Last year, 2014, will not go down in history as my best year in writing. Nor will it go down as my best year in reading. I wrote a lot. I read a lot. I didn’t send out as much as I should. I didn’t review as much as I should.
I plan to remedy that in 2015. My grand design is that before I’m 50 there will be some upward movement on my publishing track record. I also would like to visit NYC for my 50th year birthday (November 2016), making a point of visiting publishing landmarks in the Big Apple. Therefore, I need to get a move on.
How? My snarky, internal editor asks, as does, some external, doubtful readers. Just how are you going to do that, Inkster?
The simplest plan is to go back to the basics. I need to write no less than five (count them: 5) days a week. That preferably should be Monday through Friday. But, I’m a mother, wife, community volunteer, and micro-farmer. Some days the appointments and chores take over my writing time. I need to put on some armor and guard that time. Like my daily work outs that began anew in my personal New Year beginning in November, I need to schedule the time and make sure that nothing interferes with that time. Additionally, the sooner in the day I get it over with, the better my chances of actually having done it. I may, again, need to rise at 0-dark-30 and do my writing time, followed by work-out time. Writing every day should have word count and I plan to get a bit obnoxious about posting such word counts on my social media feeds. This will serve to hold me accountable. I hope. No, it will. That’s why I’m telling all of you, because I know there are enough of you out there to tell me, “Hey, Inkster, get your write on!”
In addition to that schedule, I need to get back to my blog schedule, including my book reviews. It’s been out the window for so long. As the mother of a special-needs young adult, the amount of time I spend care-giving for him, taking him to appointments, dealing with doctors and social agencies, and just the time consumption that Autism Spectrum Disorder requires, it’s clear that writing time MUST be scheduled in. Yet I know my blog writing spurs on my fiction writing. Heck, even my freelance projects are more creative and on-time when I blog. Once a week posts are my goal. If I hit more posts, that’s total bonus.
These demanding responsibilities, on top of trying to be a good partner to my spouse — who blessedly supports me in my writing efforts — means my time for writing is limited. But, it is not impossible. In fact, it is possible and it just requires planning and restraint. After years of military order, I rebelled, or rather “relaxed,” and got away from the routine and discipline. But, I learned in 2014, such control is a good thing and lets me be productive in all areas of my life.
Planning is covered by just scheduling it in on my calendar like anything else and holding it sacred. The holding it sacred is where restraint comes in. Unless someone is bleeding, deathly ill, or the house is on fire, there is no appointment that absolutely must interfere with my writing. I have to armor that writing time and insist I be obedient to that scheduling.
More importantly, I’ll be stepping out in some new projects this year, which is where not only the Kill Fear part of that headline comes into play, but also the Go Big. These include teaching writing as healing to Veterans, as well as author-publishing a novel. Both of those efforts will require the above preparation and strictness. I’ll be blogging about my process with both of these, so please stay tuned here to learn more. I’m excited and a bit nervous about both, but kill your fear, darlings.
This does not mean that I can’t have fun and allow the creative process circle to do its thing. My ETSY shop, Thrasher Studios, so neglected since my special-needs son was assaulted in late July —which has been a very slow healing process requiring even more care-giving time on my end — will be another outlet for me. Taking a break from EVERYTHING words, I learned in 2014, allows me a renewed energy towards my writing life.
I promise to do all of this with the shadow of forgiveness, as well. I will forgive myself if on any given day, I just don’t do it. The more I do it, the more productive I will be. One 500-words-only day may very well lend itself to a follow-on 3,000-word day. This I have learned in 2014, too.
I learned many of the things I did in 2014 by doing my Morning Pages, as prescribed in THE ARTIST’S WAY. It’s amazing the things you learn about yourself, your life, and your world – especially the writing world – by doing this daily journal exercise. I plan to continue the discipline of Morning Pages, too. Those that follow me on Livejournal (whiskeychick) know all about how crazy I get if I can’t journal regularly.
I write all this down so that I remember. So, that you remember. So, this reminds me; you remind me. I don’t forget and stay on track. Here’s to a more productive and successful 2015.
What are your writing goals this year? How do you plan to do them? Have something to brag about in your write-life? Do tell!
Happy Wonderful 2015 to all!