I’m finding my productivity goes down along with the temperature drops – the bed, after all, with its thick blankets and comforting pillows, is far more appealing than the frigid tile floors and chilly air that occupies my house.
(I should mention here that I live in the south, and it was forty-eight degrees this morning in central Florida – it was freezing as far as I’m concerned and the pinnacle of Florida winter.)
An hour and a half delay, but things are slowly converging back on the track. Mostly due to it warming up – it’s a toasty fifty-eight degrees now, lucky me.
Here’s to hoping the weather decides to right itself sometime soon, for the sake of my work schedule and my sanity.
I’m always in awe over the creative power of nature. The removal of oneself from the ‘real world’ and the willing delve into the natural, for me, lends a very effective, peaceful removal of the usual morning block that has me putting off beginning an assignment or sitting down to just write something.
On a nice morning, like the one today, where the sky is clear and trees are green and there’s blooms giving color, it’s hard to not find inspiration for a line or a setting, or even a mental state of peace. The mind takes all of this in, and it’s the sensory of the crisp air breathed in and the vibrancy of color, the warmth tinged with the occasional wisp of chill that pushes me to put those feelings onto paper (or to the screen.)
Waking up is the hardest thing when the only person keeping you accountable for waking up is yourself.
It’s one of the things that I’m learning, as I get into a workable routine writing and freelancing, running my own life entirely for the first time since, well. Ever. The bed is more inviting than the desk. It’s warmer, cozy, and some days I honestly have to ask myself if it’s really worth it to get out of the bed when I could just put off doing work for another few hours.
Spoiler alert: it’s always worth it to get out of the damn bed.
Take for example this morning. It was supposed to be a six o’clock day. Nice early morning, get breakfast and tea in me, go for a morning walk. Back home for shower, a little bit of writing, and then out to Barnes & Noble to occupy the cafe for a few hours and do work. Six o’clock ended up being eight. There was no walk, since I was brilliant and forgot to charge my phone the night before, and I like to be prepared when it comes to long, lonely walks in the woods.
That being, the day isn’t lost, merely pushed back. As I type, my phone is charging (or, will be, as a second glance has told me I have yet to plug it in) and I’ve got about three and a half hours before my afternoon trek out to do some work away from home – and, potentially new work to look forward to.
Here’s to a productive work week – and waking up on time.
I had never seriously entertained a career in writing and editing. I had always assumed I would have another kind of professional career (I started college with the intent on getting degrees in psychology, and becoming a psychologist.) I loved writing. I loved reading. It was never a thought to make anything out of it.
The years that I was in school taught me a lot of things. I grew up a lot after high school.
Part of that was realizing that my passions didn’t lay where I thought that they did. I got more and more into writing and networking with other writers and blogging. I was less and less enthusiastic about my degree. I eventually ended up changing majors and working towards a degree in English, and after a lot of trial and error and hard work, I earned my AA.
Now that I’m working in my field, saving money to continue my education… I’m so very thankful that I found what I want to do, something that I’m truly invested in. Something that I love.
I’ve been thinking a lot about success. What does it mean, as a writer, to be successful? Does it come with stacks and stack of plotting material? Does it come when people praise your work? Does it happen when you get published? Published again?
I always used to think that success as a writer came when you’d sold millions of copies and signed movie deals for you five-book series, or when you were touring the world promoting and news networks were calling you for interviews. But how many writers actually ever get to that point? Do the millions of authors out there that never hit that point, count as unsuccessful writers?
I don’t think so.
It feels to me, now that I’ve been writing continuously, that success comes more from where you see yourself. Success can come from finishing a novel that you never publish, or writing poetry every day, or publishing a blog post on time. It can be found in a friend telling you they love a piece you wrote – or a complete stranger saying that you made them feel something.
There’s this sort of groggy, tired, early-morning plotting that I tend to do in the first thirty minutes of my day. It usually involves having had a very, very strange dream, and then in the haze of being roused from sleep due to my lovely alarm clock, it somehow ends up relating to something that I’m writing, or want to write. The – somewhat foggy, half-way brilliant – plotting that follows usually entails me laying face down in my pillow, talking to myself, before I realize that I might want to write that thought down before the thought runs away.
Up, out of bed (semi-reluctantly,) over to my desk. There I rummage about until I find the right notebook – because I have a notebook for everything, and I can’t just jot this brilliant idea down wherever I want, it’s got a proper place to go.
I let it sit there. I eat, organize, review the day’s to-do list. Perhaps I procrastinate a little on that video game I recently got back into. I go back to the brilliant idea. Sometimes, when I read the idea with a clear head, it’s not half as brilliant as my early-morning brain thought it was. Sometimes it’s more brilliant. Sometimes it’s stuck somewhere between complete mediocrity and the next big thing.
Sometimes it pays to re-vist old work, and revamp it. Other times, it’s best to just scrap everything that you’ve done and start from scratch.
I’ve gotten the fun/pleasure of doing the latter, and am working through an old(ish) fantasy world and giving it a complete overhaul after realizing that the initial story line and plot was… not good. Which is good! I’m getting better and better at finding what does and does not work for myself, and getting to the point where it’s easier for me to tell what’s good material and what isn’t.
It’s deadline day! And I’m excited. I have… a little over half of my assignment for a client done (which sounds like cutting it close, but I generally work in smaller chunks and then get a larger portion done last, I’m strange like that) and a somewhat free morning to get it all done.
I’m gaining more and more motivation and umph as the month wears on when it comes to writing and hitting goals and deadlines and such. I think it’s because I’ve gotten into the habit of writing daily (and so far, I haven’t missed a day, which is good even if I don’t necessarily reach my word count goal.) Which, is amazing, considering the fact that I’m notorious for saying that I’m going to do things, and then just put the things off.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I procrastinate. A lot.
I guess the take away is that self-discipline is a good thing, and I’m slowly learning it. So once again: to work!
Sometimes what we need is to step away from the computer for a while, put away the pad of paper, hide away the schedules, and just sleep.
Let’s face it, writers overwork themselves. I don’t think a lot of people take into consideration the fact that writing is actually a lot of work. There’s a toll. Your mind gets tired, you’ve been sitting in one place for hours and hours. You’re either focused and in the zone or struggling through writer’s block that you’re not allowed to ignore. It’s fun, but it’s work.
I realized this last night, while working on an assignment for a client that’s due tomorrow. I got about halfway done with the full piece, met my writing goal for the day, and decided to lay down for a nap to rest my brain. Just an hour or so, I told myself, despite the 8 hours of work previously in the day and various ‘life’ things happening.
I ended up sleeping for twelve.
Now, I’m not saying that you should always just take time to pass out for twelve hours straight, but I will say that I’m feeling considerably better than I had been at this time yesterday, and I’m in a much clearer state of mind to begin to sit down and work.
One of the most appealing things about writing is the fact that for a moment, you can get out of the real world and into another. The last couple of days have been tiring. Draining. I feel like I need a vacation that I know I’m not going to get. But just for a little […]