Writer’s Boot Camp Day 14

I’m pretty surprised I’ve gotten this far.  I have written at least an hour every day for the last 2 weeks.  I don’t know if I have ever done that before, maybe back when I did NaNo in 2013 or 2014.   One of my self-definitions is that I lack discipline, but maybe it’s time to change that label because I’ve not only done this but I’ve also been dieting for a last 3 weeks and lost about 8lbs.  I still have about 10 lb to lose to get back to my pre-leg breaking weight. Weighing less and continuing physical therapy will hopefully get me off using a cane in the next few months. Hey, there is another thing where I’m pretty damn disciplined,  I’ve done P.T at least once a day almost every day for a year, many days I manage twice. I also got my first yes.fit medal this week for finishing a 22 mile race, sadly it took 10 months because when I started it last July I could only walk about half a mile a day.

On to today’s assignments, which are called the “obstacle course”.  Looks like I’m going to be working on lots projects today and timing them.  Might be hard to get into a groove, but we’ll see.

10 minutes on the mystery story I started last week.  

5-minute sprint, also on the mystery story

So it turns out the timer I’m using only beeps when I’m on that web page because my stopwatch says 50 minutes right now.  So I did way more than 5 minutes on the mystery story sprint. I’m going to pause for a minute and go find an egg timer or something. Well, never mind, I don’t appear to have an egg timer, odd I just figured that was something everyone had.  I mean, yeah, I never bought one….but you know seemed like something that would just be there…I’ll put the timer up on my other screen, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.

5 minutes of free writing

Made some notes about the free writing in my notebook for later

5 minutes of “weightlifting” – worked on the outline for the mystery story

5 minutes of “hurdles” I face today,  that was pretty cathartic, I like to whine.

10 minutes of cross-training (working on something that isn’t writing, but keeping a notebook nearby to write down thoughts) – I paused my stopwatch for this.  I took my afternoon vitamins, had some soup and listened to part of a short story on “Starship Sofa” about living under the authority of Grays (classic bigged headed, flying saucer, mutilate cows and put things up your butt aliens). I didn’t have any thoughts that I wanted to write down.

10 minutes of meditative writing (I wrote a short poem about aliens, but not about them putting things up my butt)

10 minutes of reflection on the obstacle course exercises

This was a little odd.  I’m used to focusing on one project for as long as I possibly can before my brain starts to feel squishy.  I sort of power through the scenes, even when that isn’t what I really want to be working on. This was better in that I moved around, mentally.   I had lots of thoughts and ideas. But on the other hand, I didn’t get much usable material. I only have about 4 paragraphs on the mystery story, a few ideas jotted down in my notebook and part of a rather poorly written poem.  But I might be every more drained than normal. It’s only been about 1.5 hours and I feel like I have been at this all day!

I think maybe this book will help me find my own best ritual for writing, maybe a few of those 5 or 10 minutes things before focusing on my main WIP would be a nice mix for me.

Total time today 1 hour 47 minutes

 

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 12

Today’s theme is endurance but also picking what you want to put your energy into.

I feel this contradicts with yesterday’s advice about being busy and doing lots of things between writing.  Today the book is saying to give up or pull back time on things that wouldn’t have catastrophic consequences.  So which is it?  Have a balanced life that is super busy because of writing or change your priorities letting somethings slide and use that time for writing.

I finished writing my WIP yesterday.  I will grant you that 11 days to finish one short story is a little long.  I have finished short stories in a day before.  However, that was a long time again,  in the last year I have finished maybe 2?  So one in 11 days isn’t bad.  I feel like I have been writing all the time some days, which adds to feeling like 11 days is too long, but I need to remember that I’ve spent most of the “writing” time doing these blog posts, reading, and researching.

I’m going to type this up when I get home. I’m in a car now, going to the mall to hang out with one of my friends for lunch and some shopping.  Shopping is a weakness of mine, it makes me feel good. I got a Pinkie Pie glitter mud mask and the best Tokidoki unicorn today, the perfect one I that I have been hoping to get for my new house! Yay!.   After I get this typed up I’m going to edit “Eat the Rich” and maybe start on story #2.  I guess the mystery story I started working on a few days ago.

