Patti Nielson challenged writers last week to keep track of how many hours they wrote. I signed up because... well, Patti is a friend, and I wanted to support a friend. But also, because I was interested in knowing how many hours I write. It seems like a lot sometimes. Surely I'd come out with streamers flying and confetti falling, right? And also, it wasn't a challenge to write X amount of hours. It was just to count the hours, and to make me aware of how I was choosing to spend my time. Simple.
So this is how things panned out:
Monday: 1 hour 10 minutes. This was broken up into three different chunks, because I didn't have an entire hour to spend all at once.
Tuesday: 3 hours 30 minutes. This sounds great. I was devestated. I stayed home with the intent of writing the entire day. I have five hours when the kids are all in school. I have time at night. What happened? Life.
Wednesday: 40 minutes. Give or take. There was the gym, shopping for a birthday party, Bible study and kids choirs, and the news that I'd gotten into grad school, which pretty much killed any productivity for the day.
Thursday: 1 hour 30 minutes. Most of that was at the swimming pool while my daughter had swim team practice. I have to say that when I know I don't have much time, I get much done. I normally would have gotten more done at night, too, but the looming birthday party has me tied up at night with discussions with the hubs over plans and gifts and such.
Friday: NADA. ZIP. ZERO. Nothing. I worked like a mad woman all day trying to get the house in shape for company, making and decorating a cake, and setting up a scavenger hunt through our woods for five boys. thankfully, this only happens three times a year in our house. Unfortunately, this happened during the blogfest week.
So total time: 6 hours 50 minutes.
I have to say I was stunned and sad by that. At first, I thought I'd completely failed myself.
And yet, what I learned was this: I got a tremendous amount done in that time. Huge. And in writing it down each day, I was uber-conscious of how I was using my time, and I used it well. I chose writing when I could. I shut down the internet often. I was focused. Accountability, even if only with bloggers, is a great thing.
Now, I have to focus even more. I have my first two assignments for the MFA program due in November, and I want to finish this current book within the next month so I can shelve it without it nagging me. There are so many more polishing edits it needs, but for the time being, if I can just pull it all together with this last revision to make it cohesive, with a believable character arc, I'll be happy.
How's your writing?