Don’t take anything I’m about to say as an indictment of my wife or as an indication that I wasn’t thrilled that we had a summer vacation together that didn’t involve moving long distances, long commutes for one or both of us, a surgery, or any real summer-time drama. We had a nice, mostly relaxing summer together, and I’m glad for it.
Here’s what I learned about my writing this summer.
1. My optimum writing rhythm is not the same as her working rhythm.
Cami did a TON of work this summer. Teachers (the good ones) rarely take a real break. She was reading books about teaching and pre-designing courses and pre-recording instructional videos to attempt to anticipate some of the remediation she’ll be doing the first weeks of school. She worked on her stuff, left me alone most of the time, and she was quite productive. I was too, in hindsight: Six new stories, dozens of blog posts, a major edit of the novel-in-progress, and started editing the thesis….not a bad summer, at all. But my pattern of work is not hers, and when you live in a small apartment and work from home, those things can be a distraction.
2. Without a set schedule, things fall to the back burner.
I didn’t do much scheduling and tracking this summer. I used a more broad, open-ended approach to goal setting: drop-dead-dates for certain things to be done. For the most part, it worked okay. I got most everything done on or very near the dates I wanted them done. But, there were some of the “wouldn’t it be nice” things that never quite got addressed, and a lot of that has to do with not sticking to a production schedule which I KNOW produces results. So, while I’m happy with what the summer brought me, I’m very happy to be getting back into a more structured pattern, starting right now!
3. I’ll never have written enough…
That’s right. Never. For every story I write, there are three more that didn’t make it onto a page. I have lists of ideas and thoughts and “what if I…” statements to fill a drawer of my desk. It’s just something I have to acknowledge, and something to think about when I’m tempted to do something else. No, I don’t think I’d be productive if I wrote for 14 hours every day. I just need to be vigilant about keeping a proper balance and always chipping away at my writing goals, every day.
The other thing I’ve learned, that I won’t list in the numbered list is this: I really want to find ways to help other writers stick with their writing. When a fellow writer isn’t writing, it makes me sad. So, that’s where my mind has been lately. I’m sure some of those topics will pop up in blogs yet to come.
Thanks to everyone for another great week on the blog last week. I’m closing in on my 10,000 page view, which seems like a lot to me. Those of you who read regularly, I appreciate your time and interest. Really, I do.
Thanks for reading, and happy writing!!