On vacation!

Not that I’ve gone anywhere, but today I decided what I was going to call this unexpected break of mine—something without negative connotations, a name that’ll help me fight off the guilt I don’t need to feel for taking some time for myself without stressing over what I “should” be doing.

What I decided was that I was on vacation. :) I don’t take vacations often enough as it is, so instead of feeling guilty about not feeling like writing, I’m counting this time as vacation time.

Now, back to Midsomer Murders and the “Days of Misrule.” ;) As an introverted homebody, this is the best kind of vacation.

Building better writing habits

I’ve had a slow start to the year and that’s not what I want, so now that I’ve caught up some publishing stuff I needed to get caught up, I’m turning my focus back to writing.

I want to write more this year. Write more words, write more books, write more often.

Unfortunately, my word counts this year aren’t that great.

1/1/17 1/31/17 3,507
2/1/17 2/28/17 22,886
3/1/17 3/31/17 689

It’s time to focus on writing more by writing more often. :)

I’m going to spend some time and energy trying to build some better writing habits.

Taking a break from the big challenge

I’m just updating to mention that I’ve put the challenge to reach 6,000 words in a day on hold for a while. I might try it out on specific days, but as a daily thing, I’m putting the brakes on it. I need to concentrate on getting back into a daily writing habit and that takes a more relaxed attitude than I have when I’m chasing something like 6,000 words in a day. :)

Made it to the end with the web reading challenge

February has come and gone, and I’m pretty happy with how I did with my web reading challenge. I cut out a lot of infotainment reading for more than a month.

Here’s what I think I learned. It might not be what I actually learned, but I don’t have any real way to distinguish. ;)

I didn’t write more fiction.

I didn’t read more fiction.

Not being able to read anything I wanted frustrated me.

I enjoyed writing more without all the other writers’ voices in my head telling me how I should run my career.

I got up earlier some days, but some days it didn’t seem to make any difference at all. I just found other things to read in bed.

I realized I mostly did the clicking and refreshing when I needed a break anyway. I didn’t concentrate better, or make better use of my time.

Habits take a ridiculously long time to break and if I want to break them I’m going to have to find an alternative behavior to cultivate into a habit instead of just trying to stop doing something.

That’s it, really. I don’t think it benefited me in the way I had hoped.

So come March 1, I ended the restrictions and I still managed to finish the work I needed to finish just fine. Some of it took a lot longer than I planned but clicking and refreshing articles, forums, blogs, and news sources had nothing to do with it at all.

In fact, I haven’t noticed anything different at all since I ended the restrictions, except a marked lowering of my frustration levels. (I was getting pretty frustrated there in the last few weeks of February.) Part of me wonders if this mindless reading is a coping mechanism for me, when stress starts to get to me. Possible, I think.

Here’s one other thing I learned but only after I let myself go back to clicking and refreshing: if I’m in a working mood, the clicking and refreshing stops. What this all means is that the clicking and refreshing is a symptom of whatever it is causing me not to want to write, not the cause.

That’s something worth knowing. :)

Anyway, consider this challenge done. It was a success, but not in the way I hoped.