Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trying New Things: Extreme Focus

Collaborative homeschooling is going well.  We are utilizing early mornings since my kids are morning people, nap times, and time when D is home so I can focus one-on-one with the bigs.  I feel like we are getting a ton done considering it's summer and our schedule is modified.  I'm happy with how it is going so far.

This week my goal is extreme focus on something I have been working on for five years:  my novel.

Grown ups can work consistently on a project, little by little, chipping away at the work until it is complete.  This is how Dennis has written two books during the years where we were multiplying like rabbits.  I'm not a grown up.  I start and stop and get distracted by my shadow.  I like to read about writing and talk about writing; I can see the book unfold in my head, but I am not good at just consistently sitting down and doing the work.

The most I have accomplished ever was in November during National Novel Writing Month, also called NaNo.  What was different?  No clue.  I just went onto the NaNo website, logged my words daily, and suddenly they started adding up.  Was it the fact that other people were doing this too, even though I didn't have contact with them?  Was it the accountability of actually typing in how many words I did a day?  Was it the short term sprint mentality of just putting in one really hyper focused month?  I don't know.  It just worked.

Starting tomorrow, NaNo is having a camp.  I will have bunk mates to cheer me on and we will log our words for the entire month of July.  At the end, I hope to have a finished book.  It will be an unrevised, choppy mess, but it will hopefully be a finished rough draft.

For the month of July, I am putting everything else on the back burner, at least the things that can go on the back burner.  I still have to do all the momming (I am making being a mom a verb because it feels like one).  I am going to try to blog twice a week.  Bible study ALWAYS stays priority.  But novel writing, 1612 words a day, has to come before the following:  reading, running (though working out usually provides inspiration), learning Spanish (currently 23% fluent), and generally surfing the internet for useless things I don't need to know.  It may be hard to get a hold of me through Facebook or Twitter for the next 31 days.

I am still going to read, but I don't anticipate knocking out my usual five or six books a month.  Instead I am focusing on finishing these books by the end of August.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Homemakers by Brit Morin
Middlemarch by George Eliot
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

They are long, I'll be short on time, but reading also offers inspiration.  I don't need to lose steam halfway through this.

So, if you're not busy in August, maybe you can revise my book?  I'm pretty sure I'll be too tired to even look at it by then.

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