One of the great things about summer is the lack of a schedule. One of the bad things about summer is the lack of a schedule.
With no school routine to anchor us; with plenty of one-time playdates and field trips to juggle; with all these one-week trips and camps to prepare for and keep track of, I’m just having a hard time getting into a writing routine. Even blogging has slid (as you can tell) (but I’m revising more diligently than blogging, so yay?).
Then yesterday, I succumbed to my weakness for a good story and spent all Quiet Time and Post-Kids-Bedtime Time reading this awesome book I got for my birthday (thanks, Robin?). Yes, I am a full week ahead of where I thought I would be, but isn’t it a little too early to be resting on my laurels with more than half of Quartz still ahead of me?
Don’t answer that.
Okay, so now that I have flagellated myself with chocolate bar wrappers and the shredded remains of previous manuscripts, I can marshal all my troops for the next assault on Quartz.
Some of the weapons at my disposal are:
Mandatory Quiet Time and Strict Bedtime: Napping and non-napping children must have an hour and fifteen minutes of down time in the afternoon. They are to be separated and occupied with quiet activities and not allowed to disturb Mommy unless there is blood, breakage or burning. Also, bedtime is semi-strictly enforced (the olders come out at least two or three times afterward, ungh :P).
A Timer: I use this online timer to write in 10, 20, 40 or whatever-minute sessions. If I have a short period of time and I’m in danger of frittering it away entirely because I’ll be gone in X minutes, I set the timer for 10 minutes (I can fix at least a couple of sentences in that time, right?). If I’m settling in for a long evening, I break the time into 40-minute sessions, giving me time to stretch, drink water, walk around, mull things over in my head.
Mundane Repetitive Housework: Washing dishes, sweeping, driving and folding laundry all keep my hands busy while giving me some headspace to think over my stories. Er, this would work better if I could focus only on Quartz and banish all the other ideas clamoring for my attention into the abyss.
External Motivation: The Sunday progress update posts on this blog and a small group board on the HTRYN forum both keep me from backsliding too much. Furthermore, I have given everyone permission to poke me every now and again.
So, how are you keeping motivated? Any tricks or tips you want to share?