As beginners, writers are always told ‘Write every day’ and this is good advice. Forming a habit of adding to your work-in-progress – whatever that is – on a regular basis is a good idea and one I would suggest new writers should stick to. So why don’t I do that myself, I hear you ask.
Firstly, I have a day job. This takes up a lot of energy and most of my day, leaving me very little spare time. This day job requires a lot of writing and working on a computer and I have to admit my eyes and hands would never forgive me if I didn’t give myself some time off in the evenings.
Secondly, I have a nasty habit of throwing myself into a project and working at it with little regard for anything else. At the weekend I was discussing my writing with a non-writing friend and gave her a run-down of what I was trying to do at the moment. Her eyes widened as my list went on and her response was ‘So not taking too much on then’ with a sarcastic tilt to her eyebrows.
As I have a medical condition – albeit controlled at the moment – I have to be responsible about the way I run my life. I have to build in time for resting and relaxing, otherwise I burn out very quickly. I always find it difficult hearing from other writers what they’re doing at the moment, because I immediately turn green with envy at the amount of work they’re managing to achieve. I’m pleased for them, but I then put myself under a lot of pressure to keep up. Really, what I should do, is remind myself that I’m doing well at what I’m doing, regardless of what anyone else is up to.
I know that if I try to do too much, then my body will make me pay for it. I should know by now – I’ve overdone it so many times and ended up ill. So one of my new resolutions is to try and take it a bit easier on myself. My friend’s reaction made me realise that once again I’d set too hard a schedule for myself, so it’s back to the drawing board with my six-month timeline to see if I can’t make it a bit more manageable!
Wish me luck!