Time is unreliable when it comes to being a writer. Often, we lose ourselves in the process only to discover when we look up that the minutes (or hours, hopefully) have flown by. Other times, we’re mortified by how little we’ve accomplished when the timer dings and our dedicated writing time has ended.
The same can be true when you’re working on a project for the long-haul. This month, we challenge you to look back at what you’ve written since Write by Midnight ended in February. Make a list of your accomplishments. Perhaps you’ve written through to the climax of your story. Or maybe you’ve written at least something every single day. Celebrate your achievements and keep the momentum going.
If this task reveals you haven’t been as productive as you had hoped when you first began this journey, don’t fret. Realizing that it’s been three months (or longer) since you last sat down to write can be motivating on its own. Let your lack of progress inspire you to put in the work to reach your goals. Start with realistic expectations and build from there. Then, check back in with us next month to let us know whether you’ve kept up the pace.
With summer ending and kids going back to school, now is a good time to update your writing schedule for the fall.
It’s easy to get lazy with your writing in the hazy days of summer. If your writing routine has slipped, set aside a specific time every day to write in the next month. Whether it’s on your lunch hour, first thing in the morning or last thing before you go to bed, write for at least fifteen to thirty minutes. Don’t worry about the quality of your work. The goal is to get words on the page. If you find it difficult to resist the urge to edit or research, consider writing long hand instead of the computer. Team up with a partner to swap your pages with at the end of each day to hold yourself accountable. At the end of the August, tally your word count to see how you did.
Next month, set up your own, little writing retreat to make distraction-free progress on your project. Treat it like a workshop that you paid to attend.
Plan it: Designate a specific time for your retreat whether that’s every afternoon or a weekend. Pick the place for your retreat, whether that’s a locked bedroom, a hotel room, library or cafe. Somewhere where you won’t be disturbed.
Name it: Call it a writing camp or workshop or give it some other specific name.
Announce it: Tell your family, friends and anybody else that might bother you that you will not be available during those days and times. If you have to physically leave your house to get alone time, then pick another place!
Execute it: Set a realistic goal for your retreat and follow through.
With the flowers blooming and days getting longer, try sitting in your garden to write. That way you can maintain the good writing habits you developed in February without missing out on summer.