Several years ago the thought of starting Nanowrimo and putting down 50,000 words of story in 30 days seemed a daunting task. Much like how Weight Watchers is really about learning how to eat better, training yourself to be healthy – Nanowrimo was about teaching myself how to write. Not literally mind you, but more from a time management standpoint. You get a feel for how long it really takes to write your 1667 words for the day. I also learned where I can fit in that time to write and that if I write in short burst with to long of a gap between them I repeat myself. At least I repeat the use of some words. (Ask my writing group about the short story I did using the word “area” like 57 times in a page and a half!)
In looking at this I am taking the time leading up to The Journey and reflecting on how my life is working now. I will have to modify things a bit to make this work. Currently on a Thursday I get up between 5:30 and 6:00, take a shower, have breakfast and make sure my son is awake for school and/or work before leaving myself. I get to work at 8:30 (sometimes a little earlier) and working until 5:00 to 5:30 usually. Every now and again we play the Highlander Card Game on Thursday nights, otherwise it is home, make dinner, watch Big Bang Theory and then read or write until ready for bed. Lately it has been more reading and less writing.
This is where I think I have room for improvement. I can be up, showered and ready to be out the door shortly after 6:00. This would put me at the coffee shop when it opens at 6:30 giving me an hour and a half to write. On a good day, when I am on a roll, I would be capable of writing the 1667 words in that time. As my goal is not 50,000 words but a full sized novel (around 85-90,000 words), my goal will really be around 3000 words a day. There is no way I can work that in an hour and a half.
From work I can take on writing during my lunch should I need to, but going out for lunch doesn’t leave much time for writing. If I can get my boss to agree to it, I can bring lunches in and write from my desk. Honestly this will likely be too distracting for me, so I will probably just bring a book and read it during lunch. I have audiobooks for the ride to and from work and could also just relax and listen to one if it is “one of those days.” So the 8:30-5:30 is pretty well shot for writing.
After work I could totally make it out to one of the many “write-ins” going on around town, but the goal is to train myself to do this long term, not to treat it like an end of the semester cram session or all-nighter. With how busy the rest of my week is, I may still keep Thursdays for write-ins but I will figure this out as we go. My goal though is to be done with dinner and writing by 9:00. This will allow me time to get home and do whatever I need to do for the rest of my life before bed. Namely laundry, picking up around the house, prepping for the week’s game night… whatever.
Bed by 11:00 or so to get up and do it all again of Friday. Well maybe not ALL again. I assume each day will have its own variations on the theme. Sound busy? The longer I look at it, the less busy it seems. I spent a lot of time working 80 hours a week as an adult. What about working a full time job and coming home to raise a family? Not many parents have the ability to stay at home full time for their kids. Does that Thursday look any less hectic? The thing that sold it for me was looking at the time I was sitting in front of the television on a Thursday night and asking myself, “What could I be doing right now?” With all the time I was using up working and then going straight to running card game and miniature tournaments before I saw a solid chunk of time that could have produced something that I not only felt was more productive but was meeting the goals of the dreams I still had – to become a published writer.
This year I am choosing to remind myself of that. For today though, I am going to spend this time writing this blog in the morning. After work will likely involve wrangling my den into submission (which will likely take a couple of days). For this to work long term (as write-ins really are a November thing) I am going to need a writing space in my condo. I am more comfortable in the coffee shop, but I figure why not give myself the best chance I can to make it in my house? Also organizing all of my books and gaming supplies will help me to streamline the rest of my life and give us access to our fireplace again. But that is a story for another day.