Hands typing on a keyboard (Death To The Stock Photo)

Writing regularly is hard – here’s my plan

In 101 Things, Blog by jennisheppard0 Comments

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Several of the 101 things I’m trying to achieve in 1,001 days involve writing:

1. Write more openly
2. Blog more frequently
3. Write about equality
4. Write about Vancouver
10. Write a children’s book
21. Get published in the Guardian
36. Blog about nachos more regularly
40. Write more about movies

After I initially posted my goals, I figured adopting a routine was the best way to make them happen. I settled into a rough timetable of writing one kind of thing in the morning, one kind of thing in the afternoon, and made sure I spent at least one half day a week working on my book. I only took a maximum of three “work” shifts outside my home office per week, to avoid getting distracted.

This was going great – until I took an unexpected holiday to the Okanagan last week, to go wine tasting with a visiting friend. Suddenly I come back and I’ve lost that routine, I’ve lost that rhythm – and I’m struggling to get it back.

On the bright side, I brought back enough wine to be able to drown my sorrows over this for a long time.

But I’m pretty sure drinking all that won’t help me on my quest to achieve my aims. Perhaps what I need is a little definition and focus.

So how to define these goals?

In terms of blogging more frequently, I’m going to have to lay down an arbitrary frequency by which to judge my success. How about the following?

1. Write more openly – once a week
2. Blog more frequently – twice a week
3. Write about equality – once a month
4. Write about Vancouver – once a month
36. Blog about nachos more regularly – once a week
40. Write more about movies – once a month

I will publish blog posts every Monday and Friday (with the exception of this week!) One post will be writing more openly, on any subject, e.g. progress updates, new experiences. The other post will be used to address something else, including but not limited to equality issues, Vancouver life or movie reaction, each of which I will write about once each a month.

As for nachos, for the sake of my health, it’s probably best if I keep this to once a week!

10. Write a children’s book

To paraphrase one of my favourite podcasts, Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review, how do you write a children’s book? You just write a children’s book. I’m going to keep working on this at least once a week (or until my creative juices run dry.)

21. Get published in the Guardian

If I’m honest, this is part of a greater aspiration to actually make some money freelance writing. I have done this briefly in the past but want to make more of it in future. Since posting my 101 goals, I’ve already written one paid article (yet to be published) and have been commissioned to write two more, all because I made an effort to pitch and put myself out there.

So how about I email out some pitches once a week, and see where it goes from there? And of course, read up on the Guardian contributors’ guide – and pitch them once a month.

How to make all this happen? I’m thinking I’ll begin by scheduling in proper blocks of time to meet these targets and taking up opportunities to get inspiration for this writing…any other ideas welcome!

It all seems quite daunting now, and I may seem super naive and optimistic, but maybe having laid out my statement of intent, it will be easier to get into a proper writing routine and gain a semblance of success.

And if all else fails, I still have my favourite writing mantra to fall back on: Don’t get it right, get it written…then get it right.

I want your feedback. Any thoughts, reaction, advice… Let me know in the comments below!

 

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