IWSG January Post – Making the Writing Happen

The Insecure Writer's Support GroupThis month’s IWSG post asks the question:

What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

How apropos.

Before I continue, I must give a shout out to this month’s most excellent hosts: Tyrean Martinson, The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Rachna Chhabria, and Jennifer Lane.  Thank you all for hosting this month’s IWSG blog hop.  

2018 is right around the corner, and in my household, it is a big deal. I and my beloved don’t usually enjoy marching to the beat of a predictable, trite, or clichΓ©d drum, and the whole tradition of making new year resolutions certainly fits that description. That said, new year resolutions are, in fact, something we do, and we get jazzed about it, too.

Positive Thinking I’m all about the power of positive thinking and positive visualization. Think forward, not backward, I say. What do I want my future to look like, I ask, and then I act to manifest that future. The first step in that process happens in my own mind.

The act of ticking over a new year on the first of January is, as I well know, an imaginary contrivance of human perception. Not to mention, it’s dependent upon which calendar you follow. Sumerian? Aztec? Norse? Celtic? Nubian? Heck, I could invent my very own calendar system and start the year on November 12th. Why not?

Okay, so the start of a new year is a fictitious concept, but it’s one that I enjoy celebrating, almost worshiping. It provides me with a stimulus, a prompt, a chance to pause and contemplate my accomplishments (and failures) of the past spin around Solaris, and look forward to imagine what the next spin might be like.

What am I proud of doing? What are my regrets? How can I transform those regrets into positives moving forward? What challenges can I throw at myself that will test me and improve me either physically, intellectually, or spiritually? That’s what celebrating the new year and making resolutions is all about in my house.

It’s serendipitous that this month’s IWSG prompt deals with finding ways to fit writing into my life because it’s already one of my resolutions for the new year.

2017 was an unacceptably sedentary year for me in which I got a lot of writing done, but not enough and it always felt shoved in last minute. Most of my writing happened in the late afternoons, at the end of a long day of teaching, or worse, after dinner when all I wanted to do was go to bed.  It always felt forced.  I was Sisyphus, standing at the bottom of the hill, hands against the boulder.  Not good.

Here’s my plan for 2018:

  1. Wake up at 5 am every day except Sunday, so that I have time to:
  2. Work out for 20 to 30 minutes with my beloved, then:
  3. Write for one hour.

 

KettlebellsNotebook with black cursive writing sits atop an open laptop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s right, the big new year’s resolution for me is to become–wait for it–a morning person! My writing time will become part of an established routine. I’m not stipulating what I’ll be writing. It could be rough drafts, editing work, blogging, journaling, anything as long as it is writing.

The great thing about my plan is that I’m not alone in it. My beloved and I are engaging in this resolution together. We’re going to support each other, motivate each other, hold each other accountable. In other words, misery loves company, and I’m going to have some. Technically I already do, because I wrote this post on December 27th, but it won’t go up until January 3rd. By the time you read this, I’ll have three early mornings under my belt. Feel free to ask me how it’s going a month from now; most failed resolutions die in the third week of implementation. (Not me, not me, not me, not me <– see that? Positive thinking, baby!)

2018, here I come! If all goes as I’m visualizing it, 2019 will see me healthier and much, much farther along in my writing career.

If you’ve got a plan for getting more writing time worked into your schedule, or if you’ve already successfully done it, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Happy 2018, everyone, and happy writing.

Comments

  1. Pingback: Write in the Morning to Maximize Productivity - Katherine Karch

  2. Sara Beth

    I love your goals! How are those going so far? I know I really should wake up earlier and write, but I actually write mostly at night. Apparently though, what I could do 4 years ago (stay up til 12am and get up at 6am) my body no longer wishes to allow me to do lol.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

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      Kathy

      Thanks for stopping by. So far, I’ve managed to get up on time each morning, but my “exercise” routine isn’t always all that vigorous. Does stretching between sips of coffee count? My morning writing has been altogether satisfying. Fingers crossed that I’m able to continue my two week streak! I know what you mean about the aging body not behaving anymore, though I hear the need for sleep begins to reverse itself at some point. Happy writing to you.

