Friday, August 12, 2011

End of an Era

In one week I will send my youngest child off to first grade. I thought I'd be excited, but I'm not. First off, it's the end of an era--I've been a stay-at-home mom with kids since 1996. That's fifteen years. Second of all, this puts a lot of pressure on me as a writer to get more done.

Previously, I've had the excuse (and it was real) that I could only write in short snippets. Well . . . now I've got six whole hours solid. The question is: Will I be more productive? How long can I focus? Will I succomb to the temptation of Facebook and other potentional time-wasters? How long can I write without falling asleep at the computer? (I have really low iron and get to bed at midnight and wake up at 5:30 a.m. which doesn't help.)

I've decided it all comes down to goals. Plain and simple. Sometimes my writing goal is the number of words written. Sometime it's to get through a chapter. I'm not sure what is best. Maybe there is a better way; all together.

What kinds of writing goals do you find most effective?

7 comments:

  1. Congrats on sending the youngest to first grade~ I'm sure I'll cry like a baby when I do that with mine :) Cute photo! Best of luck managing your newfound time!

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  2. Here, we have all-day kindergarten and my youngest starts in a few weeks, too. But I teach at his school, so while it's a milestone, it's different for me - I was much worse last year when my oldest went to the "big kid's school" (4th grade)!! I think you definitely need a schedule or it's super easy to get off-track.

    For me, I have to shower and dress and act as if I'm going to work in order to get anything productive done for the day. If I'm in my jammies and yucky hair, I do nothing. Good luck (with everything!).
    erica

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  3. These milestones are hard. Protect your time to write, don't get sucked into volunteering all the time. Goals are good!

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  4. Aw! congratulations and good luck with the last child sending-off. Yep, ignore those social networking sites; otherwise, you'd be surprised at how f-a-s-t that chunk of time will go!

    Good for you for planning some goals. Either time OR chapters/projects--whichever works best for ya (I think writers are all different; experiment to see what works best for YOU.) I never do word counts, for instance; it's too intimidating and inhibiting. I just be sure to work, period.

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  5. Congrats on the 1st grader!

    I have one kid going into 6th grade, another into 5th, and a 9mo going back to daycare next Monday. No grade is easy.

    I have two computers. I find that if I can't write on one, if I switch to the other (transfer the story with a thumb drive), I can focus better.

    Or I write it out long-hand. This is for summary/plot only, not the writing part.

    Or I'll find a coffee shop, or go to this Irish Pub nearby that has wireless, and write there. Change locations.

    Or I put on new music. Or I turn off the music and sit in silence.

    I need mini-breaks and don't fret myself over them. I get coffee, use the restroom, check emails, and indulge my inner OCD. If I fight it, I won't get anything done.

    I write in fits and spurts wherever and whenever I can.

    That's part of the curse of writing. There's never a good time, no matter how much time you have.

    - Eric

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  6. Here's a goal for you: Get more sleep! I mean it. 8 hours. Every night. I mean it. :) You're health (both physical & mental) is totally worth it. Totally. Worth. It. You'll be amazed at how much more you can get done on enough sleep. (We can grieve together -- I'm sending another one away to college :( -- so sad/happy to see them moving on)!

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  7. Goals are a good thing as long as you make them reasonable. Plus, they help you when you're trying to make a deadline your editor has given you. Goals work! They've been my good friends for many years.

    Cute pic!

    Kathi

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I'm a mom and author, among other things. I enjoy writing middle grade and young adult books.

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