Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baby steps

I re-read yesterday's blog in my Google Reader this morning, and I got lost. Apparently, I went with the stream-of-consciousness style of writing, but it didn't work. So here's a revision, which (I hope) will be a bit easier to follow:

I've been working out lately. No, not full-on going to the gym and lifting weights or taking aerobics classes. I started small. Every other morning, I'm doing 3 sets of squats, push-ups, and crunches. It's been almost a month that I've been doing this. I started out with 10 reps of each, and I've increased to 12 squats with arm raises, 12 push-ups, and 15 crunches. There was a day, back at the beginning, when I overslept and didn't have time to do my exercises. Once upon a time, I would have just shrugged, and taken the next day off, too, because it wasn't scheduled for exercises. Then I'd come up with some other excuse for the day after, because by that point, it would have been three days without exercising, and I really wouldn't want to do it anymore.

Instead, I woke up that next morning and did the exercises, even though it hadn't been scheduled as an exercise day. I got back into the routine, and I've been exercising every other day since then.

A few times, I've considered adding in more. I did actually add some arm stuff to my squats, and this week I've added a weighted ball to that part, too. But I decided against adding anything more just yet. Why? Because I don't want to push myself so hard or so quickly that I decide it's not fun anymore. (Okay, I'll admit, I've never found exercise 'fun.') There have been a few other times that I've thought, "Why not do this EVERY morning?" Again, I realized that, if I do that, I'll probably start to feel overwhelmed and quit. So I don't do it every morning.

Now the big question: how does my new work-out schedule apply to my writing?

Baby steps. I am, and have always been, great at starting projects, but not so good at finishing them. Part of that is because I take on things that are big. An afghan is a large, time-consuming knitting project. A novel is a large, time-consuming writing project. After I spend a few weeks or months working on something, I get bored. I want something new. So I move on and start a new project. The old one is there, and I do come back to it from time to time, but the thrill is gone. More importantly, the routine is gone. I've jumped into something too quickly, with expectations that are too high.

I know that I need to start writing more. Well, at all. But if I just jump in and start writing like crazy, I'm going to burn out again, and then I'll have to take another long break from writing anything worthwhile. So what's the solution?

Baby steps! I just need to pace myself. I need to keep some sort of consistency, but without letting myself get out of control. I've got a plan, though. I will write, and I will do it every day. But I won't write a lot. In fact, I'm only scheduling 15-minute sessions. I can write a blog post in that amount of time (usually), and I can get started on something else if I want to. I can do a couple of pages of edits. I can do a page of re-writes. So I'm sticking with the 15-minute blocks. I do realize that writing is a bit more fluid than exercising, though, so I won't enforce the endpoint if I'm in the middle of a scene or almost at the end of a blog. I just need that 15-minute block to get myself started.

Now that I've got the timing sorted, what am I going to write? The plan is as follows:
  • This week - finish NaNo-related post for FFC
  • This weekend - write an outline for what I want to do with Damagos next weekend
  • Sunday – blog about crafts
  • Tuesday – five-minute fiction
  • Thursday – blog about how all this has worked for me!
  • Next week - re-write chapter 1 of HEA
  • Next week - start edits on chapter 2 of HEA

See? Baby steps. No new projects, just work on some old ones, things that need to get done. And hopefully, I'll stick with it!

1 comment:

colbymarshall said...

I'm not stepping- I'm crawling.