Wow, I can’t decide if in the past two weeks I lost my focus or if I simply redirected my focus. Early last week I had a sore throat, that thankfully was nothing serious, but it sidelined my gym routine. My exercise came to a halt, next week I’ll force myself to get back to it. I’ve been going out more frequently and I wrote quite a bit in my novel attempt. So I lost my exercising, put in time writing, and socialized with varying degrees of excess.
Winter was a big change and it continues to be cold. I can forget about skating outside, and from being sick last week I have not made an effort to go to indoor parks. I think being inside too much makes me a little stir crazy and I need to go out some. But I think all writers need to experience things, and I decided I’m not going to be hard on myself anymore. I can have both, a social life, and work on my personal goals as well. It is all about time management. My roommate told me a teacher once said to him you have 8 hours of work a day, 8 hours of sleep, and how you spend the rest of the 8 hours a day is up to you. Thankfully my work is a standard work day and week of 40 hours. I never have to put in long days or crazy shifts. I am single without a family or major obligations. That means I’m free to do as I want for my off time. Since I have ambitions for writing and skating better it matters how I spend my spare time.
Take this week for example. After work on both Monday and Tuesday nights I wrote for about an hour an a half. On Wednesday I went out by myself, and had an okay time. On Thursday I wrote for over two hours. On Friday night I had a great dinner and a kind of crazy night with good friends. That was a full week, and I was able to write quite a bit. Today, after I finish this blog entry, and relax for a little bit I plan to write for three hours. If I’m able to do that I would have wrote 3 chapters this week. Last week I wrote 3 chapters a week. If I’m able to keep up this pace I will finish the draft by mid April. I’m planning 33 chapters, and writing 3 a week might be 10 or so weeks for the whole thing. Tomorrow I’ll watch the Super Bowl. This was a full week and I was able to concentrate on writing while being able to take a few breaks to get out.
Next week returning to the gym will be a time management challenge. I’m hoping that going to the gym after work will give me energy to stay up writing. I notice that I’m writing quickly this draft quickly. Since I can not edit pen and paper I’m taking the approach just to jot it down as quick as I can. I try not to second guess myself, but just write. I think with this approach the second draft of typing it out might be agonizing and a real challenge. But I’ll tackle that when the time comes. Another thing about this speed writing is that I’m still writing the parts that I already wrote on my first attempt. When I get past chapter 10 or where I stopped last time, I wonder if I’ll slow down, because I’ll have to create instead of rehashing from memory. On a positive note I think since I toyed with this concept for so long, I know the story, and I think I’ll finish the first draft by my April deadline.
Getting back to the time management challenge, I think going out needs to be limited to 2 nights a week or less. The gym and writing take time. I think once I get in a routine this will be good. Writing and the gym are solitary endeavors making it necessary to socialize a little bit. I have family that I can talk to on the phone and email about writing. But a one on one conversation about writing with my friends that I respect is beneficial. When I was a kid I never imagined that I’d socialize with people interested in literature and writing. Now thanks to being a librarian I regularly meet aspiring writers. I’ll try not to take my book friends for granted anymore and I need to hang out instead of being reclusive about my writing.
In other news two more months to April, there will be an end to this winter.