Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time Management and Updates

I think that one of the hardest things for me to do when it comes to writing is staying committed to a set schedule. Growing up, one of my biggest challenges when it came to projects and reports was always doing them on time. Not that I was lazy - I often did the bulk of the research and work in a timely manner, but getting the work done and handed in on time was always a hurdle to cross. Unfortunately, this bad habit has seeped into my writing as well, though I have been working on it even more now. The fact that I'm writing reviews on a biweekly basis has helped discipline my mind and gotten me used to working with a deadline. 

Technically speaking, the root of my characteristic procrastination is not laziness, but rather time management and organization. I'm a substitute teacher, a tutor, and a part-time pharmacy technician, which means that my week-to-week schedule is extremely fluid and changes from day to day. This means that I could have one day where I can totally devote my energies on writing, or barely an hour between jobs in order to squeeze in a page or two. Naturally, this means that my own energies and attention fluctuate wildly. If one suffers, so does the other. Although I have found that having those short sessions forces me to concentrate more and get the work I intend to finish done.

Another topic which lays directly over my time management is that dreaded word that all spontaneous people and procrastinators fear: Organization.

I doubt you could meet a single writer who would ever tell you that writing is a static and orderly process that does exactly what you want it to do. Writing a novel or short story is, if anything, the equivalent of trying to tame a wild animal. We know the nature of the beast, we seek to make it our own, but once you try to take control you find yourself struggling to direct it to go where you want to. The story goes west when you want it to go east, and you sit atop it debating whether to hold the story back and force it to cooperate, letting it run wild and ignore your commands, or help guide it to where it wants to go. If one is unorganized and without the proper tools and knowledge to tame the beast, then we are doomed to be kicked off by the violent life beneath us.

Tackling the twin monsters of Time Management and Organization is a risky venture, though the tools that can defeat one will also master the other. Whenever feasible, I intend to use my mornings to write down outlines and plot ideas. My afternoons (or early evenings) will be devoted to writing a chapter each day, while the nights will be spent mulling over previous chapters in order to add polish and cleanliness. Every evening, I will also be composing an entry for my own personal journal, regardless of my own fatigue. This is to keep my mind focused on the task and my fingers constantly working. During breaks and just before bed, I'll be curling up with the next book I shall be reviewing in order to work through that as well.

How does this affect the blog, one may ask? I'm glad you did.

Starting this coming Sunday: March 27th, I will be making a point of writing a weekly blog entry. That's right: sometime during Sunday every week, expect to see a blog entry posted from here on out. If there is a time when I cannot meet this commitment due to other reasons, I will be tweeting about a make-up date or perhaps posting two in a week to make up for this.

I hope this week is full of fun and excitement for all of you, and that you'll stay tuned for my future updates.

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