Monday, January 23, 2017

From the Writer's Desk - Where did January Go?

The month is almost gone.  I swear that adage that time goes faster as you get older is true. Sort of. Honestly, I think that time flies, because we live for the weekend.  As in "I can't wait until the weekend so I can..." - go fishing, watch a movie, see my friends, stitch, sew, write, read, bake.  It's the weekend where we live. Many of us. But I don't want to live just on the weekend.  I want every day to be like that. For me, that comes with writing. I would rather be writing.  If I write for a living, which is my goal, then my non-writing hours are filled with other things I enjoy. None of it includes working in cube-farm. My best friend, she loves her day job, which is very linear and in a cube-farm.

I've spent most of January so far trying to find that balance between writing, the day job, and what I need to decompress. Some days, it's just finding time to write. Using the Bullet Journal has been a big help.

Everyone writes different, they have different rituals, different comforts, different environmental needs, different habits. And those change over time.

Sometimes what I need in the way of environment changes - one day it may be my desk, another at Barnes and Noble or a coffee shop. I always need something to drink, but sometimes eating doesn't happen at all, or I'll need chocolate or crunchy, or everything in sight. But, I've found while I like writing with people around - like during write-ins, or finding a corner during a conference to write with whoever sits down, I like my space. I don't like to be too crowded. And I write best in fifteen minute increments. So, even if I'm do a 1k in 1hr challenge, I still break it up into 15-minute increments. My friend Brynn Paulin shared this story about a prolific writer named Anthony Trollope who wrote in 15-minute increments for 3 hours before going to a day job. I find I can waste a lot of time if I have an hour to write. But, 15 minutes - I'm less likely to procrastinate. So, I may write for an hour, but I've done in 15-minute spurts.

With my Bullet Journal, I created a couple of different spreads - one is my Sprint Log

I use my Sprint Log to track the date I work on a specific project, the starting and ending word count of each round, and the difference. My goal is 250 words each round. I use the timer feature on my laptop to keep track. I like it, because it interrupts the music - either from iTunes or YouTube - I'm listening to.

Set up - top of Spread

 Both pages. I write the abbreviation for each title at the bottom.

 The other spread I have is a word count tracker. Coloring in the boxes feels like an accomplishment - that I'm one step closer to my Goal. Each of my active WIPS has a layout. Each square is 1,000 words, and each of the smaller squares inside it are 250 words.

Goals -

So, my goals the last time I posted them were 500 words per session, writing 5 times a week. Or 2,500 words in a week.  Carrying that from the week of the 9th over to the week of the 16th, that would be 5,000 words total. Now, I didn't write 5 times a week. I wrote 5 times total, BUT I did manage to write 7,018 words since the 9th.

My other goal was 2 hours of research and world building. Carrying that over from the 9th to the 16th, that would 4 hours. I totally didn't make that one. At all.

Goals this week are the same.
1. Write 500 words per session, 5 days a week.
2. 2 hours of Research/world building - Forbidden

It's always when I need to be doing something else that I feel the drive to write. I need to sit down and write even when I don't have the drive.


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