Friday, April 15, 2011

The importance of having a project

Today is April 15 and I am in the middle of writing my 100th poem since the January 1. As you may remember, I took a poem-a-day class from Sage Cohen in January and I had such a good time that I decided to set a bigger goal, a bigger project, and write 100 poems by April 15. Today is a Writing Friday and so I knew I could finish as I had only #98, 99, and 100 left to do. (You may be wondering why I didn't finish #100 before writing this post but I'm stuck and need to shift gears and come back to it.)

In the writers group I led last Tuesday, we talked about how much easier it is for most of us to find writing time in our busy schedules if we have a concrete project to work on. Saying that I'll write an hour a day is much harder to show up for than I'll write for an hour on my novel and write at least one full page. It also helps to have an end-date for a section or draft. I don't like the word "deadline" as it sounds too much like work but knowing I've set Sept 1 to finish my novel gives me just the right amount of pressure to schedule in the writing days and retreat weeks that will make it happen.

I would never have found the time to write 100 poems in 105 days if I hadn't created the project, announced it, committed to it, and then done it. So if you're wondering why you're not getting as much writing done as you'd like, consider creating a doable project and use following steps:

1. Define the project.
2. Announce the project and deadline.
3. Schedule the time.
4. Follow through.