Goals and Time

Or should it read Time for Goals?

The school bell has rung and it’s back to work for me. And really, that’s all fine and dandy. What is looming over my head, though, is mass amounts of fear. Fear that my day job will take over my night job. Fear that I won’t get enough sleep. Fear that I’ll hate myself months from now when I look back and reflect on how little writing I’ve been able to accomplish. 

I’ve always been a goal setter. I like seeing the end and having something to work towards all while enjoying the journey (of course enjoying the journey, that’s what it’s all about, right?). But then I read other blogs about not setting goals and just going with the flow all the live long day. Hmm. What is a person to do? 

I fear that if I don’t set writing goals for while I’m back to working full-time that I’ll simply never accomplish a thing. 

Once those goals are set, when do I actually do the writing? Once I’ve cut the cord and made it back home, had dinner, spent time with the pooch, and gotten work out of my system I’m ready for bed. So, do I force myself to burn the midnight oil and write anyway at the time of day when my heart just isn’t into it. Or, do I rise around 4am and write what I can before having to rush off to work? 

I’ve read many strategies of how to balance a writing life along with a full-time job. Some very successful writers had to rise long before the rest of the world to get in their creative time before heading off to work. 

If they did it, I suppose I can, too. I want to be able to write when my mind is fresh and untouched by the world. To be able to go from the dream world to my own writing world is ideal. It takes too much effort some evenings to try to pry off the expectations of society in an attempt to get back to myself so I can write. Honestly, some days I just don’t have it in me. 

So, that’s the plan. I’m going to try to rise super early during the work week so I can write. It makes sense, really, since I seem to be naturally waking between 3 and 4 a.m. anyway. 

I didn’t accomplish much writing this week and I noticed a slight layer of dust collecting on the novel-whose-title-keeps-changing. Unacceptable. I’ve reacquainted myself with my story over the weekend and feel that I’m back on a roll. If I keep up the pace I had this weekend I should be able to finish my second draft by the end of the week. 

Time to go set my alarm for tomorrow. No excuses. 4 a.m.

Blogging – What’s in it for me?

The other day I read a blog post by another writer entitled “Author Blogging: You’re Doing it Wrong” and it got me thinking. The author shared her own thoughts about an “author platform” and how blogging isn’t the best way for a fiction writer to sell books. She claims the real benefits are networking with other writers and honing your craft. 

I think she’s right. 

I thought about this whole idea of blogging and why exactly I did jump on the bandwagon. When the-novel-whose-title-keeps-changing is finally finished, is this blog really going to help me sell it? No, probably not. Especially with only two followers. (Thanks, Mom!) 

It is time consuming. There’s time spent thinking about a blog post. Time to actually write the post. Read over it and edit it. Let it sit for a bit. Read and edit it again. Let it sit for a bit. Do it all over again. And then finally click that magical button–Publish. 

So, what’s in this for me?

Accountability – This is probably number one. Taking that leap of faith and declaring to the world that I want to make a go of this holds me accountable for putting my work where my mouth is. Talking casually with a friend about someday finishing that novel is different from posting publicly to the world, “Hey, I’m finishing up the novel I wrote a while back and I want to publish it”.

Networking – I completely agree with her about this. I love connecting with other writers and hearing their advice. We writers spend so much time alone in our own heads that it’s nice to connect with others in a similar boat if only to remind ourselves that we’re really not alone after all. There’s someone else out there who gets it.

Craft – By diving into any type of writing (novel, short stories, journal entries, blogging, etc) I am honing my craft. I am getting more experience, continuing to find my voice, and always stretching myself a bit further.  

In the end, I might not sell a lot of books because of my blog … and that’s okay (for now). This is my journey and blogging is one way of making me step out of my comfort zone. 

Time to let this sit for a bit …