My Writing Projects for the Month of May (and why working on projects in monthly 'chunks' is more efficient for me )
You know when sometimes an idea is glaringly obvious and you wonder why it's taken you so long to think of it? Yes, I've just had one of those moments.
At the end of February earlier this year I sent out lesson one of my first e-course to all the students who had signed up. It felt so good to have finished a project. I created something from a blank page that began with a sliver of an idea whilst in the shower.
And from writing this course I learnt something about myself and the way I worked best.
Deadlines do not motivate me, daily word counts do not motivate me - but projects do. But only if the project has my sole focus for about four or five weeks.
For the past, ooh, twelve years, I've been trying to write my novel by fixing on a specific number of words a day. Get to one thousand words, I'd tell myself, then I can work on other things like my blog, like my writing jobs or work on the admin side.
And it never worked. I'd do it for a few days then slowly, the novel would get pushed to one side as other work, with more immediate deadlines, took precedence. And my brain couldn't deal with a mishmash of different projects in the six hours I have a day to write.
Which brings me back to my good idea. What if, at the start of every month, I gave myself one big or a couple of small projects to solely work on that month? That way I wouldn't worry about the other ideas I have and wouldn't allow myself to become distracted. I can simply write those ideas on a list and schedule them in for another month.
It's so easy to get overwhelmed when you have a large number of ideas in your head. You want to crack on and get so many things done but this overwhelm stops you from starting (and finishing) anything. It saps your creativity. And, if you're anything like me, you just flick from one social media app to another.
I end up getting utterly annoyed with myself.
So restricting myself, just for the limited time of one month/four weeks/30 days, gives me that permission to get these projects done.
At the moment I have a number of ideas/projects I'd like to spend time on:
- my novel
- my chicken/memoir/non-fiction book
- another non-fiction book around blogging I'm thinking of self publishing
- my blog
- my Instagram (including more films on my main feed)
- YouTube videos
- other things I cannot think of right now due to overwhelm
My previous strategy was to attempt to try all of those, and more, at the same time. The idea being that I'd divide my day up into chunks which, realistically, WOULD NEVER WORK.
So, instead of dividing my day up into chunks why not break my year up into chunks? Monthly chunks being the obvious choice. To take one a two of the ideas listed above and concentrate on that or them.
So. With this in mind...
During May my aim is to work on my writing via:
A Bookish Baker - the blog
This month I'd really like to increase the amount of blog posts I write. In the past they've been a bit sporadic in terms of when they'll appear and with similar categories appearing next to each other. I'd like to plan it a bit more and I already have a grid in my bullet journal for the next four weeks - all ready to slot my blog post ideas into the different squares. I'm intrigued as to what will happen to my readership and stats if I put a bit more effort into the quantity (without diluting quality) and scheduling side of things. I will report back.
My novel - working title: Burnt Chocolate
I've been working on this for years and I'm massively annoyed at myself for not finishing it. The last time I worked on it I had a major re-think (this video explains more) so now I need to get it edited. I'm not going to blog or vlog about the novel writing process though. I've tried that before, thinking it would motivate me. But it actually ended up putting too much pressure on me and I gave up writing about the novel and writing the actual novel.
So, that's what I'm working on this May. What about you? Do you have any projects on the go? How do you work best?
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