Monday, April 15, 2013

The Plans of a Planner

As I'm certain you are all aware by now, I have a million things I want to do this year.  And every day seems to bring with it something else that I'm desperately wanting to try.  I have writing conferences, and editing.  Rewriting and drafting.  Critiquing and writing exercises.  All of which take time.  Time, that I've come to realize, that I just don't have.

I've always had the issue where I realize that I can do something, and I decide that I'm going to do even more.  (This is called being competitive with oneself.  It's not the healthiest thing in the world to do.  And yet, I find it hard to stop...) Then I end up setting ridiculous goals for myself that there's not way I'm ever going to finish, and get frustrated when instead of succeeding, I get overwhelmed and end up getting less done than I would have if I hadn't over planned everything and tried to make myself do more than is humanly possible.  (Don't be fooled by the nickname, folks.  Much as my writing group likes to call me a robot, I really am still human.  I swear it.)

So, this year, when I set up all of my goals, certain that I needed to do all of it while still working forty hours a week at my day job, I was blissfully unaware that I was falling into the same cycle that I always find myself in.  I'll tell you one thing: Ignorance is not bliss.  And whoever said it was should be shot.

I made it through January alright.  February, I stumbled.  A lot.   This had something to do with some feedback I got on a project that I had labelled nearly finished, and had to look at under the microscope again.  So, instead of writing the first draft of the second book, I rewrote half of the first book and scraped pretty much the entire plot that I already had worked out for the second one.

In March I seemed to find my feet again, though I also began to realize that I hadn't made any allowances for unexpected things coming along, and started to sort through what I had planned for the year.  First to go were the writing exercises.  I wanted to do all 201 this year, but I hit a road block at about 17, was never really able to recover, and soon found myself so far behind that the thought of them just stressed me out.  For the good of my health (and the projects that trying to catch up on those exercised would have taken time away from) I decided that it wasn't worth it to continue.  I will get back to them eventually.  They were a lot of fun, and I was learning from them, but right now it's just not feasible.

I did manage to get the planning done on a novel I wanted to completely rewrite.  I decided I was going to do Dangerous Waters in April, but because I finished the planning early in March, I started writing then too.  I even made it to 25k before Camp Nano officially started!

Which, of course, is when my motivation decided that it wanted to rest for a while and I found myself completely engrossed in a tv series, and unable to pull myself away from the story line to work on, well, anything.

Now I've managed to catch up on my camp nano goal (though I'm still only planning on 50k, and I'll need another 75k afterward to finish this project) as well as fairly up to date on the script project myself and a couple of friends have going on.

While I know what months I'm going to be writing during (Junowrimo, Camp Nano - July editing, and Nano, of course) the rest of the months are up in the air.  And I think I prefer it that way.  Even if I am a planner.

Of course, I might be less worried about getting everything done if my current obsession wasn't a book that I don't need to have even planned out until next April, but that's another blog post.

Here's the real question: Will I, one of the biggest planners around, be able to pants my way through the year?

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