Friday Write-Day: Life Struggles =/= Writing Struggles

I feel like I’ve been on a roll recently, writing-wise. I’m starting to feel the rhythm of the narrative, I just haven’t had the time.

My grandfather passed away last week. Tuesday night, my dad, my wife, and I drove up to New Jersey. The wake, mass, and repast were Wednesday, and we drove home that evening. I’m going to write a proper tribute to him next week.

This week, however, has mostly been a wash. I managed to write some before Tuesday, but Tuesday-Thursday were mostly a blur, for obvious reasons.

That’s been the lesson in my early drafting of The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy.

Life happens. And with my wife within five weeks of her due date, life will start happening at an exponentially increasing rate.

Time for a Change-Up

To this point, I’ve been trying to get my writing done in longer blocks of time, usually 1-3 hours. That clearly has not been working.

I need to figure out how to find those shorter bursts of writing time. Long gone are the days when I can shut myself in my office and write for several hours at a time.

I have to learn how to be productive in 60- or 30- or even 10-minute bursts. I’m going to try to learn in the next month.

We’ll see about that.

My issue has always been that it takes me a bit of time to get into writing when I first sit down. I have to read the last few paragraphs I wrote and make sure I know where I’m going next.

I think I can help myself here in a few ways:

Take notes when I’ve finished a writing session on where I want to go next. I do this a bit already, but I can be more diligent. If I’m in the middle of a section or a particular sequence of sections, I’ll add a few bullet points right to my document to guide my fingers at the start of my next session.

Start carrying my journal again. I used to keep a notebook on me at all times, especially when I worked at the restaurant. I’d use spare moments to jot down ideas or even write little sections. Writing in my journal during my recent trip out West was invigorating and freeing — I didn’t have to worry about what came before or after what I was writing, because I knew I could change it.

Play the long game.  I think participating in NaNoWriMo for the last four years has trained me to think that I need to write in big chunks in order to meet my goals. NaNo is great — don’t get me wrong — but I need to adjust my mindset a bit for my normal, non-binge-writing life. Writing in little spurts is okay, as long as I’m doing it consistently.

I think those three techniques will be a good start, but do any other writers have some tips/tricks they like to use?

WoEL stands at 7,000+ words. I think I can pad that a bit this weekend, and then use the above techniques to continue progressing throughout the workweek, even if I’m not writing entire sections in one sitting.

Goals for 8/31
  1. Write 5,000 words, but in smaller chunks
  2. Start carrying my journal everywhere
  3. Continue waking up earlier

Steve D

2 thoughts on “Friday Write-Day: Life Struggles =/= Writing Struggles”

  1. There is always recording yourself as well, if that narrative tries to come out while you are doing something else…I myself now rise at 3:30 a.m. to write…I just need the time more than the sleep apparently!

    I am sorry for your loss, but excited for your pending arrival…Don’t overthink things. The Muse knows where you live!

    1. Thank you! I’ve used my cellphone to record ideas while driving. Voicing the idea seems to help me internalize it in a way.

      I’ve considered waking up early to write, but I am not and never have been a Morning Person 😛 I think I’ll be able to remain productive if I have a notepad/pen handy to jot things down as they come as well.

      Either way, I’m sure being a dad will come with its own kind of inspiration 🙂

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