Mid-Summer Check-In

janav Productivity, Time Management, Writing Leave a Comment

Now that August is here, it’s time to do a check-in of your writing plan: what is working? What isn’t? This isn’t a time to beat yourself up. If you’ve let things slide up to now, you still have time to do some writing before the fall hits. If you’ve been grooving along, getting the work done, great! Keep going! If you’ve bit a bit of a wall, and need a little oomph of motivation (aka a kick in the ass) well, that’s fine too. No judgment here. Judging sets you back, gets you in a self-doubting mental loop that de-motivates you quickly, until you’re like, “eh, I’ll just go watch Netflix.”

There is no hole so deep you can’t begin to pull yourself out of it, today.

How is my summer writing plan going, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I’m counting from June 19, when my alumni group last met, and we told each other our goals for our next meeting in mid-September.

Over the past six weeks, I’ve consistently written for 30-90 minutes per day, at least 4 days per week. This doesn’t include blog writing, or other articles, or research for my current project. And I crashed during the residency, only getting in one writing session that week (not surprising). During my vacation week, I concentrated on haiku, as mentioned in my last post. For the next six weeks (until my group meets again) I’m going to aim for a minimum of five days per week.

I know Stephen King advocates 2,000 words per day, 7 days a week. Stephen King has someone to cook his food and clean his house and take care of lots of other pesky life details. So, although I’m sure he keeps himself busy, he can suck it, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

The point is: we all have Stuff To Do. What we have to do, is figure out a system that works for us. My days are pretty tightly scheduled. If I don’t schedule something, it doesn’t happen. I don’t always stick to the schedule (today hunting for something in the basement turned into a 2-hour reorganization project) but that way I know what my priorities are, and that I do, in fact, have time for them.

“I don’t have time” is everyone’s favorite excuse, including me, but in reality it mostly comes down to choices. Time vs. Energy is another matter, and one I’ll address in another post. The short version is, it’s why I really try, and encourage everyone else to, write first thing in the morning. If you truly feel your best, most productive writing time is in the evening, or between midnight and four in the morning, go for it. Make it a tiny goal if you need to, just to get started. Whatever you choose, make a firm commitment to it, and the pages will pile up!

Share your writing (or other creative) goal in the comments!

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