It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for a ROW80 check-in. Let’s get the progress report part of this post out of the way first, shall we?
- Goal #1 – Write 1000 words daily. I am only two days into my first round of this challenge, but I have met my daily writing goal both days. Success!
- Goal #2 – Stick to my blog post schedule. Mondays are designated as Book Review days, and this Monday I posted my review of The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler. I’m also making my Wednesday check-in so, success here, too! I am still searching for inspiration for tomorrow’s “deep thoughts” blog post, but I have completed the book that I’ll be reviewing for next Monday’s post.
- Goal #3 – Complete the first draft of my WIP. I made progress toward this goal by adding just over 3,700 words to my draft.
So the last couple of days have gone well. I have no complaints to register with myself, but there has been a strange shift in my writing routine, and I’m wondering if it’s just a side effect of having just finished CampNaNoWrimo or if it’s a change that’s here to stay. I am a strong believer in establishing a writing routine and sticking to it. Had I not done this, I have no idea how I would have made it through the process of writing a dissertation. My current writing routine (and yes, my routine does change according to my schedule, be it summer vacation or fall or spring semester) is that I try to spend two hours writing first thing in the morning. I got the advice to “write first” from a book by Joan Bolker* and it’s worked really well for me. I also put into practice her advice of trying to write at the same time each day and in the same place, which have also yielded good results. In the last couple of days, though, I haven’t been able to generate anything in my morning writing sessions. I stare at the blank screen, check e-mail, the Internet, Twitter, do chores. In general, I just allow myself to be distracted. As I’ve said in another post, I have all kinds of ways of turning off my Internet distractions, but I haven’t employed them.
But I mentioned above that I’ve met my writing goal each day, so what gives? On both days, instead of doing my writing in the morning, it’s gotten done in the evenings. Now, I am self-proclaimed “night” person, but in the last few years I’ve managed to become a functioning morning person. I have become used to doing most writing tasks in the morning and most reading tasks in the afternoons and evenings. But Monday and Tuesday nights found me writing in the evening, from about seven to ten. It’s like newborns who have their days and nights mixed up. Which leads me to the question–is this just a temporary blip in my routine? I don’t know the answer to this question but for now that’s okay. I’m going to go with it and see what happens.
Perhaps the only other thing to say about my writing in the last couple of days is that it’s been a struggle to get the words out. I think part of this stems from my attempt to take more time with my first draft (as opposed to being in the hurry-up mode of a NaNo month). I wouldn’t say that I’m trying to get it right the first time, I’m just trying to write a less sloppy first draft (or zero draft, another term I got from reading Bolker’s book). The flip side of that is that there isn’t an outside source of pressure, and for better or worse, I am a person who works best under pressure. It’s another adjustment that this challenge is encouraging me to make and so for now it’s something to notice and see what comes of it.
With that, check-in #1 is done. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by my blog and offered support and encouragement in this new endeavor of mine. Have a good week!
*I am still learning all the tools and tricks of blogging, so I don’t yet know how to turn this into a link. The book I’m referring to here is Joan Bolker’s Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day.