I’m home now, obviously, since this is typed. I spent about 10 minutes emailing and texting friends, relationship maintenance, and then cleaned for 30 minutes, because the litter boxes were gross.  Full disclosure, I took a few muscle relaxers because my leg is hurting and my back is feeling tight.  So maybe I should work on literary fiction because I’m about to be “artistic” if you know what I mean.   😀

I guess up until this point I was about 45 minutes in.  I worked for 30 minutes on editing and actually fell asleep at my desk, how amazingly authentic!

I finished editing the story and then emailed it to a friend to read over.  This feels like progress.

Total writing time today was  about 2.5 hours. I am now going to spend the rest of my Sunday drinking pink alcohol and binge-watching netflix. 

 

 

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 11

The theme of the day is “cross training’  but not working on another project, but more balancing writing with the other parts of life. The idea is that with all the extra writing I’m doing that all of my other tasks would have fallen behind,  but thankfully I started this project while I’m currently not working, so I have about 8 hours a day of “extra time’ and I’m only using about 3 or 4 a day tops on writing.   Some tasks have fallen behind, because I’ve added in other things in my downtime, like doctor’s appointments, working on my side job, listening to more podcasts, dieting and going to the gym more.  Yesterday I did almost nothing productive other than doctor’s appointments, driving, and writing.

I was looking at houses and I have officially started the moving process today by getting a storage locker. This makes me a little happy and excited, but also super sad.  I really don’t want to leave my home. Moving is going to be stressful and take a lot of work and time, which oddly enough something the book feels I need at this point.

The phrase “If you need something done, give it to a busy man” is used by the author.  And I know from experience that super busy Kitty is a more productive Kitty. My last year of college (in Macon, GA) I was taking more than a full load of classes, working 20 hours a week at Barnes and Noble cafe,  I lived in Monticello 45 minutes away from work and school, went to the gym 5 days a week and I was dating someone who lived on the Northside of Atlanta. I don’t know how I did it, but I got everything done. It was weird how much stuff I could fit into one day,  granted I was sometimes up until 2 am, doing homework when I knew the alarm was going off at 6:30 a.m. I was sleep deprived and probably took too many stimulants, but I sure was productive.

I’ve tried to be that productive since then and it never works.  And I think the reason is there are no actual consequences and/or no one else cares. In college, if I missed classes or didn’t study I would fail the class,  wasting time and money if I had to retake something. So I worked my ass off because I didn’t want to retake anything. If I lost my coffee shop job we would have been in serious trouble for money, because we were just barely getting by. I probably should have given up the Atlanta boyfriend, but at the time that seemed important too.  But almost nothing I do now is that import, take this project for example If I just stop working on writer’s boot camp right now nothing bad will happen. If I don’t read the books on my reading list nothing bad happens. I seldom have guests over so my house doesn’t need to be that clean. I’m stressing a little about not having a paying job right now, but I have money saved so I’m not super worried.    

I literally could just feed my cats, clean litter boxes, take out the trash a few times a week, feed myself, take my meds and shower sometimes and nothing bad would happen.  I only have about 1 hour of things I “need” to do in any given day. That will all change in about a month when I have to start moving seriously, knowing I have a deadline, and maybe at that time I’ll get more productive in everything?  

I keep a Daily Task Tracker now with lots of tasks on it.  I very seldom finish it any given day, but I normally do at least the first half.  The process is that I get up in the morning and I just start doing these things in order and most days I do ok, but there isn’t any real urgency about it.    I think the book wants me to sort of alternate between writing and the rest of life, with the theory that you are more creative when you are active. I can buy that, worth trying anyway.

I have an idea, an experiment if you will,  on this cross-training. I think parts of the day when I’m supposed to be doing stuff I’ll work on my list for some amount of time and then write for the same amount of time and then made even add in breaks too.   It is Saturday at 4 p.m and I don’t have anything I have to do until 6:30 p.m when I need to get ready for an event. So I’m going to try to create urgency.

