This year’s A to Z doesn’t really have a concrete theme… just things running through my head. I’m not trying to impress anyone, although if you like my style you can certainly keep reading my stuff. I’m also not specifically writing about Women’s Legacy this month, although that is what I have been doing for for the most part for eight or nine years.
So, perhaps, I just need to perfunctorily plan short blasts of productivity.
This year I just wanted to write six days a week for the month of April. I needed to re-establish my routine. I think I have almost made it a habit. The new habit may not always be a blog post, but I will write. Maybe it will be part of a workbook, part of a webinar presentation, part of one of my memoirs (about family munchausen syndrome, about my time with the activist group – CodePink, about the long strange trip it has been which is really about all the things I have done which I realize most people have never even thought about doing), or one of the techy ebooks I have started… plus, I have at least one dark fantasy novel in me.
I think this means I am committing to working on something real at least 6 days a week.
During Covid I figured out marketing, funnels, programs that help with all that, and then I worked on learning about how to self-publish. I am ready to start applying all that knowledge.
Of course it has taken longer than I wanted it to to get to this point. But I have very good excuses. I have been busy on lots of things.
- My hubster is a chemistry professor and has been trying to start a company for one of his many discoveries. The current company may be a go, and I have been trying to help him out with it when there is something I can do that will not totally derail my progress in my writing business. It is mainly doing the website for Teleport Pharmaceuticals. Like the name? I came up with it. It is all about neurochemistry and helping neurons heal. Cool, no.
- I have also been working on adjusting to being in my 60s. I have a few underlying health conditions that require some special care. Nothing too drastic, just things that every person in my family develop if they live long enough. I have changed medical plans so I can have easy access to the different types of doctors I might need to see. That took a while as I also signed up for Medicare.
- And I am in the middle of a partition action (just think legal kicking in the butt to get relatives to sell some jointly owned land, or buy me out). Dealing with attorneys is never fun.
- Once I have my part of the inheritance in cash there is desperately needed renovation my house needs. So I have been researching the proper order to assess what the house needs, evaluate different contractors and subcontractors, and get going on some prep work.
- I also still have tons of things from my mother’s estate that I need to sell, or find a loving home for, which my daughter does not want.
- I am also working on being chill. I have dad migraines for 25 years (the 3 day, not the 3 hour, kind) and although I do not get them as often or as severely as I once did, I have found some behavioral changes help me out tremendously. Un-stressing as soon I notice that I am stressed helps tremendously. That can mean lying down, napping, loving on one of my pets, getting my body in a different position (walking, standing, or just varying positions and stretching while doing do) and if needed since I live in a state where cannabis is legal, I eat half a gummy primarily made of CBD but that also has a bit of THC in it. I previously had nothing against marijuana, itself, but I did not want to participate in illegal activities that probably ran through some nasty people, nasty actions, and even killing on its path to my area. So until medical marijuana was legalized in Arizona (it is now legal for recreational purposes here too) I didn’t try it out until for migraine relief. Thank heavens I could and did. Losing up to half the month to migraine is no fun. And mine have decreased significantly.
- I also spend a few hours a week connecting/talking with my daughter who lives 13 hours away, by car, and zooming, or chatting with friends.
Anyway, I am expecting to have more uninterrupted writing time as life calms down. But I also realized that I can accomplish a bunch of writing but by consistently scheduling time for it, and other time for social media (marketing), inspiration and learning (webinars), and other simple scheduling of short times for other publishing related tasks, during daily “work periods.”
I have no idea why it took me so long to figure things out, actually I do, but realizing I have control over my time has helped tremendously. I know you are probably thinking, “Well yes, like duh!” I’m still learning how to do stuff.
For all you writers out there, how do you wrangle your time?
Sounds like you are well organized.
Attempting to be organized is the only way I can fight disorder.
womenslegacy recently posted…Perhaps I Should Write Like This Everyday
Goodness! You are doing a prodigious number of challenging things AND writing regularly. Funnels? I have no idea. But I do understand the need to get into a habit of writing regularly, no matter what kind of writing it is. I am in my 60s too, and having just retired, need to find and settle into a new and sustainable rhythm of work (and play). So I haven’t yet worked out how to wrangle my time, but I’m approaching it rather as you are, although probably much less systematically. Cheers! -J
This went through but I did not see it until today, as I have online co-working with three friends on Thursdays (as well as a Weds night chat with a writing pod) to keep myself on track. But writing every day is a must. I know about everything taking over without strict discipline. And who wants strict discipline at our age? I just have to want writing and publishing more than being a free spirit. Funnels are a marketing tactic, one that I put off learning about for years.
I wrote you a comment last night and thought I had seen it go through, but somehow it got lost. Now I see that there is an “internal server error” on the site. But let me try again anyway. I like the fact that you have left your theme open this year, freeing yourself from the artificial constrictions of the alphabet. And I like your point here that in developing a regular writing practice one should similarly remove unnecessary constraints and just write, in whatever genre or mode one is moved to write in that day. A free-write of sorts, but certainly a self-guided one.
First of all, Wow! You certainly sound like a capable person, fully capable of taking on and carrying out many different kinds of tasks. And at the same time, I fully recognize your need to make space–enjoyable space–in your life for your writing in the midst of these different projects demanding some of your time and attention.
And second, in answer to your question, I will need get back to you in a few months? I have just retired, and I too am learning how to wrangle time for regular writing, as you put it so well. Before my recent trip to India, my plan was simple–to sit down and write for three mornings a week, leaving the rest of the time completely free for walking, reading, taking care of everyday business, hanging out with my husband, and socializing with friends. My hope was that as I began to go deeper into particular pieces of writing, I would be drawn back to them more and more often. My trouble–and I know it’s not mine alone–is that everything else but writing takes over unless I am strict with myself, which I haven’t been as yet. I simply have to make it a priority. But I am eminently distractable. . .
Two things have helped so far: one is to write in parallel with a friend. We don’t get together, but both sit down to write at the same time, and check in with each other periodically with an update. The other is to make even the most modest start, so that after I stop my head is buzzing with ideas, which I jot down so as to have somewhere to begin the next day.
Oh a trip to India. How lovely. I hear from a friend who has gone several times that traveling through India is a challenging but infinitely rewarding trip.
Writing down little things is a great tool. I start posts, sometimes only with an evocative title, and save them. Sometimes it is over a year before I return to them. If they contain a creative spark I can usually add to them, rework them, and pound them into something. Drafts are just that. And they are much better than nothing.