Getting Around To It Versus Making Time

Friday, October 16, 2015
Last year I wanted to post about my favorite reads of 2014. I didn't get around to it. At the time,  I was dealing with the tail-end of the holidays, a deadline for a book hanging over my head, my mom visiting from Virginia, and all the cooking and baking I tend to do around that time of the year. Once the holidays were over, I intended to finish my current WIP.

In theory.

In real life, I had edits, an opportunity to hunt for and create some fantastic extras in my book, the day job, my dad went in for a minor surgery, helping my mom back and move cross-country (which took an entire month), and other life events.

Sure, I worked on the super secret WIP, when I got around to it. I intended to finish the book in June. When it didn't happen I pushed it to July. The cycle went on and on. Now, here we are, in the middle of October, and I'm still pounding away at the keys.

Making time for things isn't easy.

Which is why I've decided to start holding myself accountable, making time to work instead of getting around to it.

I have a schedule in which I can write, truly have the time and freedom to throw myself into the story, three days out of the week. The days I work, I still try to make time, though some days I'm too exhausted to even look at a screen. I do allow myself some leniency, otherwise I'll get too down on myself and fall into a week-long (or month-long) funk and won't write a word

Keeping a record of what exactly I've done on each day (writing, plotting, researching, questioning previous choices--which, let's be honest takes 40% of my time anyway) has been the key to keeping me on track. I'm using a monthly planner with enough space to list all my daily activities. On the plus side it's also helping me get a bit more exercise in.

My progress is still slow, but I'm noticing an increase in quality over quantity, especially since I've just finished re-plotting the last portion of the book. For the forth time. It's a complex book with a lot of moving pieces and a huge world I've had to create over time.

Currently, the book is sitting at 54,229 words. It is completely plotted out. At my best guess, it should come in at around 80k when I'm done. I haven't set another deadline for myself. As long as I'm making time to write and putting in my very best, I know this book will get done. I'm already so very happy with it, how different it is from anything I've ever written before, and how much I've grown as a writer.

Am I hoping to have a completed draft before the end of the year? Heck yeah I am, but I won't put that kind of pressure on myself, not now and not with this book. Why, you may be asking yourself. Because I, along with so many others, suffer from depression. It's a daily struggle. I have good days and bad days, just like everyone. The bad days weigh more heavily on those with depression, even the good days can feel like slogging through the deepest ink black cave. I find if I'm comparing myself to others, telling myself my work isn't good enough, worrying if somewhere a book like mine has already been published leaving no room in the market for the super secret project, I can sink way, way down into the muck.

I refuse to do that to myself anymore. Yes, there are going to be authors with better voices than mine, and books that are similar or better, and yes the book market is a treacherous and fickle place for the loves of our lives (our books), but I love what I do and I never intend to give it up. What I do intend is to keep learning and growing and delivering the best damn stories I have inside me. Another thing I intend to keep doing, is making time to write them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, as it hasn't been an easy one to write (or share). I appreciate you all.


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