The August Writing Plan

Did you get the pun in the title? It’s a poor one, but the idea of it had me smiling on a Friday morning, so I went with it anyway. I’m finally back to posting on Fridays! I hope this trend continues, but I doubt subsequent Fridays will be as free as this one seems to be. As you may know, my life has undergone a major change and July was a very average month for me in terms of blogging as I didn’t have the energy (and sometimes time) to write blog posts. My creative writing suffered more, as my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of writing 5,000 words went by unfulfilled. I couldn’t write a single word, unfortunately. Here’s to hoping August turns out to be much better writing month for me. Today’s post is broken up into three sections: the first will talk about why I write, the second focuses on what problems I’m currently facing and the third is my writing plan that I can hopefully stick to.

August Plan

Why Write at All?

Seeing as how I have a degree in engineering and have been employed as an engineer, it isn’t as if my sustenance depends on writing. It is something I enjoy doing in my free time and have been doing for 12 years now. Even if I wasn’t actually putting pen to paper, I was either plotting, refining a story’s structure or jotting down new ideas. It’s become an integral part of my life and I find that I express myself better via writing than via talking. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to people who know that I’m an introvert.

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All that’s fine and good, you say, but why specifically write fiction? Why not stop at blogging or just keeping a diary? As you may be aware, I read a lot of fiction. My reading habit has been around for longer than I’ve attempted to write. I not only read for pleasure, but I have a book blog where I review and discuss books as well. All of this sparks my imagination and characters walk into my mind, demanding their stories to be told. I usually start off with hints of a story and the characters fleshed out in my head. Sometimes they appear in dreams, sometimes they hold conversations when I’m drinking tea or my brain randomly starts spouting lines when I’m in the middle of something else. I don’t have a say in this situation, really, so I just try to find a quiet corner and concentrate on the whispers of my muse.

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Now that I have a full time job, why do I even bother with this when I clearly have so little free time? I’m not sure what the answer to this question is yet. I have so many untold stories inside me that it becomes difficult to do much else at certain times. Although I keep brushing ideas away when they manifest at inconvenient times, they pursue me doggedly and I make little notes on my phone so as to not forget them. That urge to sit down and transform those ideas into stories is what drives me, even though I know I haven’t sat down to do that in months. I don’t have big dreams of being published and getting famous, I just want to do justice to the story by completing it and polishing it to whatever standards I find acceptable.

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So What’s the Problem Again?

These are going to sound like excuses, but these are actual deterrents to my writing process currently.

  1. My daily commute exhausts me, so forget writing goals, I can’t even keep to my blogging schedule
  2. I have 82492912 things on my to-do list because being an adult is hard
  3. I have too many interests that demand my attention as well like reading, watching TV shows and movies, dancing, cooking, etc.
  4. I feel like I’ll never be as good as the popular writers of this age
  5. I’ve lost the habit of writing and it seems impossible to start again

In essence, I’m trying to say that I have limited time and limited energy, so I’ve not been able to fit writing into my schedule and I’m being plagued by crippling self-doubt. Also, this section is way shorter than I’d anticipated because I’m already losing interest as I feel like I’m griping about insignificant things.

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What Do I Plan to Do About It?

I’m trying to be more organized. I never planned my days down to the last hour because I like the flexibility it offers, but it’s just not working. I write down a to-do list every day that consists of a good mix of work and adulting-related stuff and my other interests. I’m trying a reward-based system now to hold myself accountable to it. I also want to try making a timetable for every day of the week on Sundays. The first Sunday of August is still two days away, so I don’t know how well that will go, but I’ve already planned what I’ll get myself if I stick to it as I’m notorious for not following timetables.

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Since July Camp NaNo was a disaster, I’m not sure how effective this next solution might turn out to be. I signed up for The Scribbler’s Challenge, hosted by May from Forever and Everly. This challenge pairs you up with people and you write a piece in response to a prompt. You also critique your partner’s work and give the feedback to them at the end of the challenge so they can help improve their writing. I hope I can write my responses in time and I don’t know what the feedback will do for my already fragile writer-esteem, but I’m also secretly excited about it as it would help me get back into writing.

