In April, I:
- edited 4 novel manuscripts and a collection of poetry
- wrote several articles for various columns
- read over 30 articles and sections of books for various academic projects
- hit crunch time for end-of-semester, where I had to produce drafts of non-profit grant proposals, business proposals, pilot studies, etc.
- racked up many hours of “bonding time” with my Usability team as we went through testing for a project that’s due soon
Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of time to sleep.
But there is one other thing I did in April that was probably the most rewarding: I started and completed Script Frenzy [http://scriptfrenzy.org/]. Created by the founder of NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy gathers screenwriters from around the world during the month of April with the goal being to write 100 pages toward a screenplay.
All I wanted to do during the month was get some writing done. Even if it were only five pages, I would have been ecstatic, but I finished having written 110 pages.
How did I do that when it seems as if there was no time for it?
Three things helped me find the time to write.
- I TREATED WRITING AS A TASK. Many of us put writing down on our to-do list, but it becomes an expendable task, meaning if something more important comes along, then writing goes further down the list until it disappears. During the month of April (much like I treat NaNoWriMo’s November), writing became a task, just like putting gas in the car, finishing a project for class, or paying my rent. And because I treated it as such, I felt a responsibility to COMPLETE the task.
- I TREATED WRITING AS MY ESCAPE. I haven’t written much during my first year of doctoral work, and it has been very unsettling for me. Before April hit, I told myself that writing would be my refuge during this hectic academic month. Whenever I got stressed, whenever I needed to “get away” from academics, I opened up my script outline, opened up Final Draft and wrote bad pages to my screenplay. When I was done taking my mini “vacation,” I was ready to get back to the school work at hand.
- I TREATED WRITING AS MY ENTERTAINMENT. There are a lot of things I do to keep from doing work…to entertain myself. I get on Second Life and play with my alter ego. I watch TV. I play games on my phone. I play music and dance around until I’m too tired to do any work, LOL. I read. For the month of April, writing became my entertainment. Instead of turning on the TV, I wrote. When I felt the itch to play on Second Life, I wrote. When I had the urge to play music and dance, I played music, chair-danced, and wrote.
What do you do to keep yourself writing?