I tried a little experiment last month, and came away with some positive results. With the beautiful weather outside, and the myriad of summer happenings and commitments, as well as opportunities to travel, it seems like this is one of the worst times of year to get much serious writing done (Christmas time, for me, being #1 most difficult). Instead of stressing myself too much about it, and falling into a phase of unproductive guilt-ridden creative stupor, I just allow writing to take a backseat.
However, by the middle of July, I was beginning to feel the compulsion to pick up a pen and write something! There were a few summer writing contests I'd been meaning to enter, and maybe that was the perfect opportunity to work toward something.
I began to reflect on a practice the kids use at school called D.E.A.R.
It stands for Drop Everything And Read.
I changed the acronym to D.E.W. drop.
Or, in other words, Drop Everything & Write. Just DROP it. Because I'm an obsessive compulsive task manager/ multi-tasker (time to write, but first I need a snack - oh look, the fridge is dirty, better clean it first - we're out of rags, I better make some - look at this pile of mending I've been meaning to get to - where did the day go, and how come I got no writing done?: Ever felt like that?).
So each week, I set a goal, I set a time, and I committed to a D.E.W drop.
It worked! By the end of July, I had two polished short stories ready to submit to contests. I feel like I actually accomplished something meaningful with my writing, even though I still came through on all my other summer priorities.
Here's my proposal: Join me this August. Here's what you do...
1. Pick a project: a contest, a short story, a WIP, a journal, blogging... that you've been meaning to get to.*
2. Set a goal: how many times per week, and how much time each session... and be reasonable! Summer is busy and full of demands, and the more reasonable you're goal, the more likely you'll stick to it. It also feels good to exceed you're goal, and inspires you to continue to work past it.
3. Whether it's MWF at 8am, or Saturday night at 9, when you're time comes, D.E.W. it!
4. Report back here. You can leave a simple comment, saying you met you're goal, or you can keep us up to date in detail. Either way, the more people that participate, the more motivation to keep plugging along.
* If you're looking for project inspiration - consider this: MMW (that's us!) is having a writing contest that runs through to the end of this month, with opportunities to win prizes and potential for publication. For more details, stay tuned to our blog, and check out the contest link at the top. We would really love to see all of your talent!
Each Thursday through the end of the month of August, I'm going to keep you up to date on my progress. My goal right now is to begin my first round of revisions on the novel I finished in the spring.
I plan to set aside 30 minutes three times a week at the end of the day, around 9pm.
Check in next week, I fill you in, and tell me how you did with your D.E.W. drop!