I’ve done more investigating into my writing process this year than I have since I began this adventure. Last week was one more experiment. I mentioned that to get myself to stop spending so much time on an “easy” project and spread my attention around to make progress on everything on my calendar, I would set a timer on my phone. When it went off, I would stop, get up, and move to the next task. As is most things in life (or at least in my life), what should be easy rarely is.
I dutifully set the alarm. I found myself checking the time, which was weird, because I usually don’t pay attention to the clock unless I have an appointment. When the alarm sounded, it always caught me off guard. I prefer to work in a quiet space. I haven’t been to a coffee shop or public place to do work since the pandemic began. Maybe I’ve altered my ability to work when surrounded by loud and various sounds. Anyway, after calming my heart and turning off the alarm, I didn’t stop. I was never at an easy place to pause and put away the project until the next day. I worked for 5-30 minutes more, didn’t always physically move from in front of the computer, but I did switch to the next project.
I don’t think the experiment failed. I think it needs adjusting, and probably more commitment on my part. I need to stop as soon as I can when the alarm sounds. I need to physically move between projects (did you know that sitting has a similar effect on our bodies as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day?). I need to not hedge on the “hard” ones. I’m extending this experiment to see if I can make positive progress on my habits. Whether I keep with the alarms and all the rest, I won’t know until I’ve gathered more data.
These blocks of time have produced work. “The Raid: Waldman Investigations Prequel” is done. I’ll be formatting it today and doing the last hundred things before I can say it’s published. I’ve made significant progress on the next math workbook. I’ve decided that a few of the topics will be moved to other books. Decisions about formatting are made, so it will be easier to follow through with the same setup for the rest of the book. I’ve completed a couple of sessions with “The Secret Gift,” but haven’t finished the first draft. Yet. Though I failed to meet that deadline (published by 12/15), I have 15 days left in 2022. If I finish the first draft by 12/31, I’ll consider it a win. “Alphabet City” has a spiral sitting on top of a pile of spirals dedicated to projects that are up next in the queue. I don’t know if those 10K words will be recorded before the ball drops in Time’s Square. Blocks of time. Alarms. Experiments. To be continued…