I’ve been working on this so far for 40 minutes,  but I think I’m going to work in 30-minutes chunks until 6:30;  Writing, working on things off my list, break. (I’ll pause the writing timer of course)

In my 30 minutes of not writing work I filled up cat food at water bowls and then worked on the KonMari for dresses,  This will take a while because I need to try most of them on and I started with 74 dresses. Also, I have wonderful taste in clothing and most of these dresses are beautiful, which makes getting rid of them hard.  

For my 30 minutes of deserved break, I started a show “Altered Carbon” which everyone says is very good.  So far I have no idea what is going on, I don’t think it’s a watch in half-hour increments sort of show. 

I was supposed to then write for 30 minutes, but I got caught up in what I was doing and wrote for an hour.  :-/

Oh, well, I’ll try harder tomorrow to do this alternating between writing and other tasks.  

Total writing time today was  

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 10

I don’t want to do this, it’s 6 PM on a Friday night.  I would rather be going out with friends. I had two different concerts in my planner for tonight.  I decided which one to go to, the later show, with the more talented musicians, but I have decided against going at all for a few reasons.  One of which is I have to do this stupid writing and two is that planning is hard and I don’t want to drive out to a show alone.

I had two doctor’s appointments today,  I forgot to have any caffeine before I left the house this morning, meaning I have a headache now.  The computer screen is bright and the computer is oddly loud.

I feel like the advice in the book today isn’t currently relevant.  It is about using brainstorming, story mapping, outlines, and timelines.  How doing these things can make the writing process more efficient; saving time and helping you create a better story.

20180511_182807I agree, brainstorming is fun and has helped me when I’m having writer’s block.  I found two old brainstorming sheets from novels I started.  Both of these novels are still in the works, so if anyone is actually reading this, thank you for that, but don’t steal my ideas. I’ve never used story map, but it sounds like a good idea. I know from experience outlines can speed up your writing, while also keeping the story on track and making sense.

 I used to not be a fan of outlines, I felt like they were extra work and would stifle my raw creative genius. Then I realized I’m not some literary savant, but I normal person who loves to read, who loves to make up stories and who wants to tell stories that others want to read.  

So now I use outlines, especially in longer works.  Sometimes I don’t in short stories.

Which brings up why this exercise is irrelevant today.  I’m almost done with my current WIP, which had a rough outline.  I only need to write a few more scenes and edit, so I can’t follow the book’s advice and do an outline for my WIP.   I guess I could it for the project I was researching yesterday, but I don’t want too. I would rather finish one before getting too involved in another.

This books is encouraging multitasking a little more than I would like.  Yes, that makes it feel more like a “real” job, but also I think might decrease productivity.  But who am I to say, since clearly people buy Rachel Federman’s work and not mine, so I guess that means she knows more than I do.  

I’m going to work on my WIP for 30 minutes now.  I wish I had finished the painful emotional scene yesterday, working on it today seems really, really hard.   I hope writing this shit helps me get over some stuff. Maybe stop thinking about it so much so I can forget a little,  but not forgive.  I will never, ever forgive.

Maybe I can do editing type stuff on it instead, I don’t know.

I mostly just read what I had so far and did some edits.  I’ll do the hard stuff tomorrow.

Total time worked today is 1:25,  much less than yesterday, felt longer.

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 8

I’m frankly surprised I’m still doing this.  Focusing on one thing for this many consecutive days is hard for me.  I’m having to fight the urge stop because I feel like everything else is falling behind.

While I’m out of work with my official day job, I should be doing more of my side hustle,  It’s been over a week since I worked, and no work means no money. That is stressing me out.  I have a good bit saved, but still, steady income is important. Also because I wrote for over 2 hours yesterday I missed going to the gym.  I need to try to make that up today if I going to progress on both weight loss and getting my left leg muscles strong again. It’s been over a year since I broke my leg and I’m still walking with a cane. I know that the damage was severe and some of this will stay with me the rest of my life,  but I can try to make the best of it and get my leg as good as it’s going to get.

Yesterday was sort of hard for me emotionally too,  so I kind of want to not do anything today, except maybe sleeping or watching TV.  I’m tired, hungry and feeling like this writing thing is pointless. Why am I doing this, what do I even hope to accomplish?  If I can’t get my friends to read the things I write how can I expect that anyone else will? How can I expect to have any sort of success?  

