Monday, August 26, 2013

A Progress Update

I mentioned in a previous "This I know for sure" post (8/9) that somehow I'd started treating my writing as a hobby the last few weeks, but had gotten back on track and turned the corner so to speak. I wanted to revisit that and let you know what changes I've made and what's working for me.

I realized I was spending a lot of time doing things that weren't moving my writing career forward. For example, if I didn't feel like writing on a particular day because I was tired, or had a miserable day at work, or whatever other reason I could come up with, I wouldn't write that day. I'd tell myself I'd make up for it the next day.  Sometimes I did, but more often than not, I didn't. This explains why it's taken me roughly eight months to write two-thirds of the first draft of my work in progress (WIP).

I knew I needed to stop doing things that aren't helping me work toward the goal of writing full time. Since the beginning of August, I've stopped watching television during the week except for the local and world news broadcasts from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. Do I feel out of the loop when the other ladies in the office are talking about the latest TV program? Sometimes, but then I ask myself what's more important - keeping up with what's going on on Burn Notice (or any other show) or working toward the goal of being a full time writer.  On Saturday evenings, I watch a movie on DVD with my family. Within a half hour from the time I get home from work, I'm at my laptop and writing until I meet my daily page goal, no ifs, ands, or buts. I'm doing it every week day even if I don't feel like it or had a craptastic day at work. The strange thing is on those terrible work days after I've finished writing, I feel so much better than when I would come home and dwell on what happened at the office.

So if you find yourself in a similar position and think you don't have enough time in the day to accomplish everything that's important to you, re-evaluate how you're spending your time. Are you watching two, three, or more hours of television every evening? Try cutting the time in half. Do you say Yes to too many activities? Begin saying No to some of them. Guard your time so you have the time you need to do what you want to accomplish, no matter what it might be.

Time is a precious commodity. We all only have a certain amount of it. I stopped writing for nearly ten years due to family and life responsibilities. I look back now and think of all that time I lost and can't get back. Even now, I think of the time I've wasted just this year alone. Make the changes you need to. You'll only be happy you did.  I know I am.

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