We are well into October and, for most of us a regular work schedule has at least been on our minds, if not already started. All the kids are settled into to school and we, as writers and illustrators, are left to our own devices. For some artists this is a relief but if you are like me it is more than a challenge.
When I am asked by non writers what is the most difficult part of writing, I have two answers: Getting started and editing.
I will tackle the former as it not only affects the latter, but all my work.
I am not a naturally self disciplined person. When one is a freelance writer, this is rather costly character defect. (Harsh?)
When in high school and university, I never had a problem getting my assignments in on time. I realized that this was because I always had an authority figure providing an external deadline. I would also face considerable consequences for failure to meet the teachers' or professors' expectations. But unfortunately, skipping a day of writing holds no severe fallout. I understand that it means that my manuscript take longer to finish and that much longer to my ultimate goal of a published book. However, for whatever reason, this is enough motivation for me. I admit, this is not something I like. And yet, I have not found a working method to overcome the evil habit of procrastination.
I have an office which, at the moment, is a dumping ground for everything and not usable as a work space. I have a flock of yarn just waiting to be knit. And too many apps on my mobile phone to play. I am sure I am not the only one who struggle with this issue.
Although I have many good intentions; setting my own deadlines; creating a schedule; and removing all distractions. Unfortunately, these have not helped. It is just too easy to ignore these rules.
So what do I do? There are a few things.
1. Don't give up. It sounds too simple but it is a fact. The most important part of falling down is getting back up. As long as I keep trying, I am that much closer to succeeding.
2. Find a writing buddy that I respect. I have. Though I am not as diligent getting my work to her as I would like, I am completing work and it is being acknowledged. Progress not perfection. (Thank you Catherine).
3. When I have accomplished something, it is OK to feel good about it. But I can't rest on my laurels. I am not writing to say something; I am writing because I have something to say. And I want to say it as best I can and that means continuing to do the do things.
At this stage, these steps to improving my work ethic are just enough. When I have a grip on 1,2,3; I will add 4.
Any other suggestions and comments are always welcome.