Am I a bad writer, who is self-deluded into thinking I have talent and potential?  I wonder if I am suffering from some sort of narcissism to even for a moment believe that anyone anywhere would want to read what I write.  Is this true for everyone who tries to be successful at an artistic pursuit? How do you get past the idea that you are just a petulant child standing in the middle of the room screaming “pay attention to me!” ?  

I enjoy writing when I’m doing it for fun, but most of the time I don’t think I have anything worthwhile to say,  so why say anything? I have other fun hobbies that no one gives a shit about, why not focus my time on those?

Today’s assignment is to spend 30 minutes on my work in progress,  which is good because I’m going to do a Facebook post later with an excerpt from my WIP,  maybe in half an hour I’ll have something good to post.

 

Work Log

At 23 minutes I stopped working on the blog post and switched over to my WIP

At 1 hour 2 minutes, I stopped working on the short story

At 1 hour 7 minutes, I’m done editing this and ready to post, I don’t feel like adding pictures.  

I think I’ll try to write a little more before I post the WIP.

Writer’s Boot Camp day 7

Today’s theme was freestyle writing,  which I think should be writing whatever comes into your head, but there was a questionnaire to fill out.  I honestly didn’t understand having a structured free writing exercise. I did it, but it just annoyed me.   So I’ll just do my own as this blog post.star

I’ve written something every day for a week!  Yay! At first, I feel proud of that, then I feel silly for feeling proud.  I always feel silly when I have pride in my accomplishments.

I feel both happy that I have managed a week, but also annoyed and guilty that I haven’t done more,  I always feel like I should do more no matter how much I do in most areas of life. I constantly feel like I’m failing at everything.   Things that I see as optional, like writing, I normally choose not to do at all, because either way, I’ll feel like a lazy loser. It’s hard to not get down on myself when I have the honest yet unhelpful thoughts like

  1. You have spent hours this week writing,  editing and doing blog posts, but ultimately this time is wasted because it isn’t commodified.  You could have spent this time in a money making task.
  2. You spent hours writing and all you have to show for it are some blog posts that no one will read or comment on and a few pages of a short story that you don’t have plans to submit to anyplace
  3. You worked hard this week,  and if you kept it up you might accomplish something someday,  but you are almost 40 and you only have a few published short stories and one novella length piece that you refuse to edit,  if you had been more disciplined you could have been a writer, but now it is probably too late. Give up.
  4. You are not good enough, never good enough. Not a good enough writer,  not a good enough career person, not rich enough, not smart enough. This is why eventually everyone leaves if you were worth more people wouldn’t leave.

Today is very much a give up day.  I so badly don’t want to do this, it feels like a stupid, vain, pointless waste of time.  And I feel like a pointless waste of space.

20180508_143934I guess I should mention that today would have been my 8th wedding anniversary, to explain why abandonment is on my mind.   The one person who promised to love me forever stopped loving me. The person I respected and loved most in the world betrayed me.  The person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, who promised to never leave me, left. It’s been over a year since he left me for another woman, who clearly has more worth than I do.  It has been a few months since we were officially divorced.20180508_144007_HDR

Yes, these pictures of from our wedding scrapbook.  Yes, I have kept it, and will continue to do so.  I put dozens of hours of work into the wedding and then into the scrapbook.  It is a fucking working of art that I’m proud of even if that marriage was a failure.

I want to be over this so badly,  and some days I am. And then other days I miss him so much I ache.  I want to send him cute pictures of my cats, that used to be his babies, that he loved so much until he didn’t.  I want to tell him about things I’m doing, places I’ve been going, my goals and plans. I want to ask him about his life and be a part of it.  However, every day the urge to reach out to him trends a little less, I now go weeks without communicating with him sometimes. But then he texts me about something,  or I end up sending him a cute cat picture and we start talking, and while we are chatting for a few moments I feel like I have my best friend back in my life. A few days ago we had a conversation about “Noir” by Chris Moore, one of our favorite authors,  we talked about the Avengers, he laughs at the funny things I say, and it feels good in the moment, and I know it shouldn’t. I want to text him now, but today of all days I will not.

