Monday, April 02, 2012

Beginning Again

Round 2 April 2-June 21
I think Kait Nolan was reading my mind, or my tea leaves, or something when she wrote the kickoff post for this round of ROW80.  It's about discipline and protecting your writing time.  At the end she asks, "What kind of good habits to you want to establish?  What sort of discipline do you need to work on?"  And that's exactly what I've spent the past four days trying to work out for myself.

What good habits and discipline do I want to establish? Writing more days than not.  I won't say "every day" because I know that won't work out. Some days won't have that space, so I would just be setting myself up for disappointment, and I don't want that. But a regular, more-days-than-not writing habit? I can do that. And I won't require hours of writing each time I write. Fifteen minutes works for me.

I want the habit of setting my intention for writing each morning by making a note for myself of what I'm going to work on that day and when I'm going to do it.  I think a sticky note or index card in front of me with that promise on it will go a long way toward helping me not forget what I mean to do.

I want the habit of connecting with my writer friends when I'm about to get started by sending out a note (probably on Twitter) with my plan for that day's writing and an announcement that I'm getting started; when I'm finished I will wrap it up with another note to say what I got done.  I like the accountability of this--it doesn't require anyone else to have to pay attention to my check-ins, but it gives me the feeling that someone is looking, which means I'm much more likely to actually do the writing when I sit down.

The shiny new story idea!
And now for those ROW80 goals:
  • Write at least 15 minutes each weekday; weekends are optional
  • Participate in the ROW80 Twitter discussions and use bookending techniques there to help me stay on task
  • Read and comment on blogs each check-in, even if I only have time for one or two.
This is pretty much the same as what I posted last Tuesday, but I've made a change in the book I plan to use to help me stay focused.  Since Tuesday, I've read three writing books and skimmed through four others, and one of them really spoke to me:  The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within by Alan Watt.  I'll be using the daily exercises from this book for my writing each day.

I like the freewriting aspects in this book; the questions feel like they are opening up my subconscious.  And more than anything right now I want to sink into my writing, pick up my beloved pen and notebook and immerse myself in words.  I need to do this, because a new story swept me away, and I've decided I'm going with it.  But I have very little to go on--a couple of images and that's about it.  Watt's book seems perfectly set up to help me dive deep and find this story.

I'm excited for this, nervous as always because I have not yet found that self-assurance I would like, but mostly feeling that flutter in my stomach that means something good and thrilling is coming.  I'm going to go meet it now.


Kathy Waller said...

Thanks for introducing me to bookending. A critique partner and I sometimes agree on a time to write, then e-mail each other before we start and when we finish. However, we'd not thought of writing independently and checking in with each other. Both of us can benefit from this, I think.

Best of luck in Round #2.

Anonymous said...

Setting the habit for the intention to write is good but maybe set the habit of opening your WIP every morning. No one said you had to write just open it. Your goals sound great :) I look forward to seeing you succeed. Best of Luck!

Kim Switzer said...

Kathy, I'm glad you like the bookending idea. Let us know how it works for you.

Ryan, I like that idea. I'm going old school right now, writing in a notebook, so I am going to try setting out the book, my pen, and any stray notes I have (because no matter what system I try, I always have stray notes!), and then I will put my intentions list for the day out on top of it as a tempter to draw me into opening the notebook.

Katherine said...

The concept of bookending is interesting, but I really like the idea of leaving a note. Something solid, especially where time is concerned. I can say to myself, "I'm going to write 1000 words today," but it works better when I say, "I'm going to start at 10am and write 500 words. Then I'm going to come back at 2pm and write the other 500." Of course, without a record my time schedules slide. "I said 11am, didn't I?" ;)

Anyway, superb idea!
Wishing you good words this week!

Kim Switzer said...

Katherine, I find actually writing the plan down really helpful, too. Our brains like to play tricks with us and help us slide a little too much otherwise. :D

justin bartholomew said...

This is really an interesting blog as it focuses on the very important topic. i came to know about so many things or tips.

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