Progress Update 6/25/16

Yesterday, I failed to write. Consequently, I broke a nice little 10 day streak that I had going. The picture shows my progress on the Commit app. (The white lines are days I wrote. As you can see, my consistency has been spotty.)

I’m happy that I’ve been writing most days, but I want to get my consistency back up. I’m reading an excellent book right now, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. It’s about the struggle of creatives to stay consistent in their work.  

I’m not finished with the book, but my chief take-away at this point is that we can very easily sabotage creative efforts like writing. Pressfield illustrates a range of excuses that we use to avoid the actual work. I’m changing my perspective on a couple of issues as a result of this book. More on that in a future post. 

On a different note, I’m taking a break from my college teaching for the summer. This will give me more time to work on my book project and some other content for Beyond the Blinking Cursor. Stay tuned! 

Progress Update 3/1/16

March 1st was the target for releasing my book on writing process. Unfortunately, it's not ready yet. 

If I hadn't set my target, I wouldn't have made the progress I did. While I need to push back my release date, I'm glad I had an aggressive target. I made better progress as a result. 

Tentatively, I'm setting my new target for April 1st. I continue to revise the draft. Revising is hard! I like drafting much more. Still, I continue to plug away at it. 

Thanks to those who have encouraged me in my progress. I look forward to hearing your feedback when the book is complete!

Progress Update 2/23/16

The Value of Distance

This week, I’m reminded of the value of distancing myself from my writing. 

I don’t mean giving up on writing; I mean setting aside a specific project for a certain amount of time. This is a technique I hadn’t used in a long time, and I’d forgotten how valuable it is.

At the end of January, I finished the first draft of my book on the writing process. I had planned to immediately do a second draft. Instead, my whole family got sick, and my schedule went up in flames. I didn’t touch the book project for two weeks. 

For the most part, I stayed consistent with my daily writing routine. (I missed three days.) My writing focused on other projects, however, and the book project sat idle. At first, I was upset about this. Later, I realized that this was a good thing.

When I went back to my book draft, I’d gained valuable distance from the project. The intervening time between finishing the first draft and starting the second had blessed me with perspective. I could see problems that I couldn’t see before. I could also sense what I’d done well. Again, this is one of those techniques that I’ve known for years, but I’d forgotten how powerful it is. 

So while I’m upset that my routine was disrupted, I’m happy about the objectivity I gained with regard to my book. Going forward, I’d like to integrate this technique of taking a break from projects more consistently.