fax graduation papers.
  • Pay for graduation.
  • Grade 90 sixth grade essays.
  • Launch ebook.
  • Prepare brand new Query Ninja blog.
  • Boy kidlet - soccer practice/games.
  • Boy kidlet - flag football practice/games.
  • Boy kidlet - rockets on Friday. Build, glue, sand, paint.
  • Go to work.
  • Farmville on Facebook. Crops are dying! Animals need harvesting! Trees are going to seed!
  • Pick up T-shirt for writing conference (Oh, my heck, you guys, it's SO. CUTE.)

  • Mop floor.
  • Write - deadline for WiP is this Friday!
  • Check email.
  • Clean 3 bathrooms.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Change laundry.
  • Girl kidlet - dance.
  • Boy kidlet - piano lessons.
  • Re-fax graduation papers for DH.
  • Pay bills.
  • Obsessively check to see if the tax return has come yet. (It hasn't.)
  • Write - deadline for WiP is this Friday!
  • Blog.
  • Read blogs. Comment. A lot.
  • Facebook.
  • Rally Storm.
  • Critique 70 pages.
  • Vacuum.
  • Dishes.
  • Go to work.
  • Watch tennis.
  • Update website.
  • Create banner.
  • Find the perfect blogger template.

And on top of all that, I wrote the two best words in the English language: THE END. That's right, bloggy friends! I finished my WiP early! Four days early, according to my self-imposed deadline. I wrote those words on Monday and haven't looked back. It feels amazing.

I know there's more hard work ahead of me. Editing. Rewriting. Bleeding over the critiques. But, hey, ambition. I haz it.

How do you find time/energy/willpower "to achieve something typically requiring determination and hard work"?


Abby Annis said...

Wow. I make lists so I can feel like I made an effort. Do you actually have to do the stuff on the list? :) Maybe that's why mine don't work.

Congrats on finishing! Such an awesome feeling!

And if your question is referring to writing, then obsession is my fuel, all the way. Works well for that area of my life. The housework? Still working on that. ;)

Lizzy Mason said...

Congrats on finishing your WIP! Woohoo!

Unknown said...

I haz ambition too...but that's a pretty long list!

Good luck with it all!!! And congrats on the completion of your WIP. That always feels so good!

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Wow. My list on a 2x3 piece of paper seems kinda pathetic now. I totally write lists after I've already finished things. How else are you supposed to feel like you've accomplished anything?

Congrats on writing The End! I'm looking for ambition right now so I can say that in another week or so.

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm a terrible procrastinator so I have very little to offer on that subject. As for my ambition, right now, it's been kind of waning.


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sheesh, you buried The End. Woo-hoo! *wave pompoms* If you accomplish lists like that on a regular basis, you are secretly endowed with super powers. Holding out?

Stephanie McGee said...

Wahoo!!! Congratulations!!! That moment is so far away from me right now. Sigh.

I try to make writing a priority that way I can feed my own ambition.

Dang. I've got songs from Wicked running through my head now. Hopefully I don't turn into a Glinda in this whole process.

Cole Gibsen said...

Woo Hoo, girl! We're rooting for you :)

L. T. Host said...

Wow, it's been a stellar week for you so far! Specifically, a stellar Monday--- let's hope the rest of the week keeps up :)

Congrats on your WIP!

I always envision the end-goal when I get tired or laggy: being published. This makes me excited enough that I plow through whatever it is and move forward. I WANT to be published, and I know it's a really hard game, so I have to work that much harder at this to make it happen.

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! I need to try the post-list thing so i can feel more accomplished!

ali cross said...

Wow Elana. You. Are. So. Special. I love you. Seriously.

Yes, I make lists AFTER the fact just so I can feel good about what I actually did.

And early completion? Seriously awesome.

Book Launch? Thou Rocketh.

And the shirt is cute? YAY! Can't wait to get mine!

Unknown said...


Stephanie McGee said...

What conference is that shirt for, btw?

It's way cute.

Jenn Adams said...

