Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Small Victories

Very recently, I decided to start writing during my lunch break. I shovel down a few bites of whatever so I don't starve, then I grab my laptop and sit in the conference room at work. I have half an hour, and my goal is 500 words.


Seriously, why have I never thought of this before? I get a decent amount of reading into the day because I have a dedicated time for it: a 40 minute commute on the train, twice a day. I've been doing this for a while, but it wasn't until I saw this post by Dahlia Adler that I realized I had a Thing and it was working for me.

This leads me to think that the whole reason I wasn't getting my writing done was because I didn't have a dedicated time for it. I was trying to fit it into the evenings, and it always got lost in the shuffle of life and dinner and chores and errands and Netflix. Writing at night felt too much like homework (that is, not very enjoyable, even though I was one of those nerds who enjoyed homework, there was always a limit to the fun). I'm tired because I've already put in a full day of work, cranky because I'm hungry and the trains don't operate at lightspeed, and I'm supposed to sit down and think coherent thoughts. Nope. Not happening.

The Significant Other is starting a new job, and we're both working day shift (for the first time EVAH). I thought about getting up (earlier than now) with him, and writing in the morning before I leave. Ha. HA. Nope again. I'm stupid in the morning. I'm awake and I have a ton of energy, but for things like cleaning and dishes and taking the trash out. Thinking is just a circular trap of hell.

My daily goal was 500 words, and I was getting it only 1-3 times per week. Maybe. But since I started Lunchtime Writing, I've hit it Every. Single. Day.

I didn't think it would be such a success either. The key is to get up and sit somewhere else, otherwise I'm sucked into work email and the internet. It isn't magic... I changed something to create a dedicated time for writing, and suddenly I'm always writing.

If you also think finding writing time is a black hole of suck, you could try to change something about your routine, something that gets you away from normal. Just saying "I'll write at 8-9pm every night" isn't going to change anything if you don't get up off the couch and turn off the TV. Where are your transitions throughout the day? When do you stop one task and start another? Maybe instead of crashing on the couch like you normally would after cleaning up dinner, sit at a desk. Don't even go to the couch, go somewhere else so your brain knows you're doing something different.

Writing is AWESOME now that I don't have to beat myself up about not doing it. And the successes build every day, gaining momentum and keeping you going.

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