The first half of the year didn’t go quite as I planned. I didn’t write down any goals, but I still feel a bit disappointed on the writing front. I got off to a good start, but things broke down at the end of March, and only picked up the regular writing routine this week. I like to reflect on this all, now and then, so here are a few thoughts.
Some things I’ve managed to do
I’m 78k into the new novel (The Golden Thread). I’ve written and sold 1 short story. I’m also proofreading for Inter Nova which features international speculative fiction.
From now until October
I’d like to finish the first draft of The Golden Thread. I’d also like to write at least one more short story and aim for a pro-rate sale.
Some difficult lessons (because I’m stubborn like that)
Focusing on word counts drives me nuts. My new goal is to sit at the computer and write for at least 30 minutes, every weekday. So far, some days I’ve written very little, but most days I’m surprised how quickly time goes and I don’t want to stop. If I sit there for 30 minutes and get nothing, that’s fine, but at least I’ve shown up to work, which is the hardest thing.
The internet is stronger than my willpower. I thought I had developed excellent focus, so after writing with the internet physically unplugged for months, I tried writing with it on. I’m not that strong. I’m going back to unplugging.
I can’t neglect my mind and body. A massage therapist checked out my wrists a few weeks ago, and the first thing she said was “You type too fast. You need to slow down.” Boy did she have some things to say about my back, which has been bothering me too. The better care I take, the more I’ll be able to write. So, I’ve been training myself to write at a standing desk. It’s taken a while to get used to it, and some days I’m tired so I still sit, but on the whole it’s not unpleasant, especially if I stick to 30 minute writing blocks. I’ve also found that scheduling the writing time earlier in the evening, so I have time to wind down before bed, helps me sleep better. Also taking a little quiet time to stretch at the end of the day, does wonders for both my back and peace of mind. Multitasking!
Sometimes saying no is necessary. I bit off more than I could chew at the start of the year. I can’t recall the number of novels I beta read (5?), but it was a lot, in addition to working on my own writing. I’ll be guarding my time a little bit closer from now on, but if you would like me to beta read anything please let me know. I might still have the time, especially if its a short story! It all depends on what’s happening.
I’m a writer. I had a rough time with dance this season. Everyone in the company is passionate about dance, and everything that goes into it. Listening to the others talk about it, made me acutely aware that my heart was not in it. I felt like a fake. I enjoy it, but its not what I look forward to every week, or every year. In fact, there were times I dreaded rehearsals. I had to give up writing, because dance was getting to be too draining mentally and physically. Part of me resented that it was taking me away from what I really love to do, which is to write.
It feels good to be a writer again.
What have you learned/been working on lately?