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What Am I Doing Write?

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Sorry, I had to. Puns make me happy.

This August, I found myself teeming with creativity and getting a lot done. Several factors have come into play here. First, we had our summer trip at the beginning of the holiday, leaving a long chunk of time (all of August) to be home. Second, the young people in the household are no longer children, which means they keep themselves busy and only wake up at 11, which leaves the mornings open.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it. I typically focus on what I need to work on. But lately, I’ve been trying to focus on what works. And I tried to figure out what made this productivity possible. I can think of a few things besides technically having more time and fewer interruptions.

One thing that happened was that I realised that I was waiting. Something my partner said about where he wants to go from here made me realise this. I had pictured myself as a writer, and in that picture, without good reason, I had no other responsibilities or commitments. Which meant I couldn’t be a writer while I had these additional responsibilities. I was waiting for the right time to be a writer.

When my partner started his first company, it was after months of deliberations and debates. He was agonising about whether it was the right time. And I had told him then, 13 years ago, that there will never be a right time. It’s never the right time to do something you’re scared of. You have to do it anyway.

I’ve been scared of committing to this writing thing. I was taking it seriously all this time, but I was also kind of holding back. I had other responsibilities—young people, a foundation, family drama—which was a convenient excuse. If I fail to publish or finish the book, it’s because I can’t do this full-time. I thought calling myself a writer was scary. Do you know what’s scarier? What if I go all in and still fail? What if I try my hardest and still won’t be good enough?

So, one thing that happened over the last month is that I realised it’s time to go all in. If I fail, I will at least be able to say I’ve done everything I could.

The other thing that worked for me over the past little while had been Pomodoros. I had stopped using the Pomodoro technique because I felt it was too constricting. At some point in August, I decided to try it again and found out (again) that it was effective. I know now that I just need to find the right balance between scheduling and flowing. For now, the right balance is writing for an hour in my WIP, then spending the rest of the morning on other “deep work” (edits, blog posts, foundation work, submissions) and trying to push meetings, errands, phone calls, and podcasts to after lunch. So far, it has been working. I’ll keep you posted.


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