January 2, 2013

One Page at a Time: IWSG Update

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for my Insecure Writer's Support Group post. A huge thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for putting together this group. I appreciate the opportunity to share my insecurities on the #IWSG therapy couch and to read how others are doing.

We've all heard the saying... one day at a time. But I'm starting this year with a slight variation... one page at a time.

Looking back on 2012, I can best describe it as wildly fluctuating. I'd have stellar months of focus and achievement followed by days (okay, weeks) of complete withdrawal. I was like a small puppy, either full steam ahead or collapsed in a corner.

I completed NaNoWriMo, but barely wrote at all in the months preceding. I completed three daily blog challenges in a row April through June, and then lost steam and struggled to keep a three-day-a-week schedule. Plus, 2012 was a rough year personally... my husband lost his job (and is still looking) and my daughter was diagnosed with EE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis). Neither helped keep me balanced.

Yesterday, I took some time to consider my New Year's Resolutions. Every year, I overwhelm myself with the idea that change is the only solution. Sometimes, it's just about sticking with what you know works and doesn't work.

So back to my one page at a time theory...

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Each page of a book adds value, but not every page has a major revelation or climax. Yet a book needs each page to get from beginning to end. 

So, each day I vow to move forward, even if it's only in some small way. But I also plan to be more realistic about time. When I overschedule myself, one small blip in the plan causes huge ripples. I don't build in any flexibility. This year, I will.

Usually New Year's is all about Yes. Yes to losing weight, yes to writing that novel. I will say yes to both of those, but I think it's more important for me to learn to say No. I truly believe I can achieve more by trying to achieve less.

Am I making any sense?

There are two things I am determined to do this year... finish up my NaNo novel, Chasing Memories, and finish the follow up to Depression Cookies. Many other to-dos will flow from those goals, so it's about focus.

My plan for 2013 is to have a notebook with long-term goals (publishing two books, for example) and daily goals that support those. The tricky part will be finding a balance between what I THINK I can get done in a day and what I CAN actually get done.

This year, I'm going to view Life as a 365-page novel and focus on making each page relevant to the end.

So, my fellow writers, please share your tips for planning. How do you focus on one page at a time?

Wishing everyone a great 2013!


Callie Leuck said...

"Page by page." I like that approach. It is reminiscent of Anne Lamott's "bird by bird."

I splurged yesterday and bought myself a nice hardbound moleskine notebook with an elastic closure thingy. I had forgotten until this past week how much I actually enjoy writing with pen on paper, and how prolific I used to be when I started with pen and paper before typing the story up. At some point I became paranoid about losing my notebook and stopped writing that way, but I've just realized I can scan my new writing every few days so that I have backup in case I do lose it, so I needn't be silly about it.

Looking forward to hearing more from you in 2013! Best of luck with all your goals and dreams :)

Miranda Hardy said...

Sounds like a great plan for the new year. It's good to have a planning notebook to get everything down.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's like baby steps rather than a huge leap. Bet you can do it!

Georgina Morales said...

I think you are on the right track. Life is the sum of a whole lot of little moments and if you concentrate on making each one count, you'll end up with one hell of a ride. My best wishes!

Jo Michaels said...

Oh my... I tend to make huge goals and go from there. If I don't hit them, they roll over to the next year :) My goal this year is to gain just ONE rabid fan. I want ONE person who can't wait to read my next book and froths at the mouth when thinking about it coming out :) How will I do that? I have no idea. But I'm bound and determined to find a way... WRITE ON!

Elise Fallson said...

"The tricky part will be finding a balance between what I THINK I can get done in a day and what I CAN actually get done." I struggle with this too. I think in the beginning it may be a bit tricky, but after a few days you'll find that balance. If anyone can it's you! (:

And lots of hugs to you and your family for 2013!

Ciara said...

I like that philosophy, page by page. You'll do great with attainable goals. Good luck in 2013!

Unknown said...

Ahh, page by page - sounds heavenly! And doable.

Thanks for sharing that you have days where you just collapse in a corner ~ I thought I was the only one! May 2013 be a year filled with writing, completed books, health for your family, and a new job for your hubby.

Kelley Lynn said...

This is a great mindset. You're going to rock 2013!

Happy New Year!