Back To School Book Beatdown: How To Be Good To Yourself
TODAY’S BREW: Not Pumpkin Spice. Not yet. THAT IS FOR CELEBRATION AND IT WILL COME.
THE GREAT DAY APPROACHES. The start of school and September 1st brings about the Back To School Book Beatdown, just a week away! (Read about it here and join us or else. http://wp.me/p2x7oj-Qs)
While this will be the friendliest, most encouraging and understanding beatdown ever, today is the day I guilt trip you.
Moms, dads, writerly parents. I know how you feel. That first day you’re going to want to do NOTHING but hang out naked, drink coffee, laugh hysterically and watch movies. It’s going to be tough to DO anything. This is my first dedicated alone time in 7 years, I get it. And while you totally deserve that time, and so do I, I deserve to write, too. It might not come easy, and it would be a lot easier to lay in bed drinking coffee, but we all know I’m going to feel a helluva lot better at the end of the day if I write that first day of September. I’m preparing myself for it now.
I’m thinking for most of you the first day of school is probably not the first day of September, and your kids will already have been back for a week or so? In your “spare” time before 9/1, do some of this stuff like me:
- re-read what you’ve done so far. Hate it if you like, love it if you can.
- take notes in a fancy notebook. It’s back to school time, you can get yourself a notebook.
- make an inspiration board. Create the mood you want for writing your book, so you can look at that sucker when you sit down to write.
- outline. ugh.
- clean your writing area so you have no excuses that day.
- don’t expect perfection from your surroundings to sit down and write.
- know what you need to write to make your quota. Remember, I’ll be asking you to check in with me once a week.
- MY PERSONAL FAVORITE: Make it an event. I’m getting a Pumpkin Spice Latte, a whole week before my birthday as is NOT customary, I’ll have my favorite sweatpants ready, my music cued up, and there’s probably going to be cake for breakfast.
- Remember this. In the words of the great Chuck Wendig, “If you can’t write 350 words a day, you don’t want to be a writer. You don’t get to be a writer.”
So, that first day, I’m going to set my expectations low. The prep work is SO extraordinary that the event itself is almost certain to not live up to my vision. I’d be shocked if I wrote 2000 words just because I’m alone, (which I won’t be–Sam doesn’t start until the third.) I’m giving myself a No Less Than 350 Words Rule, for that first day. There will be no days off, but there will be days where it isn’t feasible to do a monstrous amount. Those days, I’ll do my 350 words, and maybe I’ll do my 350 words again later that day and end up with 700. (Math.) But if not, I’ll make it up on a day where the writing’s REALLY good. Because those days will happen too.
Moral of the story is set expectations. Hold yourself accountable before I do. Be human to yourself, but don’t be a slug. Get your shit done and love it as you do.
I’LL BE WATCHING.