So, I’ve made a bunch of mistakes in the few months that I’ve been blogging and working on writing more in general. I thought I’d share them with you so that you can, hopefully, learn from them and maybe not make them yourselves. Or maybe these things were good for you and bad for me, and I won’t know unless you say so in the comments. But that’s what blogs are for, right?
1.) Taking a break
My regular readers may have noticed that I’ve been rather irregular (haha) in the last month. Aside from making some absurd attempt to pace myself and blog on a more reasonable and maintainable schedule (MWF), I’ve had spring break, trips, and a bunch of other things to contend with.
Originally, I thought this would be a good thing. I’d go visit grandma (my mom) in Georgia (never been there before) and come back refreshed and inspired.
Well, I did enjoy the live oak trees (although that name is just weird, isn’t it?). But it’s hard to be refreshed after slogging through a couple all-night drives with 2 kids and 2 cats over the course of a few days, even if you’re not doing the majority of the driving.
More importantly, it is hard to get back into the swing of things. I feel all akimbo, despite my new-found ability to use nearly obsolete words.
So, let this be a warning to you. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sometimes it is better to work through the pain than take a break.
2.) Working against yourself
Anyone who’s known me a reasonable amount of time will know that I am NOT a morning person. I’m not even a midday person. No, my body-clock thinks that 9 PM is a good time to be awake and buzzing along… like I’ve had 20 cups of coffee.
This doesn’t work well with small kids, because they tend to be morning people. 90% or so of kids under the age of 5 pop out of bed at an hour where most teenagers are thinking about tucking in for the “night.” So, for the last eon or so, I’ve been up at an hour that dawn finds indecent. That’s why I finally said, “To heck with it. If I’m going to go to bed early anyway, because I’ve got to get up early, then I might as well get up earlier and work on my book.”
That worked. For awhile.
If you’ve noticed that my book’s progress has ground to a halt and then dug-in, you’ll see this isn’t working. Now, I tried a couple of variations on this theme, and those aren’t working either. I simply can’t drag my sorry behind out of bed any earlier than necessary. This is probably because I haven’t been able to fall asleep until 11:30-1:30 most nights for the past 2-3 weeks.
Somehow, I finally got a couple good days sleep. Now that I’m not totally & completely exhausted, I can’t go to bed early. After a few weeks, I vaguely recalled that this was how I used to feel. I’d be aching for my bed until about 9:30 AM, then ok, then a bit tired in the late afternoon, reasonable around dinner, like I could sleep standing up from about 7-8, then AWAKE. So, I’m going to stop working against what my body wants to do (as much as I can with the two kids) and try writing at night.
3.) Sitting down to write without a plan
So, I’ll go, “Time to write,” and sit down at the computer. Then I’ll work on my blog, read the news, and generally NOT get my novel done. If I sit down to write flash fiction, then I should write flash fiction. Same goes for my book. When I just think, “write,” it’s not specific enough for me. So, I’m going to try to sit at the keyboard with a purpose. We’ll see if that works.
4.) Stopping with the word-count
Yes, I had a reason to not do the word-count thing. I needed to plan. Well, it’s been a couple of months and that planning hasn’t happened. I think I’ve proven that it’s not going to happen. Time to bring back word-count goals.
5.) Not reading
Maybe this won’t be an issue for you, but I love reading a good book. I backed off because, when I get into a book, I sorta forget about other things like, say, sleeping. But reading good books makes me want to write one. It probably also makes me a better writer (it’s like seeing billions of examples of addition before you go add, right?). So, reading is motivational. If I stop it, I stop wanting to write as much (still there, just lower volume). In short, I have to walk a line here, but I was waaay too far to the side of it.
There you have it, some of my mistakes, or at least things that I currently am thinking of as mistakes.