I’m moving soon and once I do I guess that will change.  Once I leave this house, this part of town there will be nothing else connecting us. We have common acquaintances, but no common friends anymore. He doesn’t talk to my nieces or nephews anymore. There will be no logical reason to speak to him. Any chance of us repairing any part of our relationship will evaporate. This makes me sad, because after everything I still care for him, and still wish we could be friends.  But that isn’t a thing that can actually happen. He is someone I used to know, he is part of my past and has no place in my future, the present is brackish, because I’m still in between two states.

I should write a poem!!!!   I haven’t done that in a while, freestyle is the perfect time to for that.  

Brackish

Adrift, out to sea for ages,  hot sun beats down, skin burned, crystal crusted.

Thirsty

wanting is everything

Begging, prays unheard

Wish, need

floating in a sea of salt tears

Too dry to cry, nothing left

Thirsty

A swallow eases the pain, for a time.

A tiny taste, face upturned to fresh, fleeting rain

Moments of joy, relief

Sun beats down, skin burned and crystal crusted

Adrift

Thirsty

Begging

Praying

Lost at sea

Something in the distance, a mirage

it must be

Land a dream,  stability a fantasy

Wave tossed,  powerless to the currents

Belonging to the tides, forced to go with the flow

Solid mirage?

Is that land?

Dropping down flat to the boards

hands in stinging water

pushing against the waves

Clinging to you saved me, my only solid state

Holding me back now, too slow

Abandon ship

One last push towards survival

The water is changing, becoming less salty

Soothing burns, cool

Swimming upstream

If I don’t drown in brackish water than soon I’ll drink

As much as I want

Hands, no longer flat in prayer, empty, begging

But full, of infinite water.

For now, I swim against the current.  

 

 

Today’s work log

Timer was at 1 hour 42 minutes when I realized I was I’m super thirsty and needed a drink!  🙂 Paused for a few minute break.

Time at 2 hours and 3 minutes when I finished editing and adding pictures.

I worked on “Eat the Rich” my WIP fiction piece until the timer said 2 hours and 19 minutes.   Not bad!  I think this is the longest I’ve worked since I started “Writer’s Boot Camp”

 

 

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 6

Today is all about monitoring my progress and treating writing like a “punch in, punch out” job, with all the aspects of a job such as doing the daily grind work even when you are not feeling any passion for it, making small measurable goals and tracking what you did while working.

The author, Rachel Federman says “there’s a great little thing that happens when you start monitoring your time….Just simply the act of recording how much time you put in will increase the amount of time you have”  I think this is a pretty good theory and one that I already sort do. I turn on a timer for 30 minutes before I start writing and I work at least that long, almost always longer “off the clock” so one thing I’m changing today is instead of a timer that tells me when to stop I’m going to use a stopwatch and record the time I spend,  if I finish in less than 30 minutes I will work on another project for a little while.

I’ve been doing the slog work all this week, and I notice someday are certainly more inspired than others, you can go look at the length and quality of my blog posts and tell which days I was feeling it and which days I wasn’t.  Today I’m not really feeling it to be honest. I have a job interview in a few hours that I’m nervous about and I have other things I would much rather be doing with my time. My house is messy and it’s a beautiful day outside, sitting at my desk seems hard and not very productive.

Writing for 30 minutes a day and doing a blog post every day are small measurable goals,  but since writing the blog takes more than 30 minutes I’m actually putting very little work into my projects.  So, I guess I should add another timed goal, to make sure that I work on some actual fiction every day, even if only for a few minutes, 10 maybe?  At least for the duration of the boot camp. After I finish working on “Writer’s Boot Camp” I will have those 30 minutes most days just to work on fiction.

20180507_141337The other thing I need is a more detailed work log, including time spent on each project.  I already sometimes keep a worklog in my writing planner, but I often forget to put things in there and I never monitor times.   I’m going to update it with times every day, and for the rest of this challenge, I’ll post it here too.  The author also feels that by tracking your work you will feel more able to accept the reward of a break, I don’t really do official “breaks”  I just go from one task to another all day, sometimes fucking around with my phone on facebook or playing games, or watching a few minutes of T.V, but it’s procrastinating and I always feel guilty about it,  maybe with the time tracking I can start taking real breaks doing fun things and not feel like I’m stealing time away from myself and my important tasks.

