When the WriteOwls first started talking about doing a write-a-thon, we thought February would be the perfect month because there isn’t a lot happening. There’s no more holiday shopping to do or parties to attend. The cold weather invites snuggling up with a hot beverage and a great excuse to make progress on our writing projects. Typically, February is a boring, dreary, laid back, uneventful month. But not this year. At least not for me.
It turns out, I’ve been just as busy this month as I usually am. Maybe even more so. An unexpected four-day, county-wide school closure due to a flu outbreak didn’t help. Neither did the fact that Mother Nature missed the memo that this is supposed to be winter. There have been some days that I didn’t write at all. Other days, I tried writing late at night, after everyone went to bed. These were not productive writing sessions.
But rather than give up on the Write by Midnight challenge at the mid-way point, I made peace with the fact that I needed to adjust my expectations and be honest about my priorities. Life will always get in the way of best intentions. The unexpected will always live up to its definition of not being expected. I am the type of person who puts my family and work commitments ahead of working on my novel. But I’m also the kind of person who doesn’t give up on my goals. I am a patient, driven person who isn’t afraid to reevaluate how to reach them.
I realized my efforts to write every day during my lunch break aren’t leading to success. There are numerous reasons why. So this week, I have attempted to write for at least 30 minutes each morning after my children leave for school. I’ve been more than successful so far. The first day, I wrote for an hour and 15 minutes. On the second day, I kept at it for nearly two hours and probably would have written even longer had I not had an alarm set to remind me to leave for an appointment. I was totally in the zone!
For now, this new approach seems to be working. I don’t know how long my productive streak will continue, but I will milk it for all it’s worth while it’s happening. Now, please excuse me while I get back to my manuscript.