The Write Plan

On my refrigerator, I have a magnet that says something like, “Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall always be amused.” My mom gave it to me and when I see it — really see it, I mean, not just let my eyes skate over it in passing — I am always amused. So, somewhat laughing at myself, here is my Write Plan.

Week 1: 1000 words daily on any topic, and at least one, preferably two, 20 minute writing sprints devoted to a WIP.

Week 2: 1000 words daily, at least 500 of them fiction of any type, and at least one, preferably two, 30 minute writing sprints devoted to a WIP.

Week 3: 1500 words daily, at least 750 of them fiction of any time, and at least one 45 minute writing sprint devoted to a WIP.

Week 4: 2000 words daily, at least 1000 of them fiction, and two 45 minute writing sprints devoted to a WIP.

Week 5: more than 1000 words of fiction, three 45 minute writing sprints devoted to a WIP.

The WIP, more specifically, has to be either the wedding story or Grace. Those are the two projects that I most need to finish. The wedding story is due in April, so has to be done by then, but only needs to be longer than 10K words. If I was in normal writing mode, it would be a two week job at worst, but so far, I’ve written and rewritten the same 700 words of it for about three weeks. It’s time for that to stop.

I didn’t do the writing sprints yesterday — I only got the idea when my friend Tim suggested them yesterday evening. I should have tried at least one then, but I didn’t. So today is my official first day of my 40 day Write Plan. (Five weeks, it occurs to me, is 35 days. How do the yoga people turn a 5-week plan into 40 days, I wonder? Possibly I should have read the directions? But I guess I just keep it going to 40 days and if something happens — say a broken bone — my weeks can wiggle a little.

I say a broken bone because for the past three months, I’ve let everything come in the way of writing. People working on the kitchen? Can’t write. Son home from school? Can’t write. A holiday? Can’t write. Need to go grocery shopping? Can’t write. Any excuse, any distraction — a visitor, a doctor’s appointment, a dog with an ear infection — meant that I didn’t get any writing done.

But that violates the basic, number one, single most important rule of being a writer: Writers Write.

If I can’t write through anything — well, more or less, anything, I’m not insane — then I have to look for a job. If I want to be a writer, it’s time to write.

So, today’s goal — 1000 words (of which this is about 500) and a writing sprint or 20 of twenty minutes. I still have time this morning before yoga to either answer my email, which I should do, or do my first writing sprint, which I am going to do. Because? Writers write. Email can wait. (Sorry if yours is one of the emails awaiting my attention.)

Edited to add:

Writing Sprint 1: 160 words

Writing Sprint 2: 810 words, mostly stream of consciousness character development and plot ideas. But at least the ideas were flowing. Overall word count for the day breaks the 1K mark. Plus, I walked four miles (two separate walks) and did an hour of yoga. I feel productive!

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