A writer friend and I made a pack in early January that, come February, we would both consciously devote time to working on our novels. We've been discussing how, exactly, each of us will make time for this endeavour. What I have come up with is this:
- I will spend a minimum of two hours each morning novel writing.
- I will not check e-mail, blog, or post on Facebook or Twitter until novel writing time is complete
- I will produce a minimum of 1500 new words each day. Editing is to be kept to a minimum or non-exsistent.
- I will write Mon-Fri. Ideally we'll each get in an hour of writing time on Saturday, but it is optional depending on schedules. Sunday is a rest day.
- My friend and I will report weekly on our progress. *We are allowed two "pass" days a month where life interferes and we just can't get to the writing.
I'm hoping to spend closer to 3-4 hours per day on creative writing time, but edits to my cat book are coming in and I need to allow time to edit/rewrite portions of that.
I recognize that what I've written above is the dieter's equivalent of declaring, "I will eliminate all refined sugar from my diet, go to the gym 6 days a week, and not snack between meals until I am a size 2."
And yet... I have hope the schedule will stick. It's two hours first thing in the morning. It's a matter of sticking to it for a month so the habit forms. Blair asked what I would do facilitate the above behaviors and other than sheer force of will, what I came up with is that I'll check e-mail right before I go to bed at night, just to assure myself nothing urgent is waiting for me, and I'll turn off my computer's Internet connection at night so it's not hooked up in the morning when I sit myself down, tempting me with e-mail and Facebook.
Will it work? I've been dieting for years and am not anywhere near a size 2 so a pessimist would say, "no." But I luv me a new schedule and routine. And I've felt an internal shift that has said, "You're ready to work on the novel."
Ready or not, February, here I come.