If there is ever a perfect time to write a book, start a blog, bake those sourdough loaves now is it. Despite the horrors of the creeping plague at our door, and all the sympathy for everyone caught up in it, we have a prime opportunity to start new things and complete old forgotten dreams of publication - or do we?
I don't know about you but my positive vibes have been slipping out of view - as a performer I don't have any gigs now (and have lost work and money because of it) and it seems this will either need to be transferred to video or lost for months. As a writer, I'm querying agents and receiving rejections - on the plus side I won an editing package from Bookoutre and Spread the Word, so hopefully a repitch and reedit might be a positive move.
But on top of all these work concerns come more domestic issues, relatives who have the virus, terminal relative who is nearing the end of their life and it's impossible to visit. The existential pain is true. What can we do?
In times like these perhaps following boundaries and structures is a good idea - I'm turning to courses such as 'The Science of Wellbeing' on Coursera. A wonderful way to keep on track with your wellbeing. I'm also looking at time management packages.
Today's attempt at organisation is using the Pomodoro technique. If you haven't heard of it then give it a go. Simply put, you put on a timer for 25 minutes (there's an app for that) and then have a break for 5 minutes - with a longer break after 4 sessions. So you work in a focussed way for an hour with a break. It cuts through procrastination like anything. My 1000 word target on my new book was hit in one 'pomodoro' and if I could carry on like that I might have a draft by the end of the lockdown.
Our days have changed now and perhaps maybe our expectations should change with it. If you need time out, good go tos are trying yoga, mediation and reading.
With that in mind, I'm hoping to post my own book and entertainment reviews as a way to keep me on track and writing exercises to share.
Today's writing exercise: TIME - Hi intensity work out.
Take a timer and set the following times - 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 25 minutes.
Find a random starting point by going to the nearest book and picking a word from page 10. Then write that word down and write as much as you can without stopping to the times you have set.
After each time set, read back what you've written and underline anything you like. Keep that in mind as you start the next one.
The only rule is to keep value judgements away - it's not wrong, it's not bad - it's just what it is. A starting point of a discipline.