Thursday, September 10, 2009

Schedules, Routines and Habits

I'm not real good at any of those... Oh sure, I have schedules. In a few more days, my entire week will be regimented into approximately 2 hour blocks. The price of being a teacher.

I can barely remember to take my meds every morning, and I've been on those same meds for years now. So much for that "three months and it's routine" stuff.

But one of the things that I do try to do, with varying degrees of success, depending on which way my life is imploding, is to write every day. Sometimes, it's just a matter of opening the WIP and reading things over, maybe tweaking a little, rearranging this. At least I've done something that day. I hate when that's all I can accomplish, but having just had a week where watching 'House Hunters' was mentally taxing, I'm reconsidering my position on barely-productive writing days.

The goal I like to set is 500 words. It's a nice managable goal, not too much. I don't beat myself up over not reaching, especially when there are other things in life, like, say, maintaining a relationship with one Husband or working on projects for other jobs. And knowing that I'm going to try to get another 500 words keeps my story writing thoughts more focused. I have a goal to work towards and something to work out. As opposed to starting yet another scrap of a new story. Like the three on my phone... =P

I can't schedule the time. I won't listen to me. I can't punish myself for not getting there nor reward myself for doing it. I still don't listen to me. But I know that the only way to eat that elephant is one bite at a time. The over-confident belief that I'm writing stories that are good and different and deserve someday to be published is enough. That's what gets me through the tough days. That and my love of conquering challenges.

But I'm not going to pretend that what works for me is right for anyone. I always hated those writers who insist (INSIST!) that a dedicated writer will get up before work and write a couple hundred words to start the day. I understand the rational, but really... my brain doesn't engage until sometime after 9am. Anything before that is akin to deciphering slug trails, except it's drool on the keyboard.

To me, the most important this is just making time to work on the writing. Add words, work on the story, and make progress. Morning, noon, night, regularly or in spurts. Every writer needs to find their own way, so long as they write, finish, and get better.

Write on!


pattinase (abbott) said...

I just wish my five hundred words would occasionally be at the end of the ms. and not scattered here and there.

Anonymous said...

You have to find what's best for you. Some times I envy those people who get up early and write before work. But I already have my alarm set for 6 to get up in time for work - I just can't face getting up any earlier!

But ultimately, I guess we should all be finding some little slice of time, any time during the day, to do our 500 words.