I’m a full-time writer. And it’s not because I’m making money from it, but because it’s what I can do. It’s what I love to do. I can’t have a regular full or part-time job due to my disability. So typically I have plenty of time to work on my novel. However, from February to April or May, it tends to be writing contests and award season. Usually I find out about writing contests too late to bother with putting in a submission. And even when I do find out early, I have anxiety about it. They’re going to get thousands of submissions, why pick mine? But the thing is, everybody’s stories are special. So the anxiety is something I need to get over if I want to have any hope of publishing novels.
This business, like many others, can be competitive. So stepping out of your comfort zone is a good way to grow. I had found an award that was just too good to pass up. The honour of even getting shortlisted would do wonders for my career. And honestly? The prize money would be nice. And so I planned out my month. Step 1 – write a short story, edit it, and get it submitted. All preferably within a week or less. Step 2 – work on my novel, hopefully getting 2,500 more words written. Step 3 – write this article before the month ended. That’s it. Three projects isn’t that bad. While everything managed to get done, it was later than I intended. Step 1 took me a week and a half. Partly because I was going from writing a novel, mostly figured out and a cast of characters that I was used to. Which I had been working on for months. To a new plot line, new characters, and I had to work with a maximum word count. It was hard. I had writer’s block for at least 2 days, which is not at all like me. But finally I wrote 2,335 for it. I did have a whole month to submit it. I like making my own due dates though, otherwise I procrastinate. After step 1 I gave myself a break, then I jumped back in to writing my novel. It was easy to go back to. But I was still tired and I ended up becoming busy with other things. It’s the way life works sometimes. So I only wrote roughly 1,500 words for that. And 462 words for this article. So in total I wrote 4,297 words for the month. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you plan and use time management. Life shakes things up. You get tired or other plans work their way into your schedule. And you can’t rush good work.