If at first you don’t succeed…

Go for Round 2. So here we are. Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of writing challenges. Word sprints, blogging challenges, NaNoWriMo, flash fiction… I’m in. I’ve always been a sucker for a dare. So, we’re gonna start this puppy up again and pray for success.

Want to play with me? Here are the rules:

– Write 500 words per day, every day, for 31 days.
– You can write more if you want, but 500 words is the minimum.
– Don’t edit. Just write.
– If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. Don’t make up for lost days.
– Encourage, don’t criticize (unless explicitly invited to do so).
– Blogging counts, but email does not.
– Have fun!

I’ll be tweeting my progress via the hashtag #my500words on @cariwiese, so feel free to join the party.

Back to the words we go. I’m feeling fairly celebratory tonight. I had a productive day! I got a bunch of research done for upcoming projects. And, I managed to get the floors mopped before kids destroyed them again. Woot! Dinner was delicious, the leftovers are put away, and the dishes are done. Time for a beer.

I will need to spend some time this weekend prioritizing. I have a goals and tasks list longer than my receipts from Target. I don’t want to get overwhelmed by the “have to” mentality. When we think of tasks as “I have to do this” it automatically becomes negative in our minds. I want to make sure that I prioritize what I’m doing so that I can say “I want to” rather than “I have to.” So, I will be looking at some long term and short term goals this weekend to decide which things should be put first.

I may also have to go back to using the timer. It seems ridiculous, but it works. I tend to get too easily distracted. My attempt to unload the dishwasher will turn into cleaning out the microwave. The timer keeps me focused on the tasks I want to prioritize each day. It’s also easier to get started. Anyone can work for 10 minutes at a time. It’s less overwhelming to break up projects into smaller time chunks than to tell yourself to buckle up for 6 hours of hard scrubbing. Plus, my life tends to be a lot of multi-tasking. I have writing projects, and social media advertising, and schoolwork, and kids, and household chores, and the blog, etc. Using the timer keeps me honest about how much time I’m spending on each area of my life, so I don’t neglect one.

I think the first time I ever encountered the timer idea was in The Sidetracked Home Executives. My mother had that book when I was in high school. Anyway, they used the timer for decluttering the house. Since high school, I’ve expanded that idea in my life. It probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but it really seems to help me, so why not? Maybe that’s why I love word sprints so much.

It’s always nice to have a really productive day. It makes me happy when I can just relax on the couch and know that I have earned it, without feeling guilty for neglecting something. So, I think I’ll take my beer and go do that.

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