Self-discipline is a skill: skills take practice and practice takes time

I did not reach any of my goals yesterday. (1557 words, 3 hours writing, finish editing chapters 15 and 16.) I wrote for 2.633 hours and added 122 words to chapter 15.

I didn’t take drastic measures with those chapters as I said I would because things were actually going well with the story. I just couldn’t concentrate, and there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it. I even turned to a cup of coffee, which didn’t help at all. >:{

Today I am going to finish going through chapter 15 and 16 and I’m going to do it before I stop for lunch.

After lunch, I’m going to write.

Today also begins a fresh start on my 1,557 words a day goal. I’ll also be requiring at least three hours a day of writing from myself. I will require this every day, with few exceptions. I’m doing this because I’m starting to believe self-discipline is something you need to practice regularly, and without it, you’re never going to get the most out of yourself long-term.

I accept that I’ll fall short on the word counts sometimes, because I haven’t changed my writing process and I do end up with days where I delete more than I write. This isn’t about perfection. But by requiring three hours a day from myself, I make it much more likely that on my good days, I might make up some of those lost words. And on days where three hours just doesn’t cut it, I can keep pushing for those 1,557 words.

My biggest hope is that over time I’ll fall into a routine that maximizes the number of words I write in the most reasonable amount of time by consistently staying involved in my story worlds. I’ll stop losing momentum to month-long breaks and I’ll lose less time to massive read-throughs and edits like the one I’m stuck in the middle of now, because I’ll be working on my stories every day. Even if I can’t maintain the three hours and 1,557 words a day pace working on just one story, I can work on other stories. I already know I have that capability.

I’m going at this to build stamina for writing. What I write isn’t as important as the writing itself. Plus, I don’t want to hamstring myself by limiting what I can write. Some days there will be stories I won’t feel capable of or ready to write. Those days need a back up plan. That back up plan is to write something else.

Three hours a day is twenty-one hours a week, and that’s not that much time at all to devote to what is undoubtedly my life’s work.

Funny how negotiable non-negotiable is when you’re tired

Boy was I tired last night. I think I used up all my energy writing up that blog post about resistance because when I was done, I almost fell asleep holding my computer.

One thing led to another and I just gave up. I couldn’t even handwrite the notes I wanted to make about one of my characters. I need to do some brainstorming on that or something because I’m really not feeling the love for him and he is supposed to be a major player in this book. {grrr}

Anyway, not going to do that again, but if I do, I’ll forgive myself like I’m going to forgive myself now. I had an especially trying two days and a home maintenance project going that involved concrete and buckets and 85°F heat, and I didn’t get nearly enough sleep the night before. It’s no wonder I conked out.

What this all means is that although I wanted yesterday to be the first day of my newly refreshed plan, it wasn’t.

If I had it to do differently, I would have started writing a lot sooner in the day, even if it was just 15 minutes here and there.

It’s a lesson, in a long line of lessons, trying to teach me to start my writing day as early as I can.

Which I’m going to do right now. :)

A new month and a fresh start

I’ll take whatever opportunity I can find for a fresh start. My word counts haven’t been where I want them the last few days, nor even before that but at least then I had enough time invested that I didn’t feel like a slacker, but today is the first of a new month and I plan to use that to push for my goal word count of 3,000 words.

So far, I’m on track I’m happy to say. Especially since I can’t ever tell if I’m going to write fast or slow during any one session until I’m actually writing.

Sessions are 20 minutes, goal is 250 words per session or 750 wph.

  • Session 1 = 349 words
  • Session 2 = 281 words
  • Session 3 = 247 words

Total for 1 hour = 877 words

Pace = 877 wph

Yay!

I’m going to try out a new format for blogging today. I’ll start with these smaller posts about my progress and then do a summary post at the end of the day.  I just kind of like things in little packets. ;)