Day 3 of 30Word Count: 15,113
In three days, I have written 4,247 words. (When I began, the piece was already a 10,866 word short story, for a total of 15,113 words.) This speed and consistency of writing is exhilarating, terrifying and humbling. What it is not, however, is unexpected. Because like I mentioned in my previous blog post when I introduced my 30-day novel idea, I have a plan. And so far, I have stuck to that plan 100% — which HAS NOT been easy.
The plan calls for writing when I have writer’s block, when I am tired, when my kids are whiny and my house is a mess. The plan calls for a level of consistent focus that many would deem impossible for someone like me.
BTW. Someone like me = 3 kids (that I love to spoil), a husband (that I love to spoil), 5 upcoming sections of Adjunct Instruction split between 2 campuses (including one I’ve never taught/prepped), a new gig on the Harpeth Valley PTO, a commitment as a Screener for the Nashville Film Festival, and a part-time virtual gig (that I love)!
Oh, and did I mention that I am in the process of completing and submitting PhD applications to eight schools?
So. I am busy. And this is not my idea of a “humble brag”; I want you to understand up-front my immense lack of free-time, which many of us know all too well. Now that that has been established, here is how I still manage to write at least 1,375 words each day. My:
Guide to Doing Things You Don’t Have Time to Do
Make a plan: This plan needs to be specific. Instead of “write a novel in a month,” switch to something more focused, such as “I will write 1,375 words of my novel each day to finish in a month.” Seems like a small difference, but believe me, it matters.
Create accountability: Everyone interacts with accountability differently. Some of us need other people to keep us on track, while some need a colorful planner with stickers and tasks to cross off one-by-one (*cough* Christmas gift *cough*). Find out what works for you and put that accountability in place. [An app I highly recommend for writers is Writeometer — you can track goals and progress, set reminders, and even earn rewards! Which brings me to my next point.]
Reward yourself: It is impossible to squeeze more stuff into an already tight schedule. So, when you do, be sure to pat yourself on the back. This might mean treating yourself to a bubble-bath, Starbucks date, or even a strong drink (because, stress). Take time out to acknowledge when you are kicking butt!
Diminish distractions: During this process, I am avoiding social media, TV and cleaning my house regularly. And don’t shake your head at that last one, because hey, something’s gotta give for the sake of progress 😉
No excuses: This one is tough, because I know that life happens. I don’t want to diminish all of the reasons and things that steer us away from our goals. But if your goal is important, you have to stick to it. Period. Even if you are only able to squeeze in 5 minutes. Instead of scrolling IG in the morning, be productive for a few extra minutes. When you have a break at work, spend time on your goal. Commit to time when you wake and before bed. No matter how tired I am at the end of a day, if my goal for the day is not done, then I still have work to do.
Onward to Day 4!