Results vs. Intentions Take Two

Intentions?

I intended to write more tonight.

Results?

I spent two and a half hours shifting the posts on this website into and out of the different categories I have, until I realized what I was doing.

Then I stopped.

I have no idea if the sorting of my posts makes any sense, because I’m not even sure my categories make sense.

What I Learned?

I need to block this website when I sit down to write.

:D

Day 12 of No More Zero Word Days

My daily writing streak is 12 days long now. The numbers continue to be minuscule, but I’m excited to be writing daily again. I know, I know, it seems weird to be excited to have written 65 words, but it’s not a 0 on my spreadsheet and these last few days have felt like 0 word days so I feel lucky that I don’t have 0s on my spreadsheet.

That said, I hope I’m not done for the day. I really need to get back to some real writing.

It’s time to raise my daily writing expectations. That’s not to say I’m raising my required daily writing, just my expectations. If that’s possible. I mean, I hope it is. I don’t want to damage my progress, but the fact is, deadlines are looming—and fast. :o I need to write more than 50 or 100 or even 200 words a day, and I need to get started on that ASAP so I don’t screw up the last half of the year.

Also, I’m going to have to power through something that just isn’t working for me in the novella that just won’t end and deal with the consequences. That book has so not been worth it and I have no idea what happened.

Or maybe I do. I’m not writing what I thought I was writing. I stumbled over the focus of the story, and I’ve never recovered. I’ve gotten all tangled up in a rushed ending and I can’t see my way out. It’s like my brain is on a rail and I can’t get off. I keep looking for a different track—I’ve deleted thousands of words trying to backtrack and take a different rail, but I can’t reset my focus. So I’ve been trying to force things. As my current writing woes will attest, that hasn’t worked out well for me, and it’s bleeding over into everything I write until I just don’t even want to write.

I should abandon the book. I know I should. But I don’t want to. I want it done, so I can move on. Otherwise it will haunt me.

I’m serious. It will haunt me.

Read Some More Books—4–7 of 60

NOTE: I decided to make an effort to read more books this year. And since I have so many unread books, I set a goal to read at least 60 of the books in my backlog by the end of the year. I’m even keeping a log. :)

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading short stories. And although I meant to keep all my reading limited to the backlog of books I have in my personal library, I can’t always help myself when it comes to picking up books that sound interesting. Some of the following were not part of my backlog. :o

As always, this challenge isn’t about reviewing books. I just want to read more fiction this year and this is how I’m staying accountable to that goal. ;)

I recently picked up an anthology and read Just for You by Rosalind James. It was a sweet romance set in New Zealand and it’s a tie-in for a series I haven’t read, but the short story was a successful stand-alone.

After that, I read Patriotic Gestures by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Then I read When Tony Met Adam by Suzanne Brockmann. I stayed up late and read it last night to be exact. I’ve been meaning to read this one for a long time. I should have read it sooner. It was great. I’m a total sap and it pushed all my buttons. I nearly cried. Of course, I get mushy reading angsty romance. That’s probably why I avoid angst, but it was worth it.

Finally, I read Baring It All by Megan Frampton this morning.

All in all, it’s been a good few weeks for me for fiction reading. I enjoyed all these stories. :)

At the moment, I’m about 21% in on a murder mystery novel that I won’t name until I finish, but I’m pretty confident at the moment that I’ll finish it and it will be book #8. I’ve been reading it for a couple of days now, and it’s nicely entertaining! :D

Results vs. Intentions

I have a hard time avoiding the trap of talking about my intentions instead of just reporting on my results. I do believe I need to work on that, so for the next few weeks, I’m going to make a concerted effort to not talk about what I’m going to do, and only talk about what I’ve done. :D

Yesterday, I wrote 178 words. It was day #8 of my current streak of no more zero word days (which has a 50 word minimum).

Now, off to write my 50 words so I can exercise, have lunch, and charge this laptop while I do. My battery is at 21%. :D

Also, there’s thunder rumbling outside. So that battery charge needs to happen asap. ;)

Nearby Thunderstorm

Habits Revisited

Mini-habits.

There’s this thing I do where I set the kitchen timer to run while my tea or coffee brews. By the time the buzzer goes off, I’m usually always doing something else, so I jump up, go into the kitchen, put on my pot holder and open the oven.

Yes, I know. There’s nothing in the oven. But that’s what habits will do to you. I’ve watched myself do this time and again, and yet I still do it without thinking.

That’s why I’m starting to think habits might be the answer to the question of how to get myself writing consistently and regularly long-term.

A few days ago, I started trying to add some habits to my day that will lead to long-term changes. Mini habits. Something I decided to try after reading an article by Stephen Guise at developgoodhabits.com.

Right now, I’m focused on consistency, so I picked a teeny tiny number of words and got started habit building.

My daily goal is to write 50 words (of fiction) before lunch.

I also set a goal to read 2 pages of fiction a day. This fits in with my goal to read more fiction this year. :)

I now have 7 consecutive days of writing behind me. I got my 50 today (133 actually) somewhere between writing the first paragraph of this post and the last. :D

And it feels GOOD. ;)

I did my morning reading…

… when I was supposed to be doing my morning writing. Or maybe not.

I’m not even sure anymore when I’m supposed to do what. Not because of a schedule (done with those, remember?) but because my life is one big jumble of time and it gets away from me before I even have a chance to breathe.

Living without a schedule isn’t as easy at it should be: I need a stronger routine. I’m trying to fix that, but habits are slow to form and, frankly, I’m not sure I’m forming the right ones when it comes to writing. :D

I like having a routine though, and I do want to spread it out from the center so it encompasses most of my day. At the moment, the strongest part of my routine is the midpoint of my day. I exercise before lunch and I have lunch about 5 to 6 hours after I have breakfast, whatever time that happens to be.

I’ve added writing 50 words before lunch, a mini-habit in progress, if you will, whose purpose is to help me build up some consistency.

Update on Personal Challenge

Yesterday, I managed to keep my current “no zero word days” streak going with 225 words. I did not manage to get started on my latest personal challenge. I’m not sure if I’m going to attempt to start it today, or just see what I can get before I call it a night. That feels  a little like cheating—do it before I claim I meant to do it, lol, so that if I don’t do it, I can claim I wasn’t trying after all—but I’m just not sure I have it in me to go the distance tonight. It’s already late here, and I came home so tired, napped, and now I have a head full of cotton. :D

That said, I’m going to try to get some momentum going and see where I end up shortly.