Things are picking up for me as far as writing assignments go. Articles, blog posts, marketing materials, it’s coming fast and furious. As a freelance writer, I’m thrilled. This is, after all, how I put shoes on my kids’ feet.
As a memoirist, though, I’m not so thrilled.
I’m finding less and less time to do the work I *want* to do, as opposed to the work I *have* to do (until I become independently wealthy, that’s just the way it works, folks.) And with summer quickly approaching (one of my worst times of the year with regard to productivity because all the kids are home) I need to quickly put a writing system in place.
One of her bits of advice includes:
In the morning I wrote only fiction, and in the afternoon only non-fiction. To make myself switch, I set an alarm clock for noon.
For those of us who have the luxury (and I kid no one, it is a luxury to be able to write all day) this sounds like a fairly good approach. I’m a big believer is establishing gates that can be closed until opened around writing tasks. At any time, you’ll find at least 2 timers in my office, the 30 minute mark so well worn as to be almost unreadable on all of them.
Although I may not be able to devote the *entire* morning to my personal writing, I can certainly devote a few hours first thing. It’s just that I will need to gate that time off. Nothing else during, except what is allowed.
As far as Satran’s fiction writing (which equates to my non-fiction memoir writing) she also refreshingly suggests that you set writing goals not by word or page count, but by the scene.
…15 weekly pages (two to three scenes) in order to finish a first draft in six months.
This approach, along with segmenting your time based on your types of writing, sounds highly doable to me. While I can’t commit to writing 2000 words a day (something *always* comes up) I can commit to finishing a scene with a beginning, middle, and end – a story unto itself – using the time I’ve set aside in the morning. It might take a day, it might take several, however, I can envision the goal of a scene with more clarity than the goal of 10,000 words at the end of the week.
This summer it will be start, write and finish, and then on to my other work for me. And hopefully with enough of keeping to the gated-schedule, the gods will be good and will allow me to make progress even with all the kids in the house.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com)