A Rough Beginning and Reassessment

Laura Ayo

Laura Ayo

Sundays are my planning days. I sit down with my calendar and figure out what I have going on for the rest of the week. I prioritize and plan how I’m going to get it all done. I also look back at what I achieved – or didn’t – the previous week. When I sat down last night, my Write by Midnight progress log was the first thing I reviewed.

I wish I could say I met my daily goals of writing for 30 minutes during my lunch break, but I didn’t. Here’s how the week played out for me:

Day 1 – I was pumped up. I put my goal in writing and placed it next to my keyboard so I would see it all morning as I worked. As soon as my kids left for school, I placed a note on my TV remote to dissuade me from watching television. I tweeted a picture of said note to let everyone know I was going to rock the Write by Midnight challenge. At 1 p.m., I fixed myself a bowl of soup and sat down at my computer to focus on my work-in-progress. I worked on a character interview for a whole six minutes and then the phone rang. I considered ignoring the call. After all, I’m trying to establish a good writing habit this month. But my caller ID told me the person on the other end was someone I had been trying to reach for a couple of days, so I answered the phone. When I hung up, I reset the alarm for 24 minutes and went back to my writing. Despite the interruption, I logged 148 words and wrote for a total of 30 minutes. Day 1, in my opinion, had been a success.

Day 2 – I left the house early for a day of running errands in preparation for an out-of-town trip over the weekend. I had a lot of places to stop, a lot of things to buy and a lot of items to deliver to various people. I vowed to be back at home for lunch so I could write. But when I couldn’t locate one of the items I needed at store number one or store number two, I realized I’d have to travel to a different part of town to look for it. That meant lunch would have to be on the go a-la drive-through style. My errands took all day and then my kids were home from school. Chauffeuring took priority until 9:30 p.m. and by the time they were in bed and I had showered, it was 11:45 p.m. Still, this is a Write BY Midnight challenge, so I slipped into my office and stared at my character interview from 11:48 p.m. to 11:58 p.m. It was not a productive 10 minutes because I was tired. I maybe answered one or two questions. So I shut down the computer and decided to do better the next day.

Day 3 – I spent the morning packing for my trip and wrapping up loose ends so I could leave with my daughter to head out of town as soon as she got home from school. But at 1:28 p.m., when it was time for me to take a break to eat, I brought my lunch in my office and worked on my character interview. I even went 10 minutes over my allotted 30 minutes, logging 204 words. Had I not had to go out of town for the weekend, I’m confident I would have continued writing that day. I turned off my computer, packed it in my luggage and set it by the front door, determined to steal time somewhere over the weekend to keep up the challenge.

Day 4 – Yeah, who was I kidding?

Day 5 – Same

Day 6 – So that brings me to today. I have a date with my washing machine and my work-in-progress. I may have had a rough beginning with the Write by Midnight challenge, but it’s still early in the game. I’ll let you know how I’m doing in a few more days, but I’m more determined than ever to make progress on my manuscript. Wish me luck!

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