I like to write outside, by myself. That isn’t always achievable at my house. My front porch is my favourite space, when it’s not too hot and there aren’t noisy children close by. I live on a not-so-quiet cul-de-sac with lots of young families.
I don’t care to listen to music with lyrics while writing. The very best background noise would be waves crashing against the sandy shore. However, as I don’t live on the ocean, I love to listen to the sounds of nature, birds singing, rain softly falling, leaves rustling, that sort of thing. Maybe I’ll get a nature sounds track to listen to in the winter, when writing outside is not an option.
I had two goals for the week. They were to write early in the day and to begin drafting my novel. I did begin drafting my novel, but I’ve found that my personal challenge to blog every day has cut into my novel writing time. I’m not willing to give up posting to my blog every day for the summer, so my goals for this week will be to ramp things up a bit. I certainly didn’t blog early and I missed doing my yoga on more days than I would have liked this week. Those two things seem to go hand-in-hand.
The pit of my week, the hardest part, was trying to write my blog post last night. I was tired and my brain didn’t want to cooperate. I wrote about my day, but when my day is good, but ordinary, that always seems like a cop-out. I guess if that’s the pit of my week, I should be grateful. The best part of my week was actually getting to start the draft of my novel, and even though I don’t have much, I love what I do have.
For the week ahead, my focus will be on starting early and getting my yoga in before I do anything else. I always accomplish more in the day and feel better when I don’t over sleep. My other goal will be to set aside a minimum of 45 minutes a day to write. I usually get this anyway, but I’d like to take this time before 1PM this week.
This is the first summer I’ve really participated in Teacher’s Write. I’ve lurked and started, but never really committed to it. This week I’ve followed along and have completed the tasks/assignments. Additionally, I’m blogging every day of the summer on my personal blog. I did this previously in 2011 and it was one of the best summers in recent history. Right now I’m tracking my writing progress by each blog post. Basically, everything I write gets published to my blog. I’d like to start working on my first novel. Part of my problem seems to be goal setting and following through by setting time aside to write. When I challenge myself with something like posting to a blog each day, it kind of forces me to spend time writing. It’s a lot like exercise; sometimes I do it early in the day and it comes easily and at other times I squeak it out just before midnight.
This week I’ve been posting to two blogs, my personal one and my professional one. I’m using my professional blog to publish everything I write for Teacher’s Write. I celebrate my progress by sharing my blog on facebook and responding to people who comment either on my blog posts or my facebook posts. I love that interaction with my readers.
The highlight of the week for me was my blog post about my daughter’s cliff jumping adventure, while the most difficult part of my week was writing my blog post on Friday night. I left it until late and had no idea what I’d write about. I was beginning to nod off at my computer before I finally posted it. One other notable part of my week, and the part of Teacher’s Write that I found most helpful, was writing my word hoard. I haven’t started my novel, but I think I’ve got a premise and I’ve started working on my protagonist. The word hoard was helpful with characterization and I think it will help me get started.
My issue right now is this… I’m writing, more now than I ever could during the school year, but it’s all short pieces for my blog and Teacher’s Write quick writes/assignments. I need to get out of the blog trap and start on something more substantial. Last summer I didn’t blog with the intention of setting time aside to write, but without the public committment to post, I didn’t stick with it. For the week ahead, I’m planning on doing my blogging and participating in Teacher’s Write early in the day, so I can carve out some time to begin writing/planning my novel. Wish me luck!
I created this blog to reflect on my practice. And, although I got off to a great start last fall, I just didn’t keep it up. I’ve decided that I’m going to join Kate Messner’s Teachers Write Blog and use it as motivation to keep me doing what I want to do this summer–write! So, what better way to keep me on track, than to post it here for others to read?
She started June 4th, so I’m ten days behind already, but I’m going to jump right in. I’ll catch up a bit, and skip over some of the first things but from tomorrow on I’d like to complete the daily assignments/tasks. Tonight, I’m doing the first assignment from June 4th, hence the title, because it was all about making plans to write.
I’m planning to write when I first get up. Last summer I went to the gym, but this summer I’ve got a different plan for exercise and I’m going to enjoy writing over my first cup of coffee. I’m going to commit to at least 20 minutes, and if it ends up that I spend hours writing, so be it. If the weather is nice, I’ll write on my back deck. If I have to write inside the house, I’ll sit at the kitchen table if I have the main floor to myself and I’ll retreat to the office when I have company. Of course it won’t work out as simple as this every single day, and for the eight week days I still have that pesky work thing to do, but it’s a solid plan and I’ll work with it.