I have a confession to make- I have been really struggling with my writing lately- especially these last few months. I’m sure that’s probably not a huge revelation for anyone, considering the drop in the frequency of posts lately. I will have little bouts of energy, I’ll write feverishly for a day or two- and then it’s crickets the rest of the week. I could give you excuse after excuse; I could tell you that it’s because my laptop has decided to lock me out of editing documents due to a complicated technical issue I’ve been unable to fix. I could tell you it’s because I got sick again (seriously, this has been the year from hell in terms of health for me). I could tell you that life has just been too damn busy and I haven’t been able to squeeze in a few extra minutes to put some words down on the page. Or I could mention that everytime I sit down to earnestly start writing, that seems to trigger my dog to demand attention by singing me the song of his people and being a general booger. And while there is a trace of merit to these arguments, deep down I know that they are all a bit disingenuous. The bottom line is that I have been floundering and lacking motivation. I could have made time. I could have stayed up late an extra ten minutes to write just one paragraph. I could have pulled out my old trusty notebook when my laptop decided to toy with my emotions. I could have shoved tissues up my nose and medicated myself enough to type just a couple of sentences. I could ‘down’ the dog when he decided to be crazy (this may sound scary- but it’s really just a trick he learned at puppy boot-camp where he has to lay down and relax for about an hour. Think of it like doggy meditation, I promise, it’s actually quite good for them). But I didn’t. I didn’t do any of these things, not on a regular basis at least. My motivation was gone, and sitting down reading a book or catching up on a show just sounded like the easier option.
But then I realized that this is the last weekend in February, and I have goals I want to accomplish, I have this shell of inactivity I’ve been hiding in, and it’s time to smash right through it. At the beginning of February I told a friend that I would do a little Nano-event with her this month. And it sounds like she is kicking ass and taking names, she is owning the page! I am so proud of her and all that she’s accomplishing. And me- I don’t think I’ve even hit 10% completion on my goal so far. And to be honest, it feels kind of bad, I am a goal oriented person, and I am highly competitive with myself. I know I can do better. But I’ve procrastinated. And there is only one weekend left, plus two work days that are already expected to be very busy. I’m sitting here in panic mode.
Lucky for me, I know how to rally when I start to see myself getting close to the wire. So you know what this means? It’s time for a weekend write-in! I haven’t done one in ages, and I am actually excited. Zach left early this morning to go skiing with some friends, so it will just be the fur babies and myself for most of the day- so much quality writing time right here at my fingertips. I have a mountain of ideas for this blog and a laundry list of my novel projects that need a touch of tlc. So in spite of my cranky computer, I am going to sit down and get to work.
I have always been a sucker for a good write-in. The trick is to set yourself up for success. Fist step for me is usually a quick trip to the store. I am a highly food-motivated person, so a little treat like Hershey’s kisses are a perfect reward after I’ve hit certain goals through the day. Not to mention the drinks: tea and coffee are top on that list, although I do occasionally splurge on a Monster (don’t judge me too harshly, I know they are terrible for me, but I’ve really decreased my consumption, and dang it, I like them). It’s also imperative to have some simple meals and snacks ready to go, otherwise you will find the excuse to go out and pick something up far too easy.
Next step: organize your area (if only just a little). I personally like a touch of chaos, but when my area is just a pure mess- I can’t handle it and wind up getting distracted along the way. Straightening up really fast before you start will typically save a world of frustration. One tip: dusting. I never notice how dirty my shelves get until I’m trying to write.
I only occasionally write with music, so at this point I may decide to pick out a playlist. I have to keep my kindle and my phone out of reach until my break times because I lack all sense of self-control (at least I can admit it). I might pull up a few little writing games- the nano message boards are usually perfect for this. Every now and then I’ll pull up the timer on my laptop and start running time-trials as I go to keep myself motivated. Like I said- I get very competitive with myself.
But in the end, these are just my own little tricks to stay on task and get the work done. The words won’t be perfect, and I will probably feel mentally exhausted by the end of the day. But I’ll have one hell of a word count to show for it if I did it right. So here goes nothing, my friends.
If anyone feels like joining in, if only for 30 minutes, let me know. It’s always nice to have others to commiserate and bounce ideas off of. Cheers to the weekend write-in, may the odds be ever in our favor. May the words come smoothly and the goals get scratched as quickly as I do when I try putting the cat in his dreaded carrier. Happy weekend my friends, with luck we will meet again much sooner than last time.