Today my writing work was:

About 20 minutes working on a script for a youtube channel I want to start and making a list of possible future episodes.

Some amount of time reading “Writer’s Boot Camp” day 6

4.5 minutes updating the worklog in my writer’s journal

25 minutes writing this blog post

16 minutes on “Eat the Rich”

12 minutes editing, adding a picture and posting this blog entry

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 5

I wrote this in a notebook at about 9:30 A.M,  but am just now at 10:30 P.M getting it into the computer,  which is appropriate given today’s topic.

20180429_154402Today the book talked about being able to write any place, any time and this is the perfect day for this subject.  I writing this in a car on I-285 heading from Stone Mountain to Marietta. I have a lot going on today and worried I would have trouble getting to my computer, so I have a notebook and my trusty pen shark.

The theme of the day is “semper fidelis”,  Latin for “always faithful”, and the author talks about the Marines motto of “always faithful, always ready”, and how we should always be ready to write and I guess always faithful to our goals.  This is something I very much need to work on. I tend to only write at the perfect time, and the perfect place, when I have a good idea to work on. I keep a list of story ideas on my phone in Google Keep, but other than that I’m very seldom “ready” to write when I am away from home.   I used to not be this set on only writing at home, I used to write at school, at coffee shops, when out doing things.

I don’t know when this shift happened, when I started thinking writing could only be done at my computer, but it is something I need to change.  I’m going to keep a small notebook and pen in my purse from now on so that I will be ready to write whenever I have an idea or whenever I have free time.  I can see how helpful it could be in the long run to write a scene, some dialogue, a character profile or jot down some story ideas or changes I need to make in what otherwise would have been wasted or “facebook” time.  This could be beneficial in a few ways,

  1. All these little things written in what would have been wasted time would add up pretty quickly, speeding up all my projects
  2. It could be good to capture those in-between times and utilize them, grabbing the ideas while they are fresh instead of leaving it to memory and Future Kitty to do the work.
  3. This could be uplifting emotionally because it will keep me focused on writing, on being a writer,  on my current WIP (work in progress). If I’m writing a little every time I’m a passenger in a car or at night before I go to bed,  or first thing in the morning while my dreams are still vaguely visible, or in a waiting room at yet another doctor’s appointment or while taking a break walking someplace.  I don’t have to be sitting at a desk all official like to be a writer. I need to be reminded that writing is something I do, but a writer is something I am, every place, all the time.  

marietta-imageWell, I’m in Marietta time to stop writing and start looking at a house.  I think I worked about 30 minutes, but if not then I will have for sure when I type and edit this.

I did work way more than 30 minutes, true facts, Past Kitty was correct.

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 4

The timer is on for 30 minutes and I’m writing,  this is one day more than the last time I tried to do this.  It’s already starting to have a sort of habit feel to it, I didn’t fight with myself much in order to get to work today,  but I also don’t yet really “want” to do it. There are not words I need to write, so it still feels like a chore.

The assignment today is to think about where and when I like to write, and which environment is most effective.

20180505_142913In general, I would say I write best when alone,  in a quite familiar place. If there is music to set a mood that is ok, but it can’t have words.   Right now 2 in the afternoon on a Saturday, I’m in my home office and the only sound is the hmmmmmm of the computer and chirping birds outside.  This is good, I wish it was a little earlier, 10 or 11 am is a better time of day, because at around 3 I take a big dive in my energy level and I just want to take a nap.  Today feels like a take a nap sort of day anyway. It’s a nice warm temperature and slightly overcast, I feel like rain might happen at any moment. Laying in my bed right now would be nice,  reading or just staring into space, but writing is nice right now also. My writing has a slow meditative feel, I would rather be writing poetry now than this.

