Well, there it goes. Turn, wave and smile at the beauty that slipped through your grasp. It was meant to be grand affair. A new relationship with your writer self and what you are to become. Of course, I’m referring to January. The month where you get to start over and make everything right. Did it happen for you? For me? Not so much. I’m feeling regret for the lost time that has passed. I know that isn’t doing me any good and I need to let it go. However, I also turned 45 last week and getting a year older makes me ponder about where the time went and what I’m doing with my life. I’ll try not to get too philosophical on you each month. These posts are intended to update you on my writing journey, but I thought you should know what is floating around my head at the moment.
I had good intentions. I had a plan. A set up spreadsheet, no less. But, like many plans for my writing career, something, or lots of somethings, got in the way. The day job reared its ugly head and kicked me a few times for good measure. I find the stress of the job not only takes away time from writing in a literal sense, but the mind filling blocks much of what I want to accomplish sitting at my desk ready to write. Thinking about the day job, or worrying about the day job is almost as bad as being at the day job. This is a problem I must tackle in order to be productive. One of the best weeks last month was the first week. Of course the excitement of the new year had something to do with it, but I’m certain coming off vacation also had a big part. My mind was relaxed and I had stuffed the day job away. The words flow best when I lose myself in the story and it is very similar to reading a good book. I immerse myself in a different world. If I am distracted the story doesn’t come alive like it should and it becomes a chore to produce.
I often day dream of walking in and handing in my resignation, so I can just focus on my writing. That isn’t realistic, so I need to find a way to set it to the side and focus on my writing when it’s time. I’m not sure how I will do that, but I will keep you posted on this blog. One step I did was to take a cue from Chris Brogan. He suggests using three words to set your goals for the upcoming year. You use them as guiding principles and a way to check in with yourself throughout the year. These three words are a mindset of how to get my goals accomplished.
This has to be the number one aspect I work on this year. I know from experience that nothing is more important if you want to have success and do well at anything. Consistently put in the time and you will accomplish your goals. I am treating my writing like a workout plan. At least 30 minutes a day five times a week. Hopefully, I will go above and beyond that but I need to be consistent in order to get this career moving forward.
This word goes back to the day job and all the other obstacles life throws at me. When it is time to write, it is time to write. I will do nothing else. One thing I played around with last year was having white noise while writing. I will start that again. I have also considered doing mediation before a writing session. My brain has been so full lately it is nearly driving me crazy. I need to be present and focus on the task at hand.
When I was younger, this idea wasn’t a problem. I’m certain I can write well. I’ve been doing it for a long time and had success publishing magazine articles. But somewhere between then and planning to write fiction for money my confidence waned. The self editor has sabotaged me more than once and has become a major hurdle to finishing anything. I feel really good at the start of a piece, but somewhere after the first third the doubt creeps in and I freeze. I need to be confident I can do this and I will do this. Pushing myself to finish will be a key to success.
For February I will have one short story ready for publication and will be near the end of a novel. I hope you will stop in each month and catch up on my writing journey in 2016. I really appreciate the support. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to talk with you. See you next month.