The thing about experiments, and most things in life, is that learning happens most from failure. While I haven’t fallen flat on my face with this writing experiment, I did wander into a bog of sorts. Some of it was my fault; some of it was beyond my control. Let’s take a look at the Writing Experiment: Second Report.
I took my first sick days. I was legitimately down for the count with a migraine for two days. I was too busy feeling physically horrible to feel any guilt. But, these days just so happened to come after a planned day off, on which I officially became a resident of South Carolina by getting my driver’s license. The previous week I adjusted my schedule to allow for an afternoon appointment, and I think that is the way to go rather than taking a day off for something like that. As for sick days, those happen.
Lesson Learned: Rearrange work schedule for routine appointments.
I’m still checking in with my writer friends most days, but I haven’t set up rewards and penalties. I believe these are important to keep me going on days when my dream job feels like drudgery. Those days happen. I let go of the unrealistic expectation that doing what I love will never feel like work.
Lesson Learned: Set up rewards/penalties by 2/28/2018.
One of those writer friends recently asked how my pre-writing ritual was working for me. It works well. When I do it. I admit I got a little cocky (my Chinese astrological sign, so it’s to be expected) when things were going well, and I quit looking at the checklist before working. After our conversation, I consulted my list and realized I’m forgetting steps. Not always the same steps, but still forgetting one or more.
Lesson Learned: Consult checklist before every work session, and reevaluate items on list for relevance/need.
This is the one area where I’m doing well, because I let go of the notion I will meet every deadline. I’m new to this, so I may not set the most reasonable goals. Also, sometimes I learn things along the way that cause me to change, add, or eliminate some goals for the betterment of the end results. I have allowed myself to adjust goals and deadlines within reason while still pushing. It is the one area of this experiment where I feel a semblance of pride.
Lesson Learned: Keep doing what I’m doing.
I still haven’t started this. So far, I let my goals serve as project planning. I do have a completion deadline for the novel, so that project has a rough timeline. I question whether this was a good step to have for the experiment. Maybe I’m just procrastinating by questioning it. This requires focused consideration.
Lesson Learned: Some steps may not be needed, but that determination requires careful thought.
Second Report Analysis
After the first month of excitement, the reality of work set in. I still showed up to work every day except for the one planned and two unplanned days, losing a great deal of momentum. Those are no reason to penalize myself as of yet, since I would have handled them no differently in a traditional job. I will change requirements for days off so as to avoid losing steam in the future. The experiment is still in the SUCCESS category.
See my progress on this experiment:
- Fix new blog theme (another writing project under wraps for now) – 2/23/2018
- Blog post – 2/28/2018
- Finish Wired For Story – 2/28/2018
- Work through The Plot Whisperer Workbook with Claim To Fame – 3/2/2018
- Finalize new blog design – 3/2/2018
- Blog post – 3/7/2018
- Work through Outline Your Novel Workbook with Claim to Fame – 3/9/2018
- Add new blog plugins – 3/9/2018
- Blog post – 3/21/2018
- Blog post 3/28/2018
- Mother’s Favorite edit for publication – 3/31/2018
- Claim To Fame outline complete – 3/31/2018
Whew! That wore me out. Good thing I’m done for the day. See you next week if all goes to plan. If not, I give away my copy of Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. I’ll be posting on my Facebook page should I succeed or fail.