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Monday, August 4, 2014

Writing Like it's Your Job

I don't look like this.
This has been a bad summer for writing. After an intense spring of BEA, writing conferences, writing and critting, somewhere around July 1st, I hit a wall. It wasn't laziness. (I tell myself. Myself is only somewhat convinced.) It was the muchness of life. We went on vacation. My husband got a new job (yeah, Tim! Art Director at Quirk Books!) My mom came to visit from Uruguay. Uruguay did not win the World Cup but became famous for biting jokes. You can see how this would break my concentration, no?

In 22 days I will get to know, at long last, what it feels like to write like it's my job. I will have actual 'office hours' that are longer than two hurried hours on a bar stool at Starbucks watching the clock until my littlest's preschool is over. Because littlest is going to Kindergarten. 8:40 On the Bus. 3:40 Off the Bus.

I still have work to do that isn't writing. I have APW (actual paying work) and I have blog/critting/reading work. But I will suddenly have this huge chunk of glorious time.

I'm afraid of blowing it. I'm afraid that I'll wake up on October 1st having written very little but having perfectly polished fingernails and an alphabetized book shelf.

So this week (while both girls are at Girl Scout camp) and my mother is engaging in a long-distance romance with her boyfriend (they are currently on the outs, but it won't last) I am going to practice Writing Like it's My Job.

Here's how I'll do it:

1) I will dedicate a minimum of four hours (pee breaks allowed. shopping breaks not allowed) a day to writing, thinking and researching. NOTE: Researching does not happen on Lainey.com or Perez Hilton or Jezebel.com.
2) I will allow myself one hour first thing in the morning to reach out to long neglected writing pals and connect with them on their blogs, twitter etc. I will read and comment on blogs. I will do this ONLY FOR AN HOUR, lest it become a consuming vortex.
3) I will not berate myself for not doing more. Word count is not my game. Story through line - hat's my goal this week.
4) I will not compare myself to others or moan about why I have not reached the achievements they have. I have my own achievements. And if I want other ones, I have to move my blooming arse.
5) I will not let the overgrown grass or the honeysuckle vine choking the boxwood deter me from my appointed task.
6) I will report back on how many of these tenets I actually adhere too.

Off to Work!

5 comments:

  1. You can do it! Sometimes posting things publicly is the kick in the pants you need(though not always). I've been doing a summer writing intensive where you post your goals, and it's working pretty well for me this summer.

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    1. Hey Leandra! Thanks for stopping by. I totally agree - part of the point of this blog post was to make me accountable. And also to look at what I *say* I do and what I really do. Sigh. I have to admit that I did peek at Jezebel.com while writing yesterday...

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  2. I always do better as well when I have someone / something to hold me accountable. :) I envy you your child being old enough to go to kindergarten, even as I understand that it's also heart-wrenching and squishy-feeling. Good luck with building a pattern. :)

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  3. Hi Britni. Sometimes I envy myself too! I don't know how I ever managed to write anything with the two of my kids buzzing around me like bees hopped up on goofballs. I'm calling it Divine Intervention. It does get better! Good luck with your own writing.

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