  3. Michelle Wallace

    Hi Kathy!
    Waking up at 5 am to write?
    Ooh, sounds early for words to be flowing. πŸ™‚
    I write better at night.
    But I suppose whatever works best for you – that’s the main thing.
    It helps that you’ll be working alongside your beloved.
    Happy 2018!
    (Sorry it took me a week to get here… and thank you for visiting my blog)

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      Kathy

      Thanks for stopping by, Michelle. I’m surprised to find that writing in the morning is working out WAY better than I was thinking it might. Hope the new year is off to a great start for you. Happy writing. πŸ™‚

  4. Nicki Elson

    Hey, having a devoted partner in this new resolution puts you way ahead in the game. I hope it’s going well and that 5am wakeups get easier and easier as 2018 rolls on.

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      Kathy

      Some folks can get by purely on intrinsic motivation. I am not one of them, so having another person doing this with me is definitely an advantage. Here’s to outside accountability! Thanks for stopping by, Nick. Happy writing to you and happy 2018. πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: From the Heart of the Bombogenesis - Katherine Karch

  6. Gwen Gardner

    It’s so nice when you have someone to accomplish your goals with. Working out and writing before works sounds ideal.

    I’m a morning person, but I get up at 5:00 a.m. to be to work by 6:30. I’d have to get up at 3:00 to write, LOL. By the afternoon I’m too tired to write, so writing mostly takes place on weekends, but sometimes I can squeeze some in while I’m at work–if it’s our slow season.

    Good luck with your new schedule!

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      Kathy

      What’s important is that you’ve found where the spaces exist in your life for your writing. That’s great. Happy writing to you. Thanks for stopping by, and happy 2018.

  7. Cathy Keaton

    I’m definitely not a morning person, but I envy those who are rather starting their days in the wee hours of the morning rather than winding them down.

    I hope all goes well for you and your resolutions for the new year!

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      Kathy

      Thanks for stopping by, Cathy. Morning people and night owls… I envy them both. I’m the type of person who seems to operate best with a solid 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night. How some folks stay perky on just four or five each night is a mystery to me. Happy writing to you, and happy 2018.

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      Kathy

      Thanks for stopping by, Angela. I could have used some luck yesterday and this morning. The blizzard that struck yesterday left my family with a ridiculous amount of snow to shovel. We did it. It took the four of us about an hour and a half, and I felt like an under inflated bike tire when we were though. Then, this morning, we looked out and saw much of our hard work undone by plows. Needless to say, I’m concerned that I no longer have the strength in my shoulders to lift a pen! Yikes. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?? Anyway, happy writing to you, and happy 2018! πŸ™‚

  8. Ellen Rittgers

    My New Year begins on the day of the Winter Solstice. The slowly lengthening days seem to me to embody an emerging new year, just as the shortening days of Autumn herald the passing of the old one. When the days begin to stretch out, one can feel a building energy, envision meltwater gurgling under the corn snow, and new little bulb shoots pushing up through the earth. Persephone is on her way back from the underworld, and Demeter is getting ready to smile on us again! It’s a good time to reflect on the previous year, and think about what can, or should be done differently. Big changes, or small steps? Learning a new skill, and/or sharpening an existing one? There’s a whole universe of exciting possibilities and options, that we can choose for ourselves! Happy New Year to and for all of us!

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  9. Mary Aalgaard

    You’re right about the arbitrary “new year.” I’ve been in education all my life. The new year starts in September. Also, that is my birth month. So, it always feels like the start of a new year. Maybe we have many new year’s moments throughout the calendar year?
    Sounds like great goals for 2018. Happy reading, writing, and exercising!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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      Kathy

      Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Yes, I was just discussing with the physics teacher in my department that September is the mark of our “new year” as teachers. But I suspect you’ve touched the truth in that there are many “new year” moments peppered throughout our annual spin around Solaris. Hope 2018 is off to a great start for you. πŸ™‚

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      Kathy

      Once upon a time, almost in another lifetime really, I was a powerlifter. The training was relentless and brutal. During that time, I invented a clunky motivational phrase that I would tell myself to push through my moments of physical and mental resistance: If I don’t do it, it won’t get done. Then, two years ago, my youngest child dropped these pearls of wisdom upon me: “Sometimes life is hard, because you have to do stuff. So, you should just do that stuff, so then you can play.” From the mouths of babes, right? Thanks for the well wishes. Hope your new year is off to a great start. Happy writing right back atcha! πŸ™‚

