This week, I reminded myself that I can always fit writing time into my schedule – I just need to look for opportunities as they present themselves. I have also been making an effort to recognize my small successes, as I have a tendency to not recognize gradual improvements when I am focused on bigger goals.
I want to take time in this post to update you all on what I have been doing with writing this week, including the minor tasks. As you may know, I work full-time (40 hours) in a healthcare administrative position Monday through Friday. My schedule is consistent week-to-week, but some days I start at 7:00 AM with an hour commute and other days I start at 9:30 AM.
With this limited time and alternating schedule, I am often forced to search for spare moments. Finding time to fit in writing of any kind can be overwhelming – especially true this week – but I am still determined to make time for my writing, as I have outlined below.
While I originally planned to schedule my posts for the weekdays, I posted this past Sunday since I knew this week would be hectic at work. I’ve been promoted to a new role and knew my lunch hours were going to be a bit wonky this week, so I went ahead and did my first post of the week on the weekend.
I also spent time reading over an English translation of a Portuguese article for the World Environmental Conservancy. My “assignment” was to use Google translate to provide a very rough English version of the already-written Portuguese version, and then summarize the post (in English). This task takes a bit longer than you may imagine, as the content refers to scientific evidence. Understanding science through Google translated English takes quite some time, and I have to read through about ten pages of text.
I have already summarized a few articles for WEC already, so I knew that dividing the work into manageable chunks would help.
Side note: I am loving this volunteer opportunity because I am learning about environmental issues around the world while also improving my editing skills. I suggest taking a look at their Facebook page if you get the chance!
I recently received an e-mail invitation to a free webinar hosted by Jerry Jenkins, the author of the Left Behind series. The link was sent in an e-mail I received by signing up through the author C.S. Lakin’s site (livewritethrive.com).
The webinar took place at 8:00 PM EST. I don’t get home from work until 7:30 PM on Mondays, so I had to jump online right away to sign in. I was fairly tired from work, but I thought it was silly to not check out an opportunity for free writing advice from a New York Times bestselling author. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I honestly have not read much, if any, Christian fiction, but Mr. Jenkins’ writing tips were great.
One of my writing group friends also watched it, and we were able to discuss it afterwards. I personally enjoyed watching Mr. Jenkins live edit a document, as it was interesting to hear his reasoning for cutting out excess material. This session also brought to attention my need to pay attention to logic in a story, as readers will definitely notice if certain plot elements don’t line up, or if character actions don’t mesh well with their personality. If you are interested in some more of Jerry Jenkins’ tips, his website is JerryJenkins.com.
On Tuesday, I edited a post for The MindReset, which was due to go live that evening. I made sure to make time to edit on my lunch break, as I knew the group was needing it as soon as possible.
I am also enjoying the editing aspect of this volunteer position, as I get to read people’s work and hear their stories even before they are published. I am also getting to know the sequence of events for publishing a post, which may not be as cut and dry as it seems!
Dare I say what writing I did on Wednesday? None! I took a break and made time to eat dinner and hang out with my boyfriend. I have also been feeling a little tired this week, so I knew I needed to make catching up on rest and sleep a priority.
Today I am publishing my second post of the week, which is another small victory in this chaotic week! I want to be consistent with posting at least twice a week, so I am doing my best to get out posts. They may not be “gold,” but at the very least, I figure I am conditioning myself to sit my butt in a chair for two days a week and to write something that will be read by at least one other person. Self-discipline, as always, remains my number one obstacle with producing more writing.
Friday has not yet rolled around, but I plan to button up the last of my article for the World Environmental Conservancy by then, and to also sign up for some more posts to write for the MindReset. I would also like to seek out a few more writing opportunities, so I will pencil in time to research some organizations to network with.
I made plans to meet up with my fellow writer friend (Hannah) for some weekend writing on Saturday. We will be going to a bookstore and coffee shop on Saturday, so we can get both reading and writing time in on our weekend.
Setting up days like this is a great example of why having writing buddies is so fun and beneficial as a writer. I don’t often meet other people who are keen on spending Saturday evenings in bookstores! Spending time with other writers gives me the chance to talk about this part of my life that I spend so much time working on!
How does my writing week compare to yours? Do you have tips for helping to include more writing my life, or just want to share your own writing successes? Feel free to leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you!