I thought I’d start this post by reporting in on how I did with my writing goals for the week. After all, if I don’t circle back to measure / reflect, there’s really no point in setting them. So, here goes:
Writing Goals from Last Week:
- Play with developing some ground rules for my social media usage – This did NOT happen, although I was more conscious of my social media time in general. I felt more in control and less pulled. With that said, this goal is going back on for next week!
- Devote a minimum of 4 hours on my WIP over the course of the week – YES
- Go through exercises from first two classes of The Book in You for my WIP – YES
- Complete 2 more book-related freebies for my author site / book launch – YES
- Write a blog post for teen girl advocates for my author site – YES
Overall, a pretty good week as far as goals go. If you want to see the details of my day-to-day writing, here’s what my Writing Tracking Log looked like for the week (CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT):
For the most part, this week was about dipping my toe in the ocean that is my work-in-progress. I spent a chunk of time going through the two classes of my The Book in You course, doing the exercises that center around getting clarity on my personal WHY for writing the book, what I hope the book does in the world, what the “hook” of my book is, and who my audience is.
If you look closely at my weekly writing log, you’ll see that this pre-writing deep dive didn’t always go smoothly. The challenge I faced last week—the internal struggle for control between WHAT the book could be and HOW it will/should be executed—continued this week, and as a result I felt myself wanting to rush through certain exercises and jump ahead to where I could focus squarely on the HOW. When that happened, I took a deep breath, reminded myself of my commitment to curiosity, and continued plowing through. Ultimately, I did get clarity around some aspects of my WIP, and I’ll share those insights below as I begin to introduce you to the project itself.
Total time spent working on my WIP was 6 hours. And even though this was more time than I committed to, and certainly more than I’ve done in weeks past, I was struck by just how slow going it all was. I’d look at the calendar, consider everything else on my plate, and start to doubt whether my long-term goal of completion by next May was a possibility. If you could crawl inside my head, you would have heard this refrain: “There is no way in hell you are going to finish this book / book proposal by Spring unless you get prioritize it and devote some serious time to it.”
Another thing to note—I know myself well enough to know that likely the biggest reason why I actually carved out the time to work on my WIP is because I publicly declared on this blog last week that my goal was to spend at least 4 hours on it.
Plainly put, I’m an accountability whore (or as I more gently label it in my book Doable, an “accountability seeker”).
This isn’t news to me—I used to joke that the whole reason I wrote my book Run for Your Life was because it “guaranteed” I would stick with running for the rest of my life. Public accountability works for me. Good information to have and something I’m going to have to rely on if I’m going to reach my WIP goal.
My other writing projects moved ahead bit by bit. In many ways, the week felt like it “got away from me,” probably because of visiting relatives, husband traveling, and some extra social plans for my son. As Halloween pumpkins are carved and holiday lights are already up in many streets around Amsterdam, I’m reminded daily of the fact that my book Doable comes out in just a few short months. And while I have compiled a list of everything I want to do leading up to the launch, I have no overall plan or schedule, which my friend and fabulous coach Gia Duke so aptly pointed out last night on the phone.
If I’m going to get through the next 2-plus months without anxiety and freakouts, I need to map it all out, week by week, so I know what I have to do and when I have to do it. Creating this map feels daunting but I know it is critical to making this work. So, that is my biggest goal for the coming week. And I plan to tackle it during my 3-hour work window on Thursday afternoon where I go outside the house and work at a cafe.
So, here’s what I’m planning to do in the coming week, besides rework a Minecraft Creeper Halloween costume between today and Friday.
Writing Goals for the Coming Week:
- Devote a minimum of 6 hours on my WIP
- Go through exercises from the last two classes of The Book in You for my WIP
- Create a detailed, week-by-week schedule for my author site leading up to my Doable launch
- Complete 2 more book-related freebies for my author site / book launch
- Play with developing some ground rules for my social media usage, specifically what I’m allowed to do daily and when
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I realized that I’ve been talking about my work-in-progress, but I haven’t shared with you what it’s about. Since I’m working on getting clarity around this, I thought I’d fill you in.
If you follow my Tilt-A-World blog or social media, then you likely know a few key bits of information about me:
- I have a 10-year-old son who is neurologically “atypical,” with diagnoses of Aspergers, ADHD, sensory issues, and an IQ that blows mine out of the water. Parenting him has been both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding. Summed up, he’s the greatest teacher I never knew I needed.
- Our family moved to Amsterdam in 2013 because we strongly believed it was the best thing for our family and son, though we didn’t know exactly why or how this would be the case. We trusted and took the leap.
- After 3 difference schools in 3 years back in the States, I began homeschooling my son in fall 2013. Since moving here and switching to homeschooling. he has absolutely blossomed in every way, to the point that we seriously question his Autism diagnosis.
- Our life here, the choices we’ve made, and our educational approach, is working.
So, now to the WIP. I want to write about all of this.
I want to share our journey in coming to peace with having the child we didn’t expect when we were expecting, write about what we’ve learned through the alternative approaches we’ve tried and taken with regards to his social and emotional development and growth in executive functioning, and honestly write about the leaps we’ve taken as a family. I want to share my often painful learning curve in parenting my son because I know there are so many parents out there who have children that for whatever reason don’t conform to what childhood is “supposed” to look like or struggle fitting into a society and educational system that isn’t designed to appreciate their unique sensitivities, gifts, and proclivities.
I’ve known for years that I would be writing this book. But as my agent told me back in 2008 over lunch, “You’ve just got to keep living it now. You’ll write about it later.” Well, “later” is here. It’s time.
Doing the exercises from The Book in You this past week was helpful because it showed me that I am super clear on why I want to write this, what my greatest hopes for the book are, and what I want people to get from it. This week I plan to continue down this journey and further explore where my book fits into the market. Is it a parenting book? A straight up memoir? I don’t know. I’ll let you know as soon as I do…
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I hope you enjoyed this installment of Writer Unplugged! If you aren’t already on my email list, I encourage you to sign up below so you don’t miss any of the series!