The biggest downside to writing at home is all my fun things and chores are here,  my tv is here, my cats are here, dirty dishes are here, laundry, coloring books and musical instruments are here.  As the timer counts down I am happy for that time to end, because I have other things I want to do. Sometimes it’s beneficial to write other places, where my things aren’t.  Quite outdoors places with my Chromebook or a pen and notebook are nice. I write slower of course, but maybe better with more thought and pauses. A cemetery is a great place to write because it’s a park without screaming children.  I like the botanical gardens, the least popular parts of the zoo, any beach, museums, hiking trails and lakes. At places like that, it’s easy to get up for a few minutes, do something fun and then get right back to the writing, unlike home where once I get started on another task I’m pretty much done for the day.

I can write at a coffee shop or tourist attraction, but it’s best with a notebook instead of a computer,  and I can mostly only write little scenes or character profiles. A busy, noisy place is full of valuable ideas gained from watching people interact with each other.   That feeling of watching life happen from outside is very similar to the act of writing fiction. I’m never when I’m writing if I creating a world or if maybe this world is just something I’m watching and recording., like a forgotten dream.

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 3

Today the only task was to make a schedule for when you are going to write.  The advice of the book is that you get up an hour earlier and pack in the writing there.   This isn’t really going to work for me. I mean, yes, I could get up an hour earlier, but I’m not going to write first thing in the morning.  That isn’t when I write. I need to exercise, drink water, take my meds, eat breakfast and do my planner before anything else. If I just jumped into writing first thing I would just stare at the screen for an hour.

20180504_135712There isn’t really a guideline in the book of how much time I should be at the writing every day.   Before this week, in my daily task list, I had “Writing (15 minutes)” and it was pretty far down on the list, so if I changed it to 30 and moved it up that would be 30 minutes more than I was doing last week, but less than I could do.

Last time I attempted the Writer’s Boot Camp day 3 was as far as I got.  I filled out the little time chart and said I was going to write 4 hours a day!   I didn’t. That was too much of a commitment when just trying to get into the habit.   In my opinion, it is better to have small manageable goals that you can actually reach than to have lofty ones that you strive for but can seldom hit.

I feel my last attempt at this was a good example, I was in the middle of a deep depression when I stated this before in late January, early February. My husband had just left me for another woman about 6 weeks earlier.  I was angry, hurt, confused, my self-worth was at its lowest point in my adult life. I hated myself, I had been engaging in exercise bulimia, actually bulimia and cutting around that time. The only reason I was able to do the three days I did was that I was on a beach camping trip with my friend Issa, who loves me no matter what, which made me feel a little less like a big pile of trash for a few days.  20170216_131908

20170216_095211Once the trip was over I didn’t write, I went back to tequila, exercising about 3 hours a day and hating myself.20170214_135831 (1)

 

 

A few weeks later I had stopped the cutting, stopped the drinking and was trying to eat a healthy diet. I was feeling a little better emotionally and starting to look for a job,  but still, the only non-cat related joy in my life was running and that got taken away from me due to some shitty broken sidewalk. But that is a different blog post.

Anyway, the point is the goal I set was unreachable for the person I was in February 2017.   I already felt like the biggest failure in the world, so why bother trying to write 4 hours a day?  Writing 3 hours would have been failing as much as writing nothing. So I went with nothing.

I figured why do anything if you know you are going to fail?   Hey, that’s sort of a segway to the YouTube channel I just started working on.  I’ve never made a YouTube channel before. I always wanted to, but I couldn’t think of a good single specific thing that would get me those “1000 true fans” you need.  Fuck, I can’t get 50 true fans for my writing, so I have decided to do a YouTube channel about something not very specific, but that I am passionate about. The working title is “How to be a failure at everything you try”,  roll with it, it’s more uplifting than it sounds.

Ok,  back to my daily writing time goal.  

I am committing to writing 30 minutes every day, for the next 27 days no matter what.  If I have to sit here I write “banana” over and over for 30 minutes I will. I’m also committing to writing longer than 30 minutes if I am in the grove, the words are flowing and I don’t have anything else super important that I must to right that second.

Yeah,  30 minutes is less time than it takes to write these blog posts, so maybe I will spend the next 27 days in the masturbatory practice of writing about writing, but yo, at least it’s writing.  :-/