Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Writing in 2011--A New Year

Photo by Ian Britton at
One of the most important things to learn in life is timing. I might get many important things done in a day, but if I tried doing them all at once very little would happen.  Life is the same way:  I can get a lot done over the course of a year (or thirty years), but if I tried doing it all this year, I would accomplish very little.  Albert Einstein is purported to have said, "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."  Besides being practical, it is easier to enjoy what you're doing when you spread things out a bit.  Buddhists have an appealing concept of mindfulness, where you are entirely focused on exactly the thing you are doing.  While life sometimes seems to demand multi-tasking, truly focusing on one thing can actually be refreshing and calming. 

How do time, New Years, and writing relate?  I would love to write full-time.  I have so many ideas for so many projects that I would love to focus on daily.  At this point in my life, writing full-time would mean either an ill-timed sacrifice of many other things or a sloppy job of many things done at the same time.  As a new year dawns I find myself wanting to define how much time I get to write and how much time I get (and need) to devote to other worthy things in my life.  A couple writing goals seem like the best way to do this.  I am inspired by Kendra Turner's comments as a guest blogger on Writing While The Rice Boils, and I am making a three-tiered goal for the year.

Tier 1 is the ideal:  Each day I will write for at least an hour.  In the past I might take 1-3 hours one day and none the next.  This year, the plan is one full hour every day.  I can work on any of my professional projects or just on blogs, but the goal is that full hour of actual writing.  If I can't follow my normal schedule, then...

Tier 2 will be okay:  I will write for at least 15 minutes.  This will at least train the creative energy to get out and work fast every day.  In the event of a very unusual day, then...

Tier 3 will surface:  I will write at least ten words.  I have a suspicion that I will do a lot more than that once I start, but the minimum is there.

My other writing goal for this year is that I will complete a book manuscript to a first draft point every other month, for a total of six by the end of December.  I have several begun, and they need to be completed.

Timing is important.  It lets us organize, plan, and enjoy the things to which we choose to give time.  This year, I'm giving myself more time to write...what a treat!


Susan R. Mills said...

Your 3 tier plan sounds very doable. Good luck with it and those 6 drafts!

J.L. Campbell said...

Wish I had more time, but since I'm unlikely to have that reality, I'll just settle to organizing myself and doing more with the time I do have. The three tier approach makes sense, BTW.

Kenda said...

Like your idea of "writing tiers"--the important thing is to write every day, no matter the amount of time/number of words! Thanks for the recent follow; I look forward to following your progress, too :-)

Carla said...

We're only a few weeks into the year, but the tiers are working wonderfully. I'm getting a lot done and feeling very good about how I'm using time. I hope the new year is treating you all wonderfully too!


Tiffany Dominguez said...

I find I can't get through my day without my writing time. I'm crabby and stressed. But if I take my two hours to write in the afternoon, I'm well balanced and happy. That means I get everything done before then (even if that means getting up early) including dinner prep, any chores, cleaning, feeding kids, and then drop everything for those two hours. It's awesome!

Carla said...

Oooh! I like the idea of fixing dinner before I write...that would definitely eliminate some stress! Thanks for stopping by!


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