Have you ever pushed yourself and been amazed at what you could accomplish?
It's like with a diet. When you truly push yourself and stick to the plan, the results are amazing. Yet when you sabotage your efforts by filling your life with temptations and distractions, it's so easy to get off track.
Same with exercise. Whether you're training to run a marathon or lifting weights, etc, you will never improve the distance you can do or the amount of weight you can lift unless you stick with it and keep going. Push yourself to take that next step.
The same is true with writing.
The first thing to do is figure out how much per hour you can write. My day consists of six hours between the time my youngest gets on the bus until my oldest gets home from school. For me, I usually write four to five pages an hour. Then figure out how many hours you realistically have. I usually strive for two to three hours a day Monday through Friday. My average page count ends up being about fifty pages a week. That still gives me evenings and weekends off, as well as having an hour or so to spend on promotion.
So why is it I end up on a writing marathon for every deadline?
Because like dieting and exercising, I tend to sabotage myself. Each time, I keep saying, "Oh I have plenty of time," and then I put off completing my pages for the day for whatever reason. I always have an excuse. But in reality, pages should come first, then promotion or whatever else I'm doing.
I need to make a lifestyle change. Set a goal and stick to it, period. I know what I am capable of when I push myself. Basically twenty to twenty-five pages a day, which is pretty much what I've been doing for the past few days. Four to five hours straight with no promotion or distractions, just me and my laptop and my notes as I type away. Being that "in the zone" can lead to some amazing writing, it always does for me, but it's not healthy. A person's body can only take so much repetition like typing and sitting for such long periods.
So when this book is done, I am determined to stay on track from now on. Write at a nice healthy pace, stay fit as well as "sane," and possibly finish a book early. Wouldn't that be nice for a change.
So tell me, do you all sabotage your writing like you do your diets and exercise? Or are you one of those "good" people who actually stick to your goals? What are your tips for staying on track? Inquiring minds are desperate to know :-)