Friday, March 26, 2010

Doing Something for Myself as a Writer

It's probably no surprise that I like surfing the internet. Actually, it's more like a game of "The Floor is Lava," because I start in the usual spots (my homepage) and jump around from link to the next on my favorites list, occasionally trying a new route (when I Google something or follow a link).

But almost invariably, I start my day with a cup of coffee and the intention of checking email, LJ, facebook, and a few blogs, then glance up occasionally to see the hours whittling away. Ultimately, the day is gone and I have no writing or editing to show for it.

I was rasied Catholic, and still follow some of the traditions. Right now, it's Lent, and usually you give something up for those forty days before Easter. Religion-wise, you do so to bring you closer to that experience of sacrifice. Practicality-wise, it's a good chance to start a new, healthy habit. Usually I give up a certain food, or soda, or do extra exercise (which could be argued is a sacrifice of time and napping). Since it centers on sacrifice of self, sometimes you can squidge it a little towards 'doing more for others.'

This year, I really squidged it, and running with the intention of setting up a better habit, I had planned to write 1,000 words a day, because I'd been having a hard time getting words on a page. That quickly devolved to "well, as long as I have 40,000 words written by Easter." And honestly, that isn't looking very likely right now. I'd also wanted to get a big ol' chunk of editing done on one or two stories, and I haven't made much progress there, either.

Now, I know these aren't impossible goals--I wrote about 50,000 words over the three weeks of winter break when I was writing my Master's thesis--and I know I can have that kind of self-discipline, but I've been lazy and easy on myself. Part of that has been saying I'll get off the computer to write or edit (both by pen and paper right now), then wandering the streets and side alleys of the internet and its World O' Blogs.

So here's my decision/plan: It's a little over a week until Easter, and except for a couple of days, I don't have much to do. Therefore, I will be off the computer from now until, probably, Monday April 5. And if I do go on, it'll be to check my email, little things, but only after I accomplish a significant amount of writing and editing for the day. Maybe say, no computer until after 10 pm, too, so I might just decide it's too late in the day and stay off, get a few more sentences in.

If there's anything people desperately want me to know, I'll check blogs and such after the next week+ for sure.

See you homies on the other side.

Happy Writing,


jjdebenedictis said...

Ooh, good luck! I'm in the process of cutting back on my internet use, and it's hard. You've got a good plan in place, however. Go, Sabrina!

Jennifer Ambrose said...

Good luck! I know you can do it. I'm looking forward to reading your triumphant return post when you come back and tell us how much you accomplished.

You've inspired me, too. Maybe I'll keep the internet off until after lunch so I don't waste my entire mornings!

Victoria Dixon said...

Good on you, Sabrina and thanks so much for popping in and giving your opinion this afternoon! That means a great deal to me, considering you're now on hiatus. LOL Enjoy your time with your pen and paper. I may have to follow suit. Everytime I get on the computer anymore, the internet beckons....

Sabrina said...

Thanks everyone! The week did help jump-start my editing, I got a lot more done than I had been. (Not as much as I wanted, but much better without the added distraction.) It was very hard, so tempting to say, "Well, I'll just jump while I drink my coffee this morning," but I kept with it. Thank you for the encouragement.

Victoria--I hope my comments helped. Every time I rewrite my query, I wonder if there are too many details, or if it's too vague, and what does the agent -really- need to know. It's tricky, but I think you're doing great. Good luck with querying!

Victoria Dixon said...

Yes, you did help and it's much appreciated. :)