Tag Archives: discussion

Keeping Promises and Making Schedules

You know, writing things down is great and all, but if I’m not even going to stick to the schedule that I write down, then why did I waste the paper?

I don’t know.

But that’s not really the point of this post, I promise. And actually, that’s part of what this post is about: making promises and keeping them. More importantly: making promises to yourself and keeping them.

It’s one thing to make a public declaration or make a promise to someone else to do something and not follow through. 1) Depending on the promise, people will have forgotten or don’t mind that you forgot to keep it. 2) Keep your promises to others. Seriously.

But when you make a promise to yourself and you break it, you’re only hurting yourself without knowing it.

That’s what it’s come down to in my writing life.

I’m focused on work, reading, getting reviews in, and other things that aren’t my passion. Every. Single. Time that I write I rekindle that love and fire and passion that I have for the art. And then I think to myself, “Why don’t I do this everyday? I mean, that is the number one advice that I seem to see many authors give.”

I think it has something to do with discipline and my lack of it. I can make all the schedules and promises in the world, but if I don’t have the discipline to go through with them, then there’s really no point in making them in the first place.

To give an example: this blog. I said I’d post at least twice a month since I’ve really started to love my reading blog more than this one (no offense), but did I follow through with that after I made that post? No. I couldn’t even write two posts last month. Two posts out of twenty-eight days. I mean, really, why was it so hard?

The thing about my writing, though, and the story rewrite that I’m working on, is that yes, I may love it at the time I’m writing, but when I’m at my most active is usually when I’m either in work, getting ready for work, doing something else, etc. I know I’m most active between 11AM and 2PM, but sometimes I’m just not available to do what I need to get things done.

Yeah, that’s part of the problem, but another is not keeping to a schedule or even a set of goals. I’m trying, though. I am.

I know I said a little earlier that making public promises is easy to dismiss, but I’m making a public promise now: when it comes to my writing I have some goals and I plan on sticking to them.

Yes, I want to be a published author one day, but that’s not my main focus. My main focus is to share my content with the world, to be able to share my love and passion for this beautiful art that is writing.

And so here are my goals to achieve that:

  • Write at least 1,000 words every weekday (Mon-Fri)
  • Write at least 500 words every weekend (Sat-Sun)

Easy flipping goals, right? If I keep to that goal, writing AT LEAST that amount every day, I should be able to finish my story to completion.

I’ll probably come up with other goals and challenges as I go and I’ll keep updated here.

I have a loose schedule as my work schedule fluxes, so I’m not going to post it here. I just need to write every day. That’s it. There’s no excuse for writer’s block, no excuse of being too tired or sick or whatever. I just need to write.

Writing is hard. Sticking to it is harder. But if I want to make a career out of this, or at least do what I love for as long as I can, then I need to start now before I regret never doing it.

Have/do you struggle with something similar? Do you have any writing goals yourself? What about promises you’ve made in terms of your writing that you haven’t kept or are working on keeping? Do schedules work for you? Let me know in the comments!

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Writer’s Block: The Five W’s and the H

We’ve all had writer’s block at one point or another. It’s always a pain and it comes up when you need it to be at bay the most. But why? Why does it do that and who does it affect? I’m taking my own personal views as to why writer’s block comes about and possibly give ways to get rid of it.

Who: This affects you, obviously, but it also affects your target audience, your boss (if you’re working to write a blog, newsletter, email, etc.), and even your peers. If you don’t keep working toward getting your work done, you won’t be able to succeed and work past the block.

What: Your piece of work, whether it be a longer article, a short email, or a book, your work will be affected. If you have a writer’s block, often enough the work that you are trying to get done won’t have nearly the same amount of quality and effort put into it if you didn’t have the block. Though, sometimes, the work may even turn out better because you have to work through the block!

When: Writer’s block can sneak up on you when you least expect, and more often than not, it comes about when you’re on your last few pages of your novel, or on the last few paragraphs of a research paper. Whenever it pops up, it’s a nuisance. It also happens right before a deadline, making your suffering even more unbearable.

Where: Your writing, obviously. This does’t need much explanation.

Why: Writer’s block is like your brain saying, “I know you’re doing a good job, and you’re on a roll, but I need a break right now, so…” And it’s as though your brain conspires against you when you need to get that very important piece of work done before the deadline.

Okay, so I gave a general, broad overview of writer’s block. They’re the five “W’s” that we wonder: “Why does this happen?”

Well, here’s the “how,” a.k.a. what you can do to help get over your writer’s block.

How: 1) Put it down and come back another time. This is seriously one of the easiest things you can do, but probably also one of the most dangerous. If you put it down for a few minutes, a few hours, or even a few days, be sure to come back to it. Don’t just leave it to sit and gather dust!

2) Try a writing exercise. Instead of trying to write what ever you’re working on, grab a separate paper or open a new document and just write the first words that come to mind. One word per line. Just write for five minutes and see what you can come up with. It helps to get your brain muscles working and helps to get your thoughts flowing easier.

Or you can try writing a small blurb for a novel you’ve already read. Add on to the story, change the ending, change the love interest, add a new creature – anything you want! No one’s going to see it, anyway, but this is just a fun way to see what you can create. And who knows? You might even come up with something that you’re working on at the moment.

There are many places online and in hard copy books that you can find where you can find various writing exercises. I recommend “Your First Novel” by Ann Rittenburg and Laura Whitcomb, as one example. I thought that their views and opinions on writing, as well as ways to get published, were useful and easy to understand. (This is mostly for the writing exercises Whitcomb uses throughout many of the chapters, not so much the publishing side of it.)

3) Have someone talk to you about your idea. Yeah, sometimes you don’t want anyone, not even your agent, to know what you’re writing about. But sometimes talking about it and having someone ask questions can open up a whole new door – or onslaught of doors! – for you to consider adding to whatever you’re writing about.

Now these aren’t necessarily the only ways to work through writer’s block. There may be plenty more out there or you might come up with something on your own. Either way, a writing block can be a pain, but if you work through it then you’ll be golden!

Here’s a few other blog posts floating around the Internet that you can check out and see if anything catches your eye:

Just try to keep your chin up! Your writer’s block will be over soon enough (I hope)!

(Just as a small sidenote: I had writer’s block while writing this, starting on January 9th and completing it today, January 14th. Happens to everyone, right?)