Work · Writing

New Year, New Work Ethic

Yes, the title is very optimistic. Declaring this year will be the year that I actually develop a work ethic and stick to it. Ha! Just to be clear by work ethic I just mean have a schedule and not slack off because of whatever mental block I have on that day. You know they say you have to write through writer’s block; that’s the only way. I believe that but I never actually need to put it into practice. Plus, I was in denial about the fact that I was blocked in the first place, so obviously I don’t need to write anything if I’m not even blocked, right? Yes, I know, that doesn’t make any sense. It also didn’t do me any good on productivity.

Speaking of productivity, I’ve decided that I really need to do an overhaul of my novel. I mean I have random snippets and scenes but I lack a cohesive structure. There are plot holes that’s not been resolved that I keep on putting off. Well, some people can write a whole first draft with major plot holes and not care, as long as they got all 100k words out. Me? Nope. Can’t write a single word until I know absolutely everything that’s going to happen in the chapter. Which, again, I know doesn’t really work in the creative process. So you see how I can’t finish anything, right? But acknowledgement is the first step to solving the problem. I know my problem now. So to tackle it, I’m applying the Snowflake Method to this novel.

I think I used this method at the very beginning of my novel writing, but never followed through. Hence why to this day I don’t have a good ending or know exactly what happens in the last third of the book. Here lies the root of all my issues, no? Therefore, I’m going to do the method all over, and follow through to step 10 this time. Probably will take the entire month of January to do it, too, if not longer. Word counts don’t matter right now. What matters is a thorough once over of the entire work. Write, rewrite, edit – that all come later. Incidentally, I talked to my s.o., who went to school for project management, and asked him what would be an appropriate amount of time of work each day for him to consider it a job. (As opposed to a hobby.) He thinks 6 hours should be sufficient, I consider that too much for the beginning, so we settled to 4 hours, with weekends off. (Also barring medical emergencies, surgeries, and all that, which I expect to have a lot of this year too.) There, a concrete number for the insurmountable amount of work ahead. Or at least it felt that way to me haha. I’m sure my perception is all wonky due to my horrible sense of self-assessment, but that’s why I asked for an outside opinion.

I spent most of yesterday setting up my new novel file. Today will be the first day of a bulk of work and I’m absolutely terrified. It’s arguably the easiest thing to think about right now and I’m still freaking out. Thank you for the existence of this blog, eh? It’s nice to put all my feelings down in words. I will also try to update this blog more frequently, and keep up with Friday Fictioneers, too, when I need breaks from thinking about my own work. I’ll talk to you guys later.


New Year Resolution Time

Yes, it’s time for the good old New Year Resolutions. To be honest, my track record with this is on par with the average person’s, which is basically abysmal. You set your goal to lose 20 pounds this year? Chances are you either didn’t lose any, or actually gained some, and you’re out of money because you signed up for that gym membership and you never went. Total cliché. So I really never bothered with this tradition. But that is not the case this year! 2021 – the year that I WILL get things done, one way or another.

So I had a serious talk with my s.o. last night and he’s rightfully concerned about my career progress. Or utter lack there of, as I still am nowhere close to finish my novel, five years in. We discussed it in detail and have decided that, I shall give myself six more months before considering switching course. So on June 30th I will give him a check-in. If I’m on track to finish the novel by the end of the year, great! Keep going! Writing is still my career. If I have fallen off course again, then it’s likely I’ll never be able to finish this novel no matter what I say – you know, the proof is in the pudding and all. Being a writer for me maybe is not the right path, and so I need to accept that and move on. So if by June 30th I’ve still got nothing done, then I will stop writing for a while, and find an actual job, by either taking a class in coding (something I always wanted to try) or see if a friend of mine can hook me up with one of those job-help programs that’s designed to help folks with giant gaps in their résumés (like women who took off 10 years to raise their kids, or they had to take care of a sick relative, etc. And no, I did not know this program was a thing either until my friend told me). Or just apply blind to any job and hopefully get something. Either way, I move ahead instead of dawdling in place. Still a good thing.

So yeah, my one New Year Resolution is write like my life depends on it until June 30th. Then depends on the outcome, I either still choose writing as a career or I go find another career before I become broke and homeless. The end. (Well I still might be broke even if I do finish my novel, but that’s a different issue requiring a different strategy. Right now I need to tackle this thing first.)


Happy New Year!

Happy 2021 everybody!

Let’s leave the past in the past, and try to move on to a better future. I, for one, will definitely try harder to stick to my work schedule this year. I will try to exercise more, read more, be more productive, and all those obligatory new year resolution promises. I will not let another year pass me by in a blur with nothing to show for it. At least the parts that I can control.

And, above all, I will not let depression or defeat rattle me. I will try to be more positive and fill my life with more positive things. And hopefully, in 2021, everything will turn out alright.