Writing Cycle V2

My Writing Cycle Schedule is not so much broken as it is cracked. Time to patch it!

On January 9th I shared my new way of attacking the writing beast.  I often referred to it as my Writing Cycle Schedule.  And it worked!

Mostly.

Like software, this system needs some patches.  Practical use has shown weakness and I’m going to address them.

Weakness 1: Bad Labels
I called everything a Cycle from the whole to the parts.  I fear that was confusing not just others, but myself.  So, I’m going to better name the parts here.  The whole will be referred to as a Cycle and it will be made up of Phases.  Now that I have that cleared up, I should change my ROW80 goals from “Finish Writing Cycles 2.2, 3.2, 1.3, 2.3, & 3.3” to “Finish Cycle 2 (Phases 2 & 3) and a complete Cycle 3 (Phases 1, 2, & 3). ”

Weakness 2: Guilt
Each Phase is single-minded in its task.  That meant I felt guilty about taking weeks away from editing or writing as I worked on the other Phases.  Thankfully, this works in tandem with a solution to another non-Cycle problem.  I felt I wasn’t being productive enough.  That’s why I reworked my schedule to give me two full writing only days a week and two lighter writing/clean the house days (what I’ve been doing up to these changes).  To fight the guilt, I’ll be taking those two lesser writing days and assigning one to always writing (I’ll be doing that Friday with #WriteClub) and the other to editing (Wednesday).

My full writing days (Monday & Thursday) will focus on the current Phase.  Except every other Thursday.  Another non-Cycle problem I had was not any me, happy, happy, fun time.  If I promise myself an hour or two (as I do every Friday), I’ll work through it (cleaning or writing).  Yes, the Cycle does provide me with days off between Phases.  However that’s not regularly enough and even on those days I still have to clean.  I want to state this isn’t anti-burnout measure, but a treat myself better one.

Side Note: I didn’t change my Saturdays, which I set aside for non-writing writer stuff.  And I’ll keep taking off Tuesdays to spend time with hubby and keep Sundays computer/internet free.

And that’s all that needs fixing!  I’ll be following this schedule until June, when summer kicks in.  (Summer has its own schedule.)  I’ll relaunch use of Cycles in September and make any additional adjustments then.

How often do you find yourself tweaking your writing schedule/process?

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Categories: Experience | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Writing Cycle V2

  1. Interesting on your Cycle idea. I always find that if I give myself time to screw around (*cough* on the internet *cough*), I’m much more productive because I got it out of my system. The writing only days sound great.

    • I don’t have enough discipline for that. I always go “10 more minutes” or “after I check ____.” Then, I end up with nothing done.

      But, mostly my lack of productivity was a perspective thing. While I was working on stuff, I’d have stuff sitting there. If i wasn’t writing (on editing cycle) I’d have partially finished manuscripts waiting and I’d feel horrible that that wasn’t getting added to as I sat there editing multiple works. And when I was writing, I wasn’t editing and I felt that was getting nowhere.

      These partial days are basically ways to trick myself into thinking “progress is being made.”

      • I do that with myself, too! I used to give myself a quota of 300 words to write per day. If I wrote the whole 300, I was done (unless I wanted to keep going, which happened a lot!) but if I didn’t, I had to write that 300. Sometimes it was like pulling teeth, but I always made *some* progress and I felt good about it whether I wrote 1000 words or just the 300.

  2. I’m no good at following schedules. I like to make them for myself, but I think that’s just my way of stalling and not getting the things done that I need to. 🙂

    Hopefully your new writing cycle schedule will work out for you. Don’t you love how cleaning seems to get in the way of the important stuff like writing? 😉

    • I spent years making schedules that didn’t work for me, until one day I finally got one that kind of worked. After having one that worked I was hooked. However, since nothing is ever perfect, I keep experimenting. But, yeah… Back in the “schedule fail” days I definitely used it as a procrastination tool.

      Cleaning is writing’s #1 villain. Wait, no #1 is the internet. #2 maybe? 😉

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