Captain’s Quarters: October 2016 Writing Update

+J.M.J.+

Hi all! So sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ve come through a lot this year, mostly good, but I’m just now getting the time to get back on track with blogging! I’m excited to be back! 

As an introductory catch-up post, here is an update!

 

It’s Friday, October 13, 2016. I’m sitting at my desk in my (second) new apartment in 6 months and staring down the barrel of finishing up edits on my manuscript and drafting up some copy for the back cover and about page for “Kingdom.” This week was my husband’s (yes, I’m MARRIED now!!) fall break (he works as a substitute teacher), and so he’s only been going to work in the evenings to his second job. Tonight is his closing shift, so I’ll be in bed before he gets home, but I plan on staying up a bit to finish up this manuscript and get everything ready for next week (and maybe organize this office that’s gotten out of hand).

I have some reviews in the wings also that need finishing that I’ve promised some fellow authors. Tomorrow night, I want to start looking over my outlines for NaNoWriMo to see if anything needs to be worked on before November.

Yes, I’ve somewhat made it to my dream job. And yes, I’m a VERY busy bee. Writing has become greater than my freelancing career. But lately, I’ve still been drowning in stress.

I think my new writing schedule will really help that stress, especially since my portion of the family income has been able to go down considerably. I’m restricting myself to freelance work ONLY in the evenings, and using my mornings and afternoons during the school year ONLY for writing (and perhaps a couple loads of laundry lol). This is because I used to try to freelance some in the morning (because I wanted to just get it over with) and ended up wasting my whole morning just looking for jobs that weren’t going to come in until later anyway. It divided my focus, made me waste precious writing time hitting the ‘refresh’ button, and made me become more and more frustrated with the lack of work until I just didn’t have the drive to do much of anything.

With the new schedule, I HAVE to focus on writing things at the beginning of the day to ensure that they get done. Each week, I’ll come up with a list of things I’d like to get done writing-wise, and I’ll see where I can fit them in each morning. This way I should get a solid 5 to 6 hours of focused, quality writing work in before I ever start my freelance “work” day. It also takes advantage of the time when I’m naturally most productive and creative, instead of relegating it to later at night when I’m already exhausted from getting up at 5:45 with my husband and just wanting to do something mindless and entertaining.

Enter another resolution: I need to read more. Ever since leaving high school, my fun reading has been on a downward spiral. I have plenty of books to read–I just need to take the time to sit and read them. What better time than after my freelance work is done and I have a couple hours left until bedtime? I can relax with a cup of tea at the end of a productive day and read guilt-free, knowing my writing work was accomplished already. It’ll be a nice reward to look forward to after the day’s work is done, and something to help wind me down to sleep so my husband and I can get into bed at a decent time. So I’m looking forward to that as well. Especially on Fridays, since Hubby doesn’t come home until 2 AM or later, I have PLENTY of time to dig into a good book (and maybe even finish it) before he comes home.

All that to say that things are looking both busier– and freer– than they have in a while. I suppose being able to give more time to writing is what’s giving me this sense of freedom. I’m no longer tied down to a high weekly quota for freelancing, and I have designated times of the day to work on it, so I don’t have to feel guilty about leaving it for the end of the day anymore.

I’m really looking forward to this new phase in my life (for as long as it lasts) and I’m grateful to have the support of my hard-working, hilarious and creative husband through all of it. We’ve made a lot of changes and sacrifices to get our situation to where it is now, with me working from home and not having to contribute very much to the family pot, and this was a desire on both of our parts. We’re grateful to God for giving us the means to be able to do this, and I intend on taking advantage of every spare moment to give my writing and my service and love of the craft to the world.

I’ve also gained some clarity on my mission for this blog and for my writing in general. I want to inspire authors to feed their creativity, to dig deep for the things that make their writing real and powerful and raw, and to engage in activities that complement the art of writing and replenish the soul’s creative energy. From now on, my posts are going to focus more on this mindset, because at the heart of all I post, I want to spur writers on to discover the things that feed their souls and make their creativity come alive. I want to help writers with the heart and soul of writing: finding and feeding that deep place within one’s self where stories burst to life. Things won’t change much, but you may sense a shift in direction, and this is the heart of where that is coming from. I am hoping this will be truer to the message I want to share with the world, while also allowing me to explore my faith and creativity in ways that would have been restricted by my previous focus.

Well, it’s been so nice to come back and share an update with you guys! Let me know in the comments how you all have been doing and what things you’ve discovered to feed your creativity; I’d love to chat!

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, I’ll see you on the next ship in. 

Captain's Quarters

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