Monday, May 2, 2016

Day One: Stay Focused!


I'm still grading, and there are various loose ends that I need to take care of before being more fully committed to writing. But I carved out some time today, and here's what I have:

Time spent on book: 2.5 hours
Words written: 229

OK, so not the most impressive tally in the world. But for a first day, I'll take it. I'll also take today's central lesson:

START YOUR DAY WITH WRITING!

This morning, I ran, had breakfast, and descended to my bomb-shelter-turned-office. Then--and this part is critical--I got started right away. That has been something that trips me up, somehow convincing myself that I can "just" scan the news, or "just" scroll through Facebook. If I start off meandering, then I continue meandering.

I am reminded of the days when I golfed. I could tell what kind of game I would have from the first drive. If it went into the woods, I was in for a long day. But if I could get off the tee and be in the clear, well... things might turn out OK.

For the record, I don't think that this is a healthy mindset for golf, or for writing. Being able to rebound, refocus, and forge on is a hallmark trait of a resilient spirit. But at this point, I know myself well enough to know that good starts matter. And that bouncing back hurts...because my joints are fragile.

I also know that I did myself a favor by removing certain temptations from my work space. For Lent this year, I gave up social media. It was liberating. Going into my social media fast, I wasn't as disciplined with likes, comments, tweets, and retweets as I need to be. So for six weeks, I had none of it. Truth be told, I was happy to reactivate Facebook and Twitter. So much of my professional conversations happen on these platforms, and I have met many new friends on them.

But since coming back to social media, I have been better about how and when I keep in touch. Probably the most effective thing I did was to install StayFocused on my Chrome browser. This allows you to block out certain sites during hours that you select. So far, this has helped keep me on task.

The rest of this week has stuff clogging my schedule each day. But I also know that there will be chunks of time to plow away. So let's see how this week progresses.

I guess I didn't get to what I "wrote" about this morning, did I? OK, maybe I can mention that tomorrow. A hint: Ball games!

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