Now that the holidays are over and I’m back at work (in the classroom with 25 fifth graders), I’m quickly realizing that in order to accomplish my goals for the year, I need to take some action. I have to make the time to write. We’re all busy. My busy life is made up of a lot of school work for my classroom (grading papers, planning lessons, working on my website, inputting grades to the computer, etc.). It’s hard enough to find the time to hang out with my husband, even though he lives in the same house, much less the time to write, edit, research, and submit. So where does that leave me?
Without a scheduled commitment to writing, I’m in a constant state of “tomorrow writing.” My fellow writers have experienced tomorrow writing. It’s that voice in your head (I’m naming mine Shirley) that speaks up and says, “Hey, Michelle (or Jim or Rachel or whomever). You don’t need to write tonight. Just sit down and watch Grey’s Anatomy instead. Or take a bubble bath. Or bake cookies. You can always write tomorrow.” Well, guess what I told Shirley mid-December? Shut it, Shirl.
I took an evening and spent time planning and scheduling appointments with myself for writing. December being what it is (a crazyfest of activity), I scheduled bi-weekly writing appointments during the work week, and daily appointments on the weekends and during my holiday break from school. In addition to scheduling my writing time, I set goals of what I wanted to have accomplished by the dawning of 2010. My goal was to finish editing my debut novel, and guess what? (Groan from Shirley.) I did it! And I owe it to fighting back against Shirley and tomorrow writing, scheduling writing time, and goal setting an attainable and measurable goal.
I recommend facing your own inner voice and leaving “tomorrow writing” in the past. It’s so 2009.