Doing the Write Thing

I've been struggling lately with sticking to a schedule. I know all dreams are achieved by setting specific goals and deadlines and by creating an intentional plan to conquer tasks. Though I know this and it sounds simple enough, I cannot seem to make a schedule work.

I read a great article on Huffington Post yesterday about how women writers face a significant number of challenges in finding writing time each day. We have to fit our creativity in between house work and familial responsibilities. We are the wearer of many hats, and this often keeps us from devoting time to our dreams.

January and February of this year was going well. I was writing every day and even finished a MS in record time (six weeks!), but when March came around, my mind desperately needed a break. And boy did I take one! I didn't do anything but journal work and blog posts. I had good intentions for April, though. I joined CampNaNoWriMo and have written a grand total of thirty pages thus far. I will say that I have done quite a bit of research for the WIP, so I'm not completely slacking.

I'm just frustrated! I love my WIP, but the creative juices are not being cooperative. I feel the urge to write when I'm in the middle of making dinner, folding laundry, or mowing the lawn. Sometimes when I finally do make myself sit down and write, I end up staring at the screen for minutes at a time. There are one thousand and one things I need to be doing at any given moment, and it's hard to block everything else out and concentrate. Distraction is the root of all evil!

When I don't write, I feel guilty. And when I don't get the house clean, lawn mowed, or spend time with my husband, I feel guilty too. So what's the answer? I've got to relinquish some of the pressure and try a different approach.
  • From now on, I'm going to write whenever I can. I'm usually not happy unless I've written 2,000 words per sitting. That's simply unrealistic for me, at this point. I've got to learn to be happy with however many words I write per day, even if it's only 50. That's better than none, right?
  • I'm going to set a timer on my writing. I've found I work better under restraints, so I think this may help.
  • I'm going to schedule time to let my mind decompress. Maybe I'll watch some television or do some pleasure reading.
  • I will limit my time on social media and reading articles. If I'm not careful, I know I can spend an obscene amount of time on the computer without getting anything done.
  • I will not feel guilty. Okay, I know I probably still will, but I'm going to try not to. I really am doing all I can do.
Hopefully, trying this new approach will help me get back into some type of routine. Have you found any tricks that help you stay on schedule?


1 comment:

Jenna and Ashley said...

I face a lot of similar challenges when writing. Setting a timer is an idea I hadn't thought of. When I can't sleep, I also get up and write. This morning, it was 4:30.
I'm still reeling from the fact that you finished a first draft in six weeks! That's incredible.