April is officially half over. This means the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo is half over. It also means, that at approximately 2,550 of my 15,000 word count goal, I am very behind on my writing for the month! Ack! I could blame on a lack of time since I started working full-time earlier this week. I could blame it on a lack of getting out of the house and finding an inspiring coffee shop. I could even blame it on stress. However, while those are certainly contributing factors, the real reason I’m as behind as I am is, discipline (or a lack thereof).
I am a writer. I am also a procrastinator. That means, that while the definition of a writer is someone who carves out time every day to write, I’m also inclined to do things other than carving out time to write. After a long day, or when I’m having a bad day, the last thing I want to do is use what energy I have left on something requiring a lot of brainpower. So, I end up playing Civilization 6, or The Sims 4, or something like that. Sometimes I’ll play Civ 6 and do a bit of writing on my phone while I’m waiting for the other civs to take their turns. Am I always productive? Hahaha! (Read: NOPE!)
Procrastination is a writer’s strongest ally and most formidable foe. Procrastination gives us something fun, but puts off what we should really be doing: WRITING! I am more than well aware of my love for procrastinating and my desperate need for discipline. I wish I had the time and ability to take on the writing processes of the likes of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. However, I am one of the millions of writers who have a day job to which they must dedicate eight hours of their day. So, after my day job, I like to relax… Which usually results in little to no writing getting done that evening.
In no way am I making excuses for my writing shortcomings. I’m simply stating them. I used to be really good at carving out writing time. I would use my commutes to and from work to write, my lunch breaks, and, when I didn’t have to get up early the next day, I’d often stay up after my mother went to bed and write until one and two in the morning. Those are things I don’t do anymore. Right now, my commute is a 15 minute carpool with my mother, lunch is often taken in between phone calls, and I get up at 6am every morning. What I need to do is carve out some writing time in the evenings after supper, or even use the hour before going to bed. I’ve done that a few times, but I know I need to do it more often. Like, every day more often.
Next week (starting Monday, April 17), I’m going to try putting this need into action. Every day, I’m going to carve out some dedicated time to writing. I’m going to aim for at least an hour, but even a half hour stretch will make me happy. I’m going to try this for for a week or two and see what happens. I’ll let you know my results.
Do you have any routines that help you stay on top of things? Let me know in the comments below!