Sunday, 30 September 2018

Forward into Autumn

Now that the days are getting shorter and the nights are drawing in, I usually can't wait to get myself organised. This year, I'm having a little trouble focusing on what's important (writing wise) and finishing it in a methodical manner.

Perhaps I'm busier than normal, or have too much on the go at once - not unusual for me, although I thought I was improving the way I work! However, this is the first step - returning to the blog, and I hope I can keep it up from now until the end of the year. I'm aiming to restart the guest posts but only doing two a month instead of every week. In between, I'll aim for a variety of posts, if I can motivate myself enough.

And therein lies the problem at times. Motivation and Procrastination, both of which hold me back. Or perhaps it's a kinder way of telling me I'm lazy about writing, and not disciplined enough. Hopefully, some readers will understand what I mean.

So, to kick-start my better writing habits, I've brought a little timer upstairs to the study (not the one in the photo!). It's been in a kitchen drawer for years, and brought here when we moved, but has never been used. Then I remembered the Pomodoro Technique lots of writers were talking about and using a couple of years ago. I love the concept and imagine it might work for me - allowing 20 minutes or so to write, before taking a short break, then continuing in the same way for however long I can afford.

I also watched three videos presented by an American writer, Gabriela Pereira, who offers three free online videos and notes, appropriately titled Stop Dreaming, Start Doing as an introduction to her DIY MFA course. They were really useful and have given me a little more focus, if I can put her advice into practice. You can sign up for them here if interested.

Meanwhile, I have several writing tasks on the go, apart from my own work and becoming the new Membership Secretary for Edinburgh Writers' Club:
  • Talking about short stories at the Portobello Book Festival next Saturday 6th October
  • Adjudicating a short story competition for a writing group to be delivered mid-October
  • Adjudicating a romance novel award for the Scottish Association of Writers conference next March - the stories will start arriving towards the end of November
So I guess I'd better get on with the novel I'm meant to be finishing, as well as the edits for a middle grade book!



Ann burnett said...

Well done you! You put me to shame!

Carolb said...

Rosemary I think this time of year can be the most productive, and honestly you've taken on quite a few things so hardly a slouch. :-)

Joanna said...

I understand how you feel, Rosemary, about motivation and procrastination as I struggle sometimes too. I have occasionally used the pomodoro technique and it can kick-start better habits again. I found I didn't want the five minute breaks in the end because the twenty minute sessions got me back into my stride. Now autumn is underway and you have lots of projects on the go, everything will fall into place. Wishing you lots of happy writing xxx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Ann - it's taking a while to get this far!

I agree about the time of year, Carol - thank you!

Thanks, Joanna - got of to a good start this morning and I think I'll find that too about the Pomodoro method, apart from when I'm procrastinating!

Julia Thorley said...

It's the funny weather, Rosemary. How can we be expected to concentrate on work when we can't even decide whether it's time to dig out our boots or keep wearing sandals?

Rae Cowie said...

Rosemary, I'd love to achieve half as much as you do! I too have been trying the Pomodoro method, which works when I remember to turn on the timer...