Intentional intentional writing time. A life lesson learned.

October 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

The subject of “buzzwords” has come up often lately, for some reason, and my wife has informed me that “intentional” is definitely one of mine, and here I am using it twice in a single title. New personal best.

Intentional writing time is something writers talk about (or at least blog about) a lot. They say that if you want to be a writer (at least in a professional or semi-professional capacity) then it’s important to set aside time specifically to write. It’s not time to check facebook or respond to emails or to organize your messy desk (times when I’m suffering from a case of writer’s block are the only times cleaning sounds appealing), it’s time to sit in your chair and scribble or type, even if it feels like the worst thing you’ve ever written.

I took that advice a year and a half ago and started making writing part of my morning routine.  Right after a quick breakfast I wander down to my basement office and hammer out some words. It’s been instrumental in helping me finish my first novel and several short stories. That said, the last couple days I’ve been lagging in my daily word count. 2,000 words a day is my pie in the sky goal and I feel pretty good about myself when I crank out 1,500, but yesterday I looked down at my count after more than an hour of writing (almost time to call it quits for the day) and I was only at 800. That was a pretty disappointing figure to see, especially since I’m pretty excited about my story right now and not suffering from writers block. I was just writing slowly.

This morning I checked myself half way through and was on track for another disappointing day when I realized the problem: I was just drifting through my writing. Sure I was getting up and making the effort to get some time in, but I wasn’t making the most of that time. By simply being–dare I say it–more intentional with my time and not letting myself drift between sentences or paragraphs and making sure that my fingers kept moving across the keys I managed to not only get back on track, but even make up for lost time and hit my 2,000 word sky-pie.

That I’ve been drifting through an activity I’m so passionate about (passionate enough to sacrifice my precious sleep for it) makes me wonder what other activities, times, and relationships I’m drifting in right now. For as much as I use the word “intentional” it seems that I could use a bit more intentionality in my own life.

Sorry to be so philosophical today. Must be lack of sleep. (If I believed in emoticons, I would use a smiley face here [is it cheating to say that?])

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