This is a short practical post today. My last post was a declaration of war (I mean a declaration of writing,) this one will follow with what every succesful campaign needs: a battle plan.
No matter how well intentioned our declarations and resolutions might be, nothing will change unless we change it. I cannot approach my writing time like the hunters and gatherers, pouncing on it as it passes. Now is the time for fortifications. If I am going to meet my deadlines I cannot search and hope for writing time in a day, I have to carve it out ahead of time. To do that my entire day must be parceled out. For creative minds this amount of scheduling can seem stifling, I know it does to me. However, following a schedule that gives me time to write will, in the end, be freeing.
Above is a photo of my new day planner, now comes the hard part of turning its use into a habit. Taking the time to create a schedule and having the discipline to keep it is a challenge I have often put off in the past. It is easy to keep to a schedule for my work projects that have clear deadlines, someone I answer to, and an income. Building a schedule for my life seems much more daunting and a little claustrophobic.
Here’s what will save me this time and help me to keep to my plan. I will not only be scheduling my time for my work and writing projects, I will also be scheduling in my own self care. In the term self care, I include care of my home. Sundays are for writing this blog, laundry, house cleaning, meditation, and family get togethers. I’m sure I’m not alone in the fact that when work goes crazy, not only my creative projects but my practical ones and social life gets pushed aside.
The key to remember here is that I’m scheduling my life to be a healthy, balanced, productive life not a “live to work until you drop life.”
If I don’t take care of my self and my surroundings, my mental and physical health suffers which in turn effects the creative projects I’m supposedly sacrificing it all for.
Therefore, I feel no guilt in scheduling time that is neither working or writing. A great Ditch Diggers Podcast episode talks about this, titled Care for your Author. If you are a writer or an aspiring one, I cannot recommend the Ditch Diggers podcast enough! Two authors, Matt Wallace and Mur Lafferty, take on the business side of being a writer and they do it brillliantly and honestly.
It’s not all about the craft, sometimes you have to dig the ditches, man the trenches, and get your hands embedded with dirt.