Refocusing on my schedule

I can’t really explain why I didn’t end up writing much yesterday. I did get a few words in at the end of the day, enough to make me comfortable saying that I am restarting my “no more zero word days” challenge. From yesterday forward, no more zero word days. The more days I can string together, the greater my victory. Failure just means I have another opportunity to create an even longer string of days.

Funnily enough, after writing yesterday that it’s been five months since I started trying to follow my current schedule, I have decided that following the schedule alone is not going to be enough to keep me writing on a regular basis.

I’ve crunched some numbers and discovered that some of my best daily word count averages were stretched over times when I kept myself accountable for how much time I spent writing, not how much time I had set aside to write. It didn’t seem to matter how I held myself accountable, whether it was timed writing or simply timing my writing (counting down versus counting up), only that I was accountable for what time I did spend writing.

That probably explains why the schedule worked so well to start with but no longer seems to make a difference. In the beginning, I did treat those times much more like timed writing sessions, whereas now, I seem to treat the schedule more as time set aside during which I should be writing. I don’t even feel that guilty when I don’t write during that time! This post proves it. It’s 10:34, and I should be writing right this minute.

I’m not ready to give up the current schedule (because I really like it and I do feel that of all the schedules I’ve ever tried, it’s the one that suits me best), but there’s not a lot of room for doubt about how I should be thinking of my writing time and it’s not the way I’m currently thinking of it.

I’m going to continue to try to find ways to push myself to write during my scheduled times, using whatever tricks are necessary. I meant it when I said this was the year of the schedule. The year isn’t over yet and I’m sticking it out.

Here’s a short quote from what I wrote in that post. It’s why I’m not giving up on the schedule, even after five months of mostly failure. I did take a quick look and I was wrong about the three weeks of success. It was closer to six. Six weeks of success out of five months isn’t that bad.

So here’s the challenge. I’m going to make a schedule. Every day will be a challenge to stick to it. I’ll probably fail more often than I succeed. Maybe if I’m lucky some good habits will develop around the times I’m supposed to be writing that will make it work over the long-term even if I have a lot of short-term failures. If not, well, how’s it any worse than what I’ve already got going on?

No more searching for the best system, no more word count quotas or goal-setting, no more excuses. It’s time to move on from all that and settle in. The remainder of 2015 is going to be the year of the schedule.

As for today, I’m still thrilling over how fun writing was on Wednesday when I was working through my list of stories, trying to write 50 words on each one and then moving on, so even though I had trouble getting started yesterday, I don’t think I’m going to have trouble getting started today because it’s not the writing that’s the issue. It’s my lack of respect for my writing time. Which I’m about to fix right this minute.

First step in practicing writing faster is going to have me keeping up with how much time I spend writing these blogs posts.

Started: 10:07 am
Finished: 10:55 am