Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's topic:
Spring cleaning! What do you hope to "clean out" from your writing? What habits/tropes/words, etc do you want to eliminate?
One of the most helpful things I've done this year is keep track, REALLY keep track of my writing habits. Seeing the data so stark on the page (or in my case, a log + spreadsheet) makes those bad habits less likely to be ignored. It's so easy for our minds to justify our actions. It takes a lot of will power to look honestly at those actions and ask ourselves what to do about them.
Here are a three of my personal writing idiosyncrasies and bad habits, plus some action plans I've concocted to combatting them:
Habit 1: Skipping my writing time and telling myself I have all day
Notes: I've noticed that if I miss my designated writing time (early morning), the writing tends not to happen at all. Later in the day, it's easy to find other chores and tasks that need doing, and by then I'm saying, "Well, there's always tomorrow!"
Action Plan: Hit the writing time at the same time each morning. Continue keeping track of progress. (My running log has been super helpful with this. Mostly it keeps me from missing two days in a row, and on the days I do write, I'm more productive.)
Habit 2: Doing writing related activities instead of actually writing
Notes: This includes reading, researching, blogging, social networking, etc. (Also compiling "the perfect playlist!") If it's not editing, outlining, or adding to my word count, then it's really just me procrastinating.
Action Plan: Real writing comes first, THEN the other stuff. I've noticed, too, that preplanning my blog posts keeps me from playing around on my blog too often.
Habit 3: Not allowing myself to celebrate small successes
Notes: Ah, perfectionism, the little voice that keeps whispering, "That's not good enough" and "You can do better!"
Action Plan: My log has helped a lot with this one. It makes it easy to give myself mini goals and celebrations. Ex: "When I hit 60k words, I can play The Sims 3!"
Here's to a happy and productive spring!