Took Monday off. Took Friday off. Feel bad about it. This one was also written rather quickly, but I couldn’t let another scheduled day go without giving something.
First, let’s do a project check in. The image below is my writing accomplishment for the month of June. Project: HARP is the middle grade novel I’m writing the first draft of, with the expectation I’d finish by the end of June, put it on the shelf for a few weeks, begin editing in August, and have it ready to send out to in the hopes of attaining an agent in October.
I did not finish it in time. Imagine this is the month of June, and each block contains how many handwritten pages I completed. To complete the novel, I needed to write 8 pages a day:
As evidenced, I did not do that.
And that’s okay! I mean, honestly, I set the bar that high because I knew I could do, but wasn’t positive if it was really attainable. Real life gets in the way. Date nights. Family events. Naps. So many naps. Like, Phoenix heat reminds me why so many desert creatures are nocturnal. We’re all just warm-blooded beasts who want to escape the sun’s bullying rays.
June was a real testing month with putting together a manageable schedule to best maximize my creative efforts. My tutoring business is now providing the opportunity for me to work. But, see if you can spot a problem with my schedule. This is a screenshot of my afternoons from last week:
Where is my time to recover?
We push ourselves, amateurs especially, to work all the time all day long. A mistake I made when setting up my schedule for the month of June was trying to put as much stuff as possible on the days without putting in that little thing we all need: BREAKS. I had no breaks. In my head, I’m working from 4-5pm, then rolling over to 5-6pm into the next thing, then rolling over to the next thing, then….dying.
Breaks are needed. Time to recover is needed. If I want writing to be my profession for life, I need to learn how to schedule in breaks. It’s okay to want to work on something you care about all the time, but if you were in a 9-5 office job, you’d crave a break every so often. A chance to chat with co-workers, grab a smoke, spend a little too much time in the bathroom, something.
Freelancing is no different.
I got another novel idea in my head. Something small that quickly became something big. Will keep pursuing it while I finish Project:HARP this month. Last week, I was in a zone of madness, and I wrote 8 pages easily. It’s the section of the book where everything flows together and the words create themselves, so I have no doubt that it’ll be done this month. Will provide another update later.
This is the great work. Time to get to it.
See you Wednesday.