Everyday, I go to the office (google chat) to discuss my WIR (work in revision) with my Co workers (Jon and Tina). I set goals each morning, talk about what is and isn't working, and then I set a up a time to 'unplug'--an hour of uninterrupted (well, kinda--I have small children) writing time.
Here's what it looks like for me:
10:50: At the office. Discuss with Tina and Jon what I'm going to accomplish during the hour. Find out what they are working on. Know that no matter what, I have to come back and tell them that I did indeed write (or organize or plot, or whatever needs to be done in my WIP) for a solid hour. And, this is a morning that I would rather do anything than unplug. I am horribly opposed to writing. But I have no option--I said I'd do it, and I have to follow through. Sigh. Maybe I'll just go through the motions...
11:00: Open up word processor. Phew. Manuscript is still there in all it's glory. My worry that one day it'll disappear is assuaged for another moment.
11:01: Get up and mix some ice tea. Can't unplug while thirsty!
11:02: Explain to Cowgirl what a corncob pipe is (cowgirl is amusing herself by sticking stickers on a snowman paper doll).
11:03: Back to work. Fire up iPod. Pause a-Ha as it comes on when I hit 'play music' instead of 'play playlist'. Have to find some awesome music group that begins with 'A' so that comes up every time instead of Take On Me. Find Fallen Star playlist, and fall into the world of my WIP.
11:04: Pick up stickinote riddled hard copy of ms. Sip ice tea. Read the first part, and start making changes on the computer. Smile. I forgot how much I like this part. Maybe this won't be so bad. And within moments, I'm in the groove, and lose track of music, sounds, children, time... just writing.
11:28: After I don't know how many "Mommy's" I admire daughter's snowwoman, and put on a television show for her to watch.
11:29: Try to take a sip out of empty tea glass. When did I drink that? Notice the song on the iPod--on my playlist. It gets me thinking about the ms. Look back at open word document. Which (almost against my will)...sucks...me...in...
11:43: Finished a small section of revision. Walk to other room to retrieve journal to cross it off of my to do list. Progress!
11:45: Attack next part. But... I wonder if the part that I just finished is now too long. I read it back. I took out adjectives, and tightened language, and then added full paragraphs. Maybe that was too much. Should I go back and re-revise?
11:49: Try to ignore doubts, and try to work forward.
11:59: Another page done. Yay. RELIEVED that the time is now over, ready to plug back in. Fire up google to check in with writing partners...
12:00: Back at the office, providing support and getting it from co-workers!
I am not someone who believes that writing is a solitary venture. Without these unpluggings, and co-worker support, some weeks I would be wallowing in my not-wanting-to-write-itis. You know, when you hit a snag, and don't know how to work around it, and writing becomes even more difficult, and a chore. Those are times when I only write because I know that at the end of an hour, I am accountable to someone. And instead of getting stuck for weeks on end, I am writing through it each day. Because of the support of other writers.
The most amazing thing about this process is that my co-worker Tina is developing a Practice Room, where people can go and find coworkers for themselves. A place to unplug, and discuss. A place to promote forward progress for everyone, no matter what the stage of writing. A place to become unstuck, or to just feel a part of a writing group. Isn't she awesome?! Check out her post about it today, and keep an eye out for when the Practice Room opens up!
So tell me--what gets you writing when you are frustrated? How do you work through the sticky parts? What routines do you have to write? And, what works for you?