Sunday, December 25, 2011

Week One Of Writing My Book

Mountains in Tusheti, GeorgiaImage via WikipediaI'm excited to report on the success of week one book writing.  This is of course the honeymoon period of it all and I am hopeful that I can keep the energy and the creativity flowing.  This has been quite a concern of mine bubbling just below my consciousness, primarily because I often feel stuck in my blog writing and am so afraid that block will surface in writing a book as well.  In fact, as I prepared to start the endeavor, I could feel myself stalling, creating more chores to complete before I started, just one more thing to do first and then I'll be diving in.  It is definitely an avoidance mentality that I face weekly in writing a blog but it is magnified at the thought of writing a lengthy book.

Here was the plan and how it played out:  I have a house in the Georgia mountains about an hour and a half away where I thought I would have fewer distractions.There I could focus myself on writing for 3 days this first week of my holiday break and potentially four or even more days next week.  My plan was to leave Sunday afternoon to drive there and begin fresh on Monday morning, writing all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. By Sunday afternoon, I was sabotaging my own plan.  I decided I had some last minute Christmas things I needed to get done and stores I needed to frequent were not open on Sunday afternoon... so I decided I would do it quickly Monday morning and leave before lunch.  Of course that didn't happen, one thing led to another and before I knew it, I made excuses that involved the compromise of writing at home on Sunday afternoon while multitasking and baking pumpkin bread!  I didn't leave until Monday afternoon around 3:00 and encountered a huge traffic accident which tied up the roadway a bit on the way.  I seriously considered turning around and heading home even though I was already 30+ minutes into the drive.  Luckily I didn't because once I arrived, I felt an immediate peace and focus of energy.  I prepared everything for an early morning beginning and then allowed myself the freedom of enjoying the evening at the mountain house to catch up on some recreational reading of blogs and watching of videos.

Tuesday  and Wednesday mornings, I was up extremely early and after my morning devotion and routine I was writing away.  I wrote steadily each morning, then spent the afternoons and evenings relaxing and refreshing some of my research through reading.  End result of two days of writing? Twenty-seven pages and 5500 words.  I'm pretty excited!

What was my lesson learned?  Make a plan that involves setting aside specific times to write.  Allow for some flexibility but don't let yourself get completely derailed.  It is so easy to get caught up in the urgent and neglect the important.  Once you've set your plan, don't allow yourself to compromise on the plan.  If you do get off track, don't give it up altogether but salvage what you can of the remaining time and continue moving forward.  Action trumps inaction every time!!!

What about you?  How do you accomplish your writing goals?  Do you set aside specific times to write?  Do you have a certain place to write?  What do you do when you get off track to get yourself refocused?

12 comments:

  1. Hi, Lynne!~

    Congratulations on everything you accomplished in your first week of writing! Very EXCITING!

    Have you ever made a Vision Board? You might find it fun & helpful, so I am including a link with instructions. One benefit of a Vision Board is that it feeds your excitement for the end goal, in this case your finished book, which makes stoic willpower less necessary. Just an idea ... http://www.dangerouslinda.com/?page_id=392

    Good Luck with week #2 -- sounds like an AMAZING adventure ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Linda, I just read your post and the interesting thing is that I created a vision board for myself as part of a class I taught at my church on visioning as a family. However, the part that I haven't followed up on is keeping it somewhere that it continues to inspire me! I also haven't updated it in over a year which I also notice you mention in your post. Thanks for the great idea... I'm going back to the drawing board so to speak...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just because the honeymoon wears off doesn't mean it has to stop being fun...

    I write intuitively, and just go with however I feel. I have goals but I'm not too concerned with them. My biggest thing is staying consistent. And I do a lot of rewriting :)

    For instance, recently, I've gone from writing early in the morning to writing in the afternoon, and now I'm writing late at night. I haven't written any less, or any worse, but my writing time has flipped without my trying. I think my creativity is like a living thing, and it's easier to listen to what it wants than try to make it want something I want.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ J.R. Nova--great point about keeping the fun in the writing! I do have a tendency to work so hard at being structured that I forget the fun part. Thanks for sharing your writing strategies. I think we all have unique styles that work for us.
    @ Autumn Eliza--thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Woo-hoo! This is sounding exciting, Lynne! Glad your plans did not completely derail and that you are on your way. I find that once I begin, and set all those excuses aside, I can hardly stop. Hope that's the same for you, my friend!
    I took Christmas Eve and Day off from writing, but, otherwise, it is a daily routine for me now. Today, I wrote two devotions; plan to do the same tomorrow and Wednesday to stay ahead. And, make time to work on editing my novel!

    Such good news, Lynne! Thanks for keeping us posted!
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Martha-It is certainly energizing to receive encouragement from others! I am also very impressed with the discipline that I am finding in others. It motivates me to know that I can continue full steam ahead as well. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  7. Setting time aside is one thing but being dedicated is another... You have combined the two together and created magic in your world...
    Great Start....

    ReplyDelete
  8. @sparklemezen--you are so right! Being dedicated is the harder part. Thanks so much for your encouraging words.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cheering you on... there is nothing like watching the word count grow, nothing. I don't have a set schedule or time of the day, other than knowing at some point during the day I will be writing. I am daily writer, but the schedule is flexible. I found it easier to keep writing if I allowed myself the freedom to write when I could rather than enforce a time. I've learned so many lessons writing my novel I could write a book on writing a novel, OK, not a book but a daily inspirational for writers. Keep moving those fingers across the keyboard, and remember to give yourself time to reflect as your dive in deeper.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Brenda You are so right about the word count growing... it is very rewarding! You should write a daily inspirational book. I've learned so much just from the comments of other writers. Thanks for the encouragement!

    ReplyDelete