Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Give Up Giving Up."

Did you reach your writing goals for 2008? Or did you ring in the New Year with regret? Did you use the Christmas break to sneak in extra writing time or did other commitments overwhelm you so day after day passed without adding to your story’s word count? Unfortunately, I fall into the second category.

Now, I'm at my desk with a deadline looming. If I had a mirror here, I might see that same frantic look on my face as my 10-year-old son wore trying to remember long division this morning. I hate trying to get back into the rhythm of writing. I want to make a solemn promise not to stop writing again--no matter what! That's why I'm a big fan of baby steps. When you can, write for hours. But when life gets in the way, take time for at least a step forward. A page. 100 words. Editing a scene.

My biggest challenge is time management. With seven children, I don’t have much time to call my own. When I finally have free time, my brain is exhausted. I’m currently trying to re-think my life. How can I make this work? I’m looking for places to insert those baby steps.

My lack of progress makes me want to resolve to do better. But my friend and writing buddy, Lisa J., is wiser. She didn't make any writing resolutions. Instead, this year, Lisa created solutions. Writing solutions are short-term goals that are measurable and achievable. Are you going to finish your book this year? Break up that goal into chapters, pages, or hours that you’re going to write each day or week. Become accountable to someone. When and where are you going to submit your manuscript? Make a deadline, then follow through.

Another friend, Cheryl, advised me to "Give up giving up." How many times have you resolved to do something only to quit halfway through? Cheryl tells me to simply stop giving up. Just keep doing what I'm supposed to without quitting. So this year, that's my motto and one of my new solutions. I've given up giving up.

Why don't you give up giving up too?

~Roxanne Sherwood~

1 comment:

Beth K. Vogt said...

I confess, I stepped off the writing road during the holidays. But I did it intentionally. So, in a sense, that was my goal: to not write for a couple of weeks. I had other priorities--like my daughter, Amy, being home for a brief time before she headed back to Nicaragua until May.
Now she's back there and I'm here--and looking to get back on the writing road.
First goal: Speaking at a local writers group next week.
Thanks for the encouragement, Roxanne!