Ok. I’m taking back what I said last week!
Well, not exactly. I stand behind the core message of what I said, that when you (or at least I) have a scheduled time to write, you can spot time wasters a little more easily. Sometimes, though, what looks like a time waster isn’t one. Sometimes, as I realized last week, it’s you trying to tell yourself it is time for change.
Yep. After telling you last week that I had a certain time I forced myself to write (or flogged myself with guilt if I didn’t), I am changing that routine. For three weeks I’ve been trying to maintain my established habit of writing fiction on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and non-fiction on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was a good plan. Establishing it helped me get lots written (and some things even finished!).
All that changed recently and my no-brainer routine became a thing I fought with several times a week. One day I would have a deadline (real or self-imposed) that forced me to write off-schedule, another day I would get inspired and want to write fiction when I was scheduled to write non-fiction or vice versa. Whatever it was, I’ve been struggling for three weeks to maintain my past level of productivity and getting frustrated and discouraged as I consistently lost focus and momentum.
Suddenly it dawned on me that this “time-management monster” appeared at the same time as this blog! It wasn’t a monster after all. It was me telling myself the routine needed to be changed. It no longer makes sense to force myself to write on my fiction projects when I’m so easily distracted by my own blog (and, to a lesser extent, Shonna’s and Kitty’s entries). Why not use that distraction to fuel whatever related projects I’m working on?
So that is what I did. I made a new schedule. I’m hoping this change will address the gremlins that have plagued my writing time the past few weeks. My new schedule is:
Monday: blog related writing. This could be comments on this blog or others, writing future blog entries or related articles, anything that seems related to the blog in my mind. (And knowing my mind, that could be a pretty wide and oddly shaped net. LOL)
Wednesday: fiction (and responding to the blog comments during breaks)
Friday: choice, usually to include any polishing of upcoming blog entries.
Is there something you need to adjust in order to adapt to recent life changes? Go for it (and tell us about it!). Be careful, though. Establishing routines, certain ways of doing things, and schedules, times allotted to do those things, won’t be successful if they are in a constant state of flux. It’s a fine line and it’s important to stay on the productive side of that line. For me, this time, change was warranted. Now it’s time to get busy working the schedule.