Writing Break

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I graduated!

I now officially have my Paralegal Certificate. In the making since the fall of 2015 (1 1/2 weeks after getting back from my tropical island honeymoon nonetheless). With the classes and what I learned still fresh in my mind, I updated my resume a few weeks ago and I realized how much I actually learned and know – it’s kinda cool!

But this post isn’t about paralegal studies, it’s about how I’ve had so much more time on my hands to write, now that I don’t have homework looming over my head every week and classes to attend on Saturday afternoon and Wednesday night.

I’ve recently been forcing myself to write a little bit at lunchtime every day. I found a smallish notebook that fits perfectly in my bag that I bring to work. I decided to see if I could concentrate on writing a page or two at work during lunchtime. Surprisingly, I got right in the zone despite sitting at my desk with work and deadlines looming just a foot away on my computer.

Side note: since posting last, I did not get a paralegal job, but got a new job at the company I’ve worked at for 6 years. It’s in a compliance related area. I still want to be a paralegal (who writes novels on the side of course!) but for now I’m happy where I’m at – and it’s only been 7 months. The point is, the pace is very different from my old job that I had for 5 ½ years. When the pace picks up it moves extremely fast, leaving almost no time to breathe (good practice for paralegal work though). Whereas at my old job, the pace was fast BUT more constant and not as rushed.

So that being said, I often find myself working through lunch more often than not and it’s difficult to pull away sometimes. I’ll admit, I’ve become more of a perfectionist over the years and find myself wanting to do everything and anything and all of it RIGHT the first time. And if I don’t get it right, I’m unnecessarily hard on myself and it eats away at me. Not the healthiest, I know, but that’s where writing comes in.

These past few weeks I’ve taken more time away from work at lunchtime than not. I turn my seat around to the non-computer portion of my desk, munch on my food and write a few pages in my notebook. I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere with that manuscript I’ve been wanting to write for years. The only way to get it done is make yourself write. I recently read in a writing magazine that you need to make time rather than find time. It’s forcing yourself to do it regardless of life’s circumstances rather than sitting and waiting to see if a good moment comes your way.

Now, if only I could keep up regularly with this writing blog… until next time whenever that may be.

Peace out.

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Weekend Writing Goal

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It’s been a busy week with the addition of school work on top of job related work. I’m realizing that I probably won’t have much time during the week to write, unless I write on the bus going to and from work, so I’m thinking of getting some writing done on the weekend, possibly Friday if all of my reading for school is done.

My Intro to the Legal System class is only 10 weeks long, and it comes with loads of reading and assignments crammed into it. This past week I’ve barely had time after work to do much besides read and outline the assigned chapters. (Outlining isn’t required, but it’s the only way information sticks in my mind, especially if I’m going to be tested on it later.) So my thought is, try and get some writing in on the weekend.

Weekend goal: write at least 2 pages, single spaced, of character development.

I know that isn’t a word count, or even words counted towards a novel or story, but it’s something tangible I can work with, rather than just saying, “I’m going to write.” I’ll see where I get this weekend and build off of that and make a goal for the next weekend when next week gets here.

Cheers to the weekend almost here!

New Challenges

I now have a new challenge added to my already trying-to-make-writing-a-habit challenge: my school work.

I started my first class in a paralegal certificate program this week. Although the first class was cancelled by the professor, she still gave us a reading assignment for next week. The class is Intro to the Legal System and meets on Saturday mornings for 10 weeks. So, I have until Saturday to complete my reading assignment.

I haven’t studied for anything since my last year in college, back in 2010. Although that’s only 5 years ago, it’s crazy how much my life and normal routine has changed since then! Instead of balancing classes, homework, and a part time job, I will be juggling class, homework, full time job, half marathon training, keeping the home together (i.e. cooking food, spending time with my husband and dog, cleaning, etc.), blogging, and writing. And reading, of course. If ONLY I could do that for a living and get paid!

It will definitely be a challenge trying to coordinate my school work on top of the normal day to day things I do. I’m a little nervous, but probably more excited than nervous at this point since I’m starting something new and I’m excited to see if pursuing a career as a paralegal will be right for me (although that excitement COULD change when the first test comes around! I crumble under test pressure, so we’ll see).

Alrighty, I should probably go and get some reading/outlining done of those first two chapters assigned of Paralegal Today. Then tomorrow starts another week of work. 😦

End Weekend Writing.

Earlier this weekend I decided I wanted to set a writing goal and work towards it. It was a small goal, but something to focus on nonetheless.

Well, I started it but didn’t complete it.

I’m a little sad about it, but really, it’s okay in retrospect. Sometimes we don’t accomplish our goals and I think that’s okay (at least for me). It gives me something else to work toward even more.

The only reason I’m sad about it is because I had a very small goal in mind, with a bunch of time on my hands, but somehow didn’t reach it. I hate when this happens, but I’m trying to be better and not let it get to me.

So all I can do is move forward.

My goal was to write at least 6 pages by the end of the weekend of a story I’ve been thinking about. I only got 2 pages, but I’m a positive person and like to say it’s better than nothing!

I’ve got my writing momentum started again and I’m going to stick to it. Even if it takes me 2 pages a day.

And just a side note: I’m on vacation from work for 11 DAYS starting Friday! I’m in a very good mood going into this week; only 4 days of work!

Finding Time to Write with a Full Time Job

There are plenty of ways to incorporate writing into your life. There are internet articles, advice, and books written on the subject. The most common among them is “write every day” or “do what works for you”.

Here are the most common routines I’ve read about that authors have: some write in the early hours of the morning with a cup of coffee, some start their routine as the sun goes down after dinner, some start in the middle of the day, and most all of them dedicate a certain amount of hours writing in the timeframe they have chosen. I’m always very inspired by each author routine story I hear, it seems so simple to accomplish! Just put aside a large chunk of time and dedicate that to writing. Simple.

But what about my day job?

I SUPPOSE I should go to work where they pay me so I can have a roof over my head and food so I can continue breathing.

So what happens to the rest of us who can’t dedicate 8 hours a day to their writing? The ones who have full time jobs that require us to get up early in the morning, make the grueling commute to the office, sit in front of a computer all day, and then to come home 9 hours later to make dinner/take care of the kids/get ready for the next day/relax/spend time with the spouse (aka life outside your job)?

By no means do I have kids or plan to, so I don’t have kids to take care of when I get home, and I have an awesome fiancé who makes dinner just as much as I do, so I’m not left slaving in the kitchen every night of the week the minute I get home from work. That just wouldn’t fly.

BUT – that still doesn’t mean I have all the free time in the world when I get home from work. Some days I run errands, exercise, take the dog for a walk, catch up with my fiancé since we have a few hours in the evening before he goes to work at 7pm (3rd shift job). So normally, I don’t have much time I can dedicate to writing during the week.

However, what I’m going to try is to set aside 1 hour a day to write in the evening after Mr. Fiancé goes to work. Between 7pm and 8pm I think I can manage an hour of writing, Monday – Friday.

I know it’s not the glamorous 8 or 10 hour writing blocks all our favorite authors get to do, but it’s a start.

And honestly, I don’t think I could sit down and write for 8 hours at a time right now.

But I’ve never really tried it, so maybe I should experiment and see what happens…