As I opened my document to write this, I noticed I had a post called “Goals: Fall 2020” which…never…got…posted *frustrated sounds*.
Maybe that’s a good thing because, I, err, didn’t actually end up meeting any of them anyway. However, I will cut and paste a chunk from that post that is relevant to this one.
I sat down to write the other day only to feel very lost, very unfocused. I felt as if I had completely and suddenly lost all my direction. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to really write—college does take a toll on your time. I’m sure that had a fair deal to do with it. But then it occurred to me that I had left my writing journal at home. It was almost filled in—there were a couple of empty pages left, and I felt it would have been impractical. I’m regretting it now, because that journal tracked my progress and goals for the past few years, and it was something that always gave me a sense of direction, pointing towards which writing projects deserved to be prioritized over others.
In my last point I expressed some disappointment with how my writing had gone this first semester. I’m just so much busier than I expected to be. So, while I’m home, I’m going to work on the goals I had set from last fall which mainly included editing and finishing a draft. But for January, which will include the beginning of second semester, I’m going to be setting some Winter goals. But these will be different kinds of goals.
1) Understand that baby steps are still progress
At home, when I had more control over my schedule, especially during the summer, I was able to make pretty big goals. Between editing big chunks of past projects or finishing up a draft, I could prioritize writing because I was able to say when I did what. Now, when breakfast is only available for a certain limited time, I now have to work at a time that’s not my own. Not only have I lost certain times, I’ve lost time.
But I still think I can find snatches of time here and there. I know that snatches of time won’t propel me onward like I’m used to, but it’ll get me further than doing absolutely nothing. I just need to shift my mindset to understand that even tiny little steps are moving me forward.
2) Work on writing without actually working on writing
I’ve met some really cool people at school, and some of them like chatting about writing as much as I do. I want to take advantage of that and spend time talking to my peers, the upperclassmen, and even my professors about writing when and if I can.
I can also use this time to brainstorm. My lovely critique partner always comforts me and tells me that even when I don’t have the mental energy or time to write, I can think about what I want to write when I have time to do it so that the words come easier. Whether if it’s the five minutes before I fall asleep, or in the shower, or on the walk across campus, there are times I have to myself where I can carefully brainstorm so that my writing time won’t be wasted on staring hopelessly at a blank screen.
3) Get more disciplined with my schedule and find a balance
This is just a good goal overall, but it will indirectly lead me to finding writing time. If I can stop hitting my snooze, if I can do my homework without getting distracted, if I can more carefully monitor where my time is going, my schedule will open up. I also need to find a balance in what I do. Writing is a part of how I take care of myself. Some evenings I just may need to turn in a little earlier to recharge my introverted self and do a little reading or writing.
4) Carry my notebook around with me
That way, if I come up with snatches of dialogue or a short description, I won’t lose it. If I finally work out a way around that plot hole, I won’t forget it. If I hear someone said a beautiful name or an interesting new word, I’ll be able to save it.
These are the kinds of things I’ll be doing to help myself get back into the writing habit this next semester.
Also, just a side note: I’ll only be able to post 3 times a month instead of my usual 4. It’s hard to churn out content with such a busy schedule and I think that this will help keep me on my feet! Thanks to everyone who comes to visit my little blog, I really appreciate every view I get! ❤