Monday, July 14, 2008

Relax, release, relate

I wish I could blame my lack of blogging on mounting manuscript pages. But I can’t. No, in fact, I’ve been in a wee bit of a writing slump. Now, that’s not for lack of ideas or words, but more a feeling of ever-present distraction. If they had a twelve-step program for people who are perpetually sidetracked, maybe that’s where I’d be.

Instead, I’m here with a mounting to-do list that has little to do with what I’d really like to be doing: writing. Mind you, most of the tasks on that Distractions list relate to writing in some way, but very few of them amount to words on a page or pages in a stack or getting closer to THE END.

See, it’s a self-destructive cycle really: I get distracted. I wind up doing too many things that don’t bring me fulfillment. I begin feeling too overloaded to write. I start to feel bad because I’m not writing. I look for time-occupiers to take my mind off the fact that I’m not writing. I stay distracted.

That’s not to say that I haven’t accomplished anything over the last six months. I finished an anthology, am close to proving that I really can write a 14-page story, planned a writers’ conference, and re-designed my web site. Yesterday, I started a new crochet project that I aim to complete in the next three weeks. And, today, I’m blogging.

Some author I came across years ago said she doesn’t have writer’s block or get into slumps. Why? Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard. And I have to admit, that right now – having assumed that position – watching my words fill this white space feels really good.

OK. So let me go back to the way that works for me and get off this waylaid treadmill:

  1. I will resurrect my writing journal
  2. I will set measurable and attainable monthly writing goals – classes, word counts, promotional activities, events – at the start of each month
  3. I will log my progress every day and make notes to encourage tomorrow’s work
  4. I will flip-flop my priorities and allow myself one hour per day to pursue my distractions and dedicate 3-4 hours per day to building my word count. Not the other way around.
  5. I’ll do a better job of taking care of me.
  6. I will then be able to write every day
  7. I will write every day

Woosa. . .

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