Tag Archives: productive

Honesty is Refreshing, Right?

20 Oct

As promised, here is Update #1 on my Oktoberzest¹ Project.  Warning: it’s not as shiny and sparkly as I wish it was.  Not at all.  Yesterday seemed to be a free day, empty of other responsibilities, a day in which I could conquer distractions, and write…a lot of words.  Notice I used the word seemed instead of was.  Yeeeah.  

I had a block of five hours between the time I wrote this blog and the time I was supposed to prepare/leave for my rehearsal.  Here’s the breakdown, in all its ugly splendor:

11:00 : Made schedule

11:06 : Got to work

11:16 : Remembered Nathan Bransford’s blog contest, and just had to see who won it.  And, apparently, I couldn’t just stop at seeing the winner, I had to read the entire post and a few comments.  

11:29 : Back to work, though not actually writing – I realized there were some technical issues I needed to take care of before continuing to write, such as inserting the revised order of scenes into the larger document, and making it look as plain as possible so I’d ignore all my notes for things to fix later.  Then, I made another chart to help with pacing the last half of this novel.  Oktoberzest is already teaching me about my tendency to prepare to write instead of actually writing.

12:30 : My love came home for lunch, so I spent an hour eating and chatting with him.

1:40 : Sat back down at my computer, read blogs in the time it took to make coffee in the French press.

1:50 : Finally started back to work.  Actually started to type out words to a new scene this time!  Yay!  

2:17 : …Aaaaaand my mom called.  But, I hadn’t talked to her in a while.  She said “five minutes!” and I believed her – I should have known.  The conversation was worthwhile, though, so I don’t regret it and I’m glad she called.  

3:05 : Back to work again.  Set a timer and did not stop until it beeped.

4:05 : The timer beeped.  Done with the time I set for myself to write, I ended up with a measly total of 469 new words.  

As I calculate it, that’s a total of 1 hour & 10 minutes spent on writing preparations, and about 1 hour & 30 minutes spent actually writing.  That’s only a little more than half the time block spent on the novel, and only half of that spent writing.

I don’t like those numbers, not for the amount of time I expected to spend.  Though I don’t like it, and though know I can do more in a day (lots more), I’m not really ashamed of it.  Disappointed, but not ashamed.  It took discipline to pull myself away from browsing the blogosphere, discipline to start to work after such a long phone call when I only had an hour left, discipline to stop working at 4:00 so I’d know my music and be a responsible ensemble member.  

I’m aware that reading through the by-the-minute-awesomeness of my life may not be your favorite thing to do, ever, but I’m posting for two reasons:

1) I firmly believe today will be a better day purely because I shared all my ugly timesuckers with you guys (and don’t want to have to do it again, lest you come through the computer and hold me to my goals, like I asked of you yesterday), and

2) Maybe you are like me.  Maybe you were under the impression that little distractions don’t add up, that five minutes here or there don’t make much of a difference.  

I think my Monday is proof that these things matter.  They’re not always avoidable, but they are (I hope) minimizable.  And, if you can’t minimize the distractions, you can at least make the most out of every single minute you spend at your manuscript.  

Thanks for your support, everyone, and I wish you a magnificent day!  I’ll post another update tomorrow morning, and maybe something fun in between, if I have more writing success today than yesterday.

¹Oktoberzest = my spontaneous title for yesterday’s post, where I had zest for my October and challenged myself to publicly declare my goals for the week and then hold myself accountable to them.  Hence, I shall now call it the Oktoberzest Project.

This is mainly because I feel like Heidi Klum when I spell things so Germanly, and because how often do we really get to use words that have a z in them?  Not often enough.