Sorry for the late post--blame it on Verizon/Yahoo. I mean, really. What's the point of high-speed internet when the speed is slower than dial-up???
Back to the subject...
Yesterday, Annette touched on a topic that could be considered one of the Deadly Sins of Writing--time management. It's so easy to overextend ourselves, even those of us who don't work normal jobs. Sometimes I think managing our time is harder when we don't have regular jobs. It's really easy to tell ourselves, oh, I can do that later. Or we try to do too much in a day. What works for me is a schedule. It's certainly not a rigid one, but it's a schedule nonetheless. Otherwise, I'll put things off till later--which leads to the next deadly sin.
Procrastination. I'm a recovering procrastinator. I really have to work at not putting things off. My husband is the complete opposite. If someone mentions something to him, he'll get it done right away. Me? I have two weeks to do it, so I'll start on day thirteen. Drives him crazy. But I'm getting better.
I procrastinate with my writing, too. So far this year, though, I've made it my goal to stop doing that. And so far, it's working--for the most part. I've been scheduling my writing, just like I'd schedule a doctor's appointment, or lunch with a friend. There have been a few days (ok, more than a few) when I blew off the schedule, and it made me very cranky. Nothing went right on those days.
Tinkering is another deadly sin of writing, especially for me. I've been known to play around with the same chapter (hell, the same sentence!) and as a result, it takes me forever to finish a book. As hard as I try, I can't just sit down and pound out a rough draft. I have to edit as I go along. I finally quit fighting it and I'm much happier and much more productive. The trick was to not obsess. Every day I go back and read over what I wrote the day before and rewrite whatever is necessary. When I'm reasonably happy with it, I move on. It doesn't have to be perfect--just good enough.
I've set a goal to finish my first draft (which is really a second or third draft because of the way I work) by the end of March. I can do it. That's only 4 pages, 5 days a week, with a couple weeks leeway in case I backslide into procrastination and tinkering.
They don't have a 12 step program for that, do they?
So, what are your Deadly Sins of Writing? How do keep yourself on the straight and narrow?