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That’s my current writing status, hopes and dreams all rolled into one long post. I hope it wasn’t a tedious read. Let me know in the comments below the reason you like to write. Have a lovely weekend! πŸ™‚

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22 thoughts on “The August Writing Plan

  1. You seem like me. I was in an exhaustive rut. Teaching and being wife and mum drains me. Blogging is my outlet. I make time for it. Reading is my lifeblood . I have to do it . Writing is my dream. I crave the time. THIS is why I decided that for me, August was the month I do #RiNoWriMo. Ritu’s Novel Writing Month. It’s a month I am on school holidays. I have many ideas but one story in particular I started in 2000 and never got to finish… I’ve embraced it and written a lot in the last 4 days. I don’t expect every day to be so creative but now I’ve got back into it I hope I can follow it through!
    You’ll get there too xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The August Writing Plan – UnderwoodTales

  3. First of all: No, it wasn’t a tedious read. πŸ˜‰

    It sounds like you’ve taken all the right steps to try and bring back writing into your routine. I can’t think of any suggestions to add, but the key of course will be following through with your plans and finding your own reasons to stay motivated. I’m almost always tired when I get home from work, but the idea of having even just 60 to 90 minutes to work on my WIP always seems to re-energize me so I can sit down and take advantage of that time. (Not to mention the story itself inspires me enough to do just that.)

    “Now that I have a full time job, why do I even bother with this when I clearly have so little free time? I’m not sure what the answer to this question is yet.”

    May I offer a possible answer? It could be that, because you’re a writer, life seems empty without writing. That’s how I feel about it. If I go just a couple days without writing, I actually become restless, as if I’m denying or suppressing a vital part of myself.

    How are you doing with the Scribbler’s Challenge so far?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the answer, Sara, and for letting me know I’m going about this the right way. πŸ™‚ I do feel the same. If I go even one day without reading or writing, I feel like the day is incomplete.
      The Scribbler’s Challenge is yet to begin. The first prompt is going to be sent out on Monday. I’m a little apprehensive about it, but I’ll borrow your idea of writing for at least 60 minutes a day, so I should be able to tackle that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You know I’ve been in the same boat, so I can’t pretend like I have any answers!

    I will say this though – I have also struggled with to-do lists in the past. I love, love making them, but the inevitable guilt when I didn’t finish everything every day left me wondering if they were really useful at all.

    My solution was two fold. First, I read a book (Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte) that said that instead of focusing on what things you want to DO, focus on how you want to FEEL. Personally, I like this approach for larger, longer term goals. I don’t want to say “lose X lbs by X date,” because if you don’t you feel awful. Instead, you aim for “Feel comfortable/sexy/etc in my skin.” That’s a far better, healthier, more attainable goal, and it leaves room for life changing course, as it always does. Again, I like this only for long term, because day to day, it’s hard to put “feel like a writer,” and then hope for the best.

    My second help was making my to do list fun. I love gaming and RPGs, so I started using Habitica.com to keep track. You can level up and beat monsters by doing tasks, so it was a great way to make it more interesting. It works for some people, not for others.

    I think the major thing is just learning not to beat yourself up by not doing everything. There will be seasons in life when you can focus on a lot of stuff and seasons where you can’t. You might be in a work hard, rest hard season where you don’t have a lot of time for writing. And that’s okay. It won’t be that way forever.

    Best of luck to you! I love your very august plan. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing some valuable insights! πŸ™‚ The long term feeling goals is something I’d never heard of before and it makes a lot of sense. I hope I can check that book out soon.

      I love gaming as well! Maybe it’s something I can try. Thanks a lot for mentioning it! πŸ™‚

      Thank you. πŸ™‚ I wiah you a happy and more productive August as well! 😁

      Like

    • Hi there! I completely agree with you about adulting, haha. Thanks a lot for your support! πŸ™‚ Your comment is the nicest thing I’ve read all day and it means the world to me. πŸ™‚
      If you’ve seen my new post, I’m having to make some sacrifices to keep up with the pressures of being an adult. But I hope I can at least keep in touch with writing nonetheless. Hope your writing is going great! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gah I don’t even know how you stuck to blogging so systematically in college! I would try to write 750 words every day at least using the 750wordschallenge website and couldn’t keep up- that was when I had time to write only in the bus to college!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can be quite hectic then you don’t have the time. I just realised how much I had when I was in college compared to now. But once my training period is over and I’ve settled into my job, I think I’ll be able to make some time again to continue blogging on my book blog. I’m very excited as I have so many ideas for it and I hope it’s better than this attempt turned out to me.

      Your writing is beautiful, evocative and your voice shines through in each piece. I hope you always manage to find time to write because I’d be very sad if you gave up. Please keep at it when you can. All the best! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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