Last week, in preparation for the upcoming Write by Midnight write-a-thon, you set your goals for the month of February and developed a tentative schedule for accomplishing them. For this week’s challenge, it’s time to test your plan. Over the course of the next week, try out your schedule to see if your daily and weekly objectives are realistic. Perhaps you want to revise 10 scenes next month. So see if you can revise two to three scenes this week. If you revise four, set your sights higher, and aim for 15 scenes. If you only revise one scene, you may need to find ways to fit more writing time into your day. Dedicating an extra 30 minutes to writing may require you to wake up earlier, for instance. To ease into that, try setting your alarm five minutes earlier than the previous day until you are able to wake up a half an hour earlier. Then use those precious minutes to write. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals, however. A practical, but ambitious approach is the key to writing success.
Last week, in preparation for the upcoming Write by Midnight write-a-thon, you tracked how you spent your time each day. Hopefully, the time you invested in logging those minutes will pay off this week for the next challenge we now have for you.
First, analyze your findings. Did you discover that you spent more time than you thought on certain tasks? Did you gain some insight into how much – or little – time you’re working towards your writing goals? Are there ways you can steal a little extra writing time?
Next, define what you want to accomplish during Write by Midnight. Be specific about your writing goals. Do you hope to get in the habit of writing 500 words a day or writing for an hour each day? Do you want to complete a scene each day? Or, do you hope to have a first draft of your novel completed by the end of the month?
Once you have identified your writing goals, refer to your time log and figure out how you’ll use the time you have to meet those goals. Perhaps in logging your time, you discovered you have 50 minutes spread throughout your day that you’re not fully taking advantage of. Time yourself to see how many words you can cram into a minute. If your goal is to write 500 words a day, you can reach your goal in those 50 minutes by writing 10 words per minute. Even if you only have time to write for 10 minutes here and five minutes there, you’re likely to meet or surpass your goal once you figure out your game plan. So spend the upcoming week doing just that so you’ll be ready for success when Write by Midnight starts on Feb. 1.
Looking up the spelling for interjections and exclamations, those sounds people make that aren’t really words, takes me far more time than it should. It’s strange that, though I recognize expressions like ew, pee-ew and pfffffffffft in stories and cartoons and know what they mean, I have a horrible time remembering how to spell them. Since my spell-checker usually doesn’t know, either, I wind up wasting precious time looking up the spelling on the net. Or worst case, have to spend time fixing a drawing or painting where I misspelled some hand lettered sound-effect.