You don't have "Try the shirt on to make sure it fits" on there. Some of us are dying to know! :o)

Also, I saw a news spot with a counselor recently who said to make a Ta-Da list instead of a To-Do list. That way, instead of having a bunch of things that didn't get checked off and feeling like a failure, you have a ton of things that you probably wouldn't have written on the To-Do list that you can look at and say: I did all that! I is awesome! :-D

And, can I just say that you are my hero. You seriously wrote THE END ahead of schedule?!?!?! You rock.

Hardygirl said...

Uh, I'm humbled. What a list!


Annie Louden said...

Congrats on finishing your wip. That's great news! And I'm amazed by everything else on your list.

I sometimes make a list at the end of the day of what I've accomplished just so I don't feel bad.

Lisa Aldin said...

I laughed out loud when I read you put Farmville on your list. I LOVE FARMVILLE! I'll have to friend you on Facebook. And Farmville can be some hard work. I accidentally deleted my tractor and had to buy a new one.

I actually really hate lists because I hate being reminded of the things I haven't done. I only make them when absolutely necessary. But I do set deadlines!

Judith Mercado said...

List makers of the world unite! Seriously, lists are good. From the look of yours, I can't imagine how you'd operate without one. There are some very lucky people in your life who are better off because you thought enough of them to include them on your list. Yep, lucky us. Lucky me. Thank you!

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

Oh, yea making lists are a must, how eles can we squeeze all that info into our brains.

I need to create a elixer called "Hyperactive" bottled for the COD, mothers with list for thier list, writers with to many WIPS.

Side effects: may cause strange ramblings, mindless musing, brain overloads and mild constipation.

Lets do the Happy dance for you finishing your WIP.
"Wave your hand in the air."
"Wave them like you just don't care."
"Boddie shaking everywhere."


kathrynjankowski said...


Congrats on the WIP!

I"m a hopeless listmaker.

Lists before, lists during, lists after.

Lists on my desk, my cork board, my file cabinets, my computer, my refrigerator, my bedside table.


Where would the paper industry be without us?


lisa and laura said...

Umm...wow, I feel really, really lazy.

Teri said...

Congratulations! I don't know when you have time to sleep looking at that list. There are days when all my list consists of is....survive! I'm thrilled you finished your WIP! Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment!

Danyelle L. said...

Yay for finishing! I love the shirt. :D

My Beloved Spouse Creature is my inspiration when I'm lacking ambition. He is awesome. :D

Windy said...

I also list. A lot. I also list a lot of things I've already done. I like that accomplished feeling too.

So happy for you on THE END of your wip! That is an awesome, awesome feeling.

Elana Johnson said...

I failed to mention that I also got the oil changed in my car and took a friend dinner. I should totally add those to my list, because they're already done!

And Jenn, I did try on the shirt. It fits! Can't wait to wear it next week. NWA, it's for the conference at UVU. You'll be able to see it in real life. :)

Thanks for the I-finished-my-WiP! love. I do feel lighter today.

Stephanie McGee said...

Well, that'll just make you easier to spot in the crowd.

Carp. I still have to send you a pic so you can find me in the crowd...I need a list.

word verif: linja- a looney, loopy ninja in need of sleep.

Aaron Polson said...

The End.

Ah, sweet relief. (congrats!)

MG Higgins said...

Whoa, I am so tired from reading your list I need to watch some tennis.

Christine Fonseca said...

HAHA...looks like my DAILY list!

storyqueen said...

congratulations on the two magic words!!!

Yep, I make lists with stuff I already did just so I can cross it off. You're not alone!


Unknown said...

I am very much a list person, with lists on Post-its all over the house. I must say your list kicks my list's butt though. *running off to add more to my list*


Michelle McLean said...

Elana, you are A-Mazing :) Congrats on finishing!!!

Ryan S. Kinsgrove said...

I love the feeling I get from finishing a novel. Just don't let the post novel blues you get after that feeling is over get you down here in five...four...three...two...one.... You need a tissue?

I'm sorry I'm an ass. Congrats.

Diana Paz said...

I love lists. These comments make me feel so much more sane.

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