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      Kathy

      Thanks for stopping by, Lynda. Both and my spouse have a long track record of biting off significantly more than we can chew when we start new things. We’re both “go big or go home” people. However, with age comes wisdom (and dodgy knee joints, I’m discovering). I am finally starting to gain the skill of taking the long view on life, so I resisted my natural tendency to set 50 different resolutions that would require rapid-cloning myself to get them all done. Also, I tried to make them somewhat synergistic and co-supporting to up the odds of accomplishing them. Hope your new year is off to a great start. Happy writing to you. πŸ™‚

  10. Erika Beebe

    I love how you and your beloved are doing these goals together. That sets you both up for success. I wish you the best on your writing, fitness and morning goals. Happy 2018 πŸ™‚

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      Kathy

      Mutual support is important. So is mutual commiseration, I suspect. We make a pretty good team, most of the time. We’re both creative artists (I write, he takes beautiful photographs) so we are able to understand each other really well. Of course, that sometimes leads to us vying for time to be creative and feelings of jealousy when one of us gets more time than the other, but overall, it’s all good. Thanks for stopping by. Hope your new year os off to a great start.

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      Kathy

      Mmm… yes, I know what you mean. It’s so easy for me to crack open my laptop to “check my email” and then pitch head-first down the rabbit hole of the internet only to claw my way back out, look around, and wonder where the last hour and a half went. I’m only four days into my new year resolutions, but so far I think that exercising first thing seems to help my mind focus and tighten up. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  11. C.G.Coppola

    I *love* how positive this post is. I love, love, LOVE it! And you go, girl. I believe in you. I believe you can do anything you set your mind to – and I think you believe it too!!

    P.S. Mornings aren’t that bad. You have a full tank of creative energy that you can use on your writing – nothing better πŸ˜‰

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      Kathy

      Hi C.G! Thanks for stopping by! Hope all is well with you and that your new year is off to a great start. On a theoretical level, I know mornings aren’t that bad. That said, when that alarm sounds at 5am, mornings feel like just about the worst thing ever invented! It took every last quark of willpower to drag myself out of bed today and unfurl the yoga mat in my living room, but once I’m up and breathing deep, it feels good. Inertia is a beast, let me tell you. It’ll get easier, though, I know. Happy writing to you. πŸ™‚

  12. Olga Godim

    I hate getting up early – not a morning person at all – but your attitude is laudable. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Good luck and happy new year!

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      Kathy

      Well, I never said I liked getting up early, only that I was going to try it. No. No, not “try” it. Yoda would not approve. Try not, do. Or do not. There is no try. Thanks for stopping by, and happy new year to you, too! πŸ™‚

  13. Debbie Johansson

    I’m a morning person and usually like to get some writing done during this time as my mind is fresh. I wish you all the best with this as it can be tough starting a new routine. I have a sister who is a teacher, so I have some idea of all the work that is involved and applaud you for trying to make time to write. It’s good that you have the support you need to get through this. My husband is not only one of my beta readers, but my accountability buddy. He certainly knows how to hold me accountable if I don’t get any writing done, that’s for sure! πŸ˜‰ I look forward to hearing about your progress.

    1. Post
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      Kathy

      Hi Debbie! Thanks for stopping by. My spouse isn’t much of a reader. Photography is his thing (and painting, drawing, sculpting), so I’ll need to seek beta readers elsewhere (when I get to that point). Hope you’re having a great start to the new year. πŸ™‚

  14. SE White

    Good luck with the early mornings! Especially with company, that sounds like a super sensible plan. I’ll be interested to hear how it’s going. As a side note, I totally got distracted by your Goodreads reviews on the sidebar and read a bunch of them. I really appreciate how you tackle your reviews and address the writing style of the authors. FEED is now on my Amazon wishlist because of you, I’m sure I’ll be grateful after I get over the emotional trauma from the book.

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      Kathy

      It was difficult for me to get started with FEED. For the first couple of chapters, the slang used by the main characters was very disorienting and off-putting, but then Anderson backed off on the slang quite a bit and the actually story really kicked into high gear. So, if you do pick it up and feel thrown off at the start, be sure to push through because the rest of the book was great. Thanks for the compliment about my Goodreads reviews, by the way. Glad you find them useful. I’ll be sure to post an update on how my “morning person” aspirations are coming along in February. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

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      Kathy

      No worries. We hit the snooze alarm this morning and didn’t roll out of bet until 5:17 this morning, but I still got in some writing. I’ll be exercising this afternoon (I hope) before the blizzard hits.

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