Yesterday, one of the many pages I follow posted this picture along with a message which really hit home for me as I struggle to sit down and edit my book. To make a long message short, the writer stated that if you have something you need to do (in this case, creatively, but it could be something as mundane as cleaning out a closet), set a timer for 30 minutes and work on your project until the timer goes off.
I read the post, let it wander around inside my brain for a day or so, then decided to put it to the test. Two newly edited chapters later, I’m convinced. Though I only did it once today, I think that by giving myself 30 minute sessions maybe 2, 3 or 4 times a day, I could really finish the edit on my book. I could also get through the copywriting class or figure out my website, or any number of tasks I just haven’t wrapped my head around…but need to!
Yes, that two chapters translates into about six pages, but if I do six pages, two or three times a day, it works out to about 24.5 thirty minute sessions. Even if I only did it once a day (and I think I can do better than that!) I’d have the edit done in less than a month! Talk about breaking a task down into manageable pieces! And frankly, I didn’t stop when the timer went off because I was in the middle of a thought. I also make a point of at least getting to the end of a chapter before I quit, unless I get seriously stuck on a thought (which happens on occasion!).
I got a lot of things ticked off of my to do list over the last couple of weeks without this method. So think how many more would vanish by just taking them in 30 minute bites?
A friend of mine is diligently attending writers’ conferences and groups, which clearly is something she feels is important, though at times, it just shows her that she doesn’t know stuff. I attended one meeting and got some good information, but realized that, for now, I just need to write. I don’t need to do it in a room full of people, but in the privacy of my own little hut, surrounded by my cats.
Both of us will ultimately finish our current projects, offer them to the public and move on to something else, but I find it interesting how differently we work. (and can’t wait to read her book, either!) I already know where my story is weak and am working on both fleshing out the descriptions and adding meat to the story itself. When I’ve finished, I will put it out for constructive criticism, and I harbor no illusions that it won’t come back to me all hacked to smithereens, sending me back to the drawing board (or computer, as it were), tail between my legs, determined to do better.
I spent years being an accountant and knew in my heart that it wasn’t what I truly dreamed of doing. It paid a lot better than what I’m doing at the moment, but it failed to feed my soul. Now I’m feeding my soul and living much more simply. But I’m writing nearly every day, whether it’s this blog or my book or something else. I’m not answering to someone else’s schedule or expectations, only my own. If I fail someone, it’s only myself, and believe me, I can chew myself out better than anyone if I feel it’s warranted.
But for now, I’m going to become the 30 minute girl, and get things done!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for input and ideas from others to make my path a bit easier to tread.
2. I am grateful for the freedom to work the days and hours which work for me.
3. I am grateful for the freedom to be irresponsible some of the time without real consequences.
4. I am grateful for friends who understand where I am and what I’m trying to accomplish.
5. I am grateful for opportunities to grow and change.
Love and light.