Last week I made a grand declaration that I am going to publish my book about the eco thrifty life by the end of March 2019 – you can read about it here: I never thought it would be this tricky . I also said would do weekly updates on how I am getting on, to keep me honest. So in the spirit of that – I can say that I have spent time working on the book in the last week.
It would make sense in the face of my impending deadline to make a plan to schedule in time to write the book. However, I’m not usually good at making a writing plan and sticking to it. I have the following objections to planning:
- I like to write when I’m in the mood and I can plan to write at 10.00 on Monday, but when the time comes I might have something going on in my life which is taking up all my available brain space and then I don’t write. Or at least not what I was supposed to be writing.
- There is always seems to be something more important to do than writing my book. There is always some paperwork to sort out, appointment to take my kids to, or washing to do.
- Planning seems like a very complicated process to me. How am I supposed to know how long each bit of work that needs to be done is going to take and what exactly I need to do to achieve my goal in time?
I’ve decided though that a plan is my ultimate weapon against not being in the mood and always prioritising everything else over writing my book and that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Well it wasn’t really my idea, I had to be heavily convinced. I went to see a hypnotherapist/ cognitive behavioural therapist who is absolutely brilliant by the way – check out his site here: Possibilities Unlimited (he’s not paying me to say this) and it was his idea. What convinced me though was this:
- He said just allocate the time and space and sit down and do nothing else other than do something towards writing my book. Even if it means sitting in front of the screen and doing nothing, just allocate the time. The theory is that not being in the mood isn’t going to change until I start acting. The more I act, the more in the mood I will get apparently.
- If I put it in my diary and commit to it, then I can commit to letting everything else wait until I have done it.
- He said start small – just commit to one hour a week to start off with.
In my last blog post I said I plan to publish the book by the end of March next year and to be honest I don’t think just committing to one hour a week where I stare at the screen and do nothing is going to work, however I’m going to take hope from what I have learned from running and have a bit of faith and hope in the process.
I started running just over a year ago. When I started, I could only run for about a minute at a time and a month or so ago I ran a half marathon. I started small, I made a regular commitment, I don’t know how it happened, but after a while I found myself running 4 times a week. When I started I had no intention of running a half marathon whatsoever. I just wanted to get fit and socialise with friends at the same time and running fit the bill. I never thought I would get into running, in fact at my first running class, I said to the coach – I am not a runner. But somehow I became one, just by taking a few actions regularly that snowballed into me running 5k, then 10k, then 10 miles and most recently a half marathon.
So if it worked for running, why not for book writing! My next commitment I am going to make publically therefore is to stare blankly at a screen (I mean be very productive) for at least an hour a week that will not be de-prioritised or pushed back by anything else. So I’m booking it in my diary that I will focus on my book for one uninterrupted hour at 10.00 on a Monday during term time and at 20.30 on a Monday evening during school holidays (seeing as it is school holidays imminently). I will report back next week on my progress!