Intentionality

I want to be less haphazard about my writing, more intentional, on various fronts. What I work on, when I work on it, and when I do other activities that take time away from writing / family, which have to be the main priorities.

WHAT I WRITE AND WHEN:

Part of the problem is that I write in multiple genres, which means I have to read in multiple genres and I love reading but it is time consuming, and it also works best if I immerse in a genre for at least a little while, reading at least 3-5 things, so I can start making connections between them. And when I’m jumping around between things (for both writing and reading), my brain starts getting really stressed and anxious, trying to keep track of everything, so I think focusing down would help.

So I have sent some WisCon workshopping friends the opening 15K of the new SF novel, and we’ll workshop it at WisCon at the end of May. June I’m going to dedicate to trying to finish a full draft of that novel (need at least 50K more words, but working full-time, that should be feasible.) July, I’d like to go back to the memoir; I have a ton of material that needs to be drastically reorganized and knocked into shape. August, it would be nice to actually be on vacation, before the semester starts up again in mid-August. Two weeks with no writing expectations would be good for me, I think, and I tend to get so anxious about the start of school and the summer days slipping away that I have a hard time concentrating to write anyway. That leaves May for finishing up one Wild Cards story, drafting another, and either continuing the mainstream YA novel or drafting this new middle grade fantasy novel. Or both? And then slip in short stories and food writing here and there all summer, when I need a break from books. Okay, that’s a plan.

SCHEDULE:

May: Wild Cards (2 stories due), mainstream YA novel, middle-grade fantasy, food writing

June: SF novel, short stories in that universe, food writing

July: memoir, lit fic short stories, food writing

Aug: vacation

TRAVEL:

I’ve also been thinking a lot about what takes me away from writing. I love to travel, but it’s inevitably disruptive. Maybe I need to take a break from it for a while, or at least limit it severely. Six trips / year? If there’s one to visit Kev’s parents and one to visit mine, that doesn’t leave much room for conference travel, but maybe that’s what needs to happen. I already have more than that scheduled for this year — I think 7 total at the moment, but I can put a hard lock on it now, and try to pull back in 2019.

OTHER ACTIVITIES:

Similarly, I need to be more careful about local events, esp. ones I’m hosting. I hate to say no, when there are so many interesting things that people are doing, and I want to come out and support, but time is limited. It just is. Attending one event / week, and hosting one event / month? Is that a reasonable limit? Maybe I’ll try it for the summer and see how it goes.

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One thought on “Intentionality”

  1. It might be helpful to schedule it the other way as well. You have said that you can have 3-4 productive hours of writing a day. After that it’s not so effective. Maybe decide which 4 hours (and which days) your going to write, and fill those into your calendar first. And then start slotting in other life activities in order of importance after that. When your out of room you have to cut activities. Or outsource them. I have a colleague who gets up every morning and writes from 5 to 9. After 9 he starts with work. He works from 9-3. 3 he goes home and the rest of the day is personal stuff. Now that schedule would NEVER work for me but it works for him. (I’m working on my own best schedule myself. Haven’t perfected it yet )

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