Big Progress and Little Changes

I had a head-slapping moment recently.

The writing scheduling advice I’ve found in the writing community just doesn’t work for me. At least not yet. I seem to get the most writing on my WIP done when I have no other writing to think about. If I know have blog posts to write and research, it’s very hard for me to focus on my WIP.

Last month I decided to conduct a test that would begin on December 1st. I spent the month of November writing blogs ahead of schedule. By Thanksgiving, I had blog posts written for my 3 x week schedule through the first week of January, 2012. That means that in 21 days, I wrote 30 blog posts – 10 posts each week. I didn’t write even one word on my manuscript.

Why did I scramble like crazy to get so far ahead on my posts?

crazy

image source: Google.com

I wanted to have the entire month of December free to write only on my manuscript, and I ended up being able to begin a few days earlier than December 1st and I had Thanksgiving week with no worries.

December has been an interesting month! Some out of the ordinary things happened. My sisters and I found an opportunity to move our 88 yr old mother to an assisted living facility two weeks ago. We had one week to pack her and move her in. For me, there was travel time involved as I live 2 1/2 hours away. So, between packing her things, moving her and unpacking her things, 10 days were consumed. In addition, my daughter needed help babysitting on Saturdays to finish up her schooling, so that wiped out 3 more days.

Total – 13 days…no writing.

With one week left of the month, I don’t expect to hit my word goal of 25,000. I have written 2,600 words and I still have another week free to write some more. My granddaughter is with us this week and I have another day of traveling to return her to her mother, but I hope to get another 2,500 words written before the end of the month.

I have been diligent about making sure my blogs posted properly and I enjoyed time chatting with my readers via comments. Having all that writing and research done allowed me such peace of mind, especially the past couple of weeks. If you can find the time to push through it, blogging ahead it definitely worth it.

And as for writing, I’m going to continue working on my current projects week by week and I’ll continue to build a backlog of posts, hopefully to cover more than a month at a time. It’s invaluable when life throws a curve ball. My goal is to write quality content and be responsible about posting regularly.

 One way I’ll be doing that is by trimming my posting schedule to two regular days each week – Wednesday and Friday. My Wednesday posts will consist of all the elements I had in both Monday and Wednesday(before the holidays), so you won’t be missing out on any of your favorite topics.

#1 Big lesson learned…Be Flexible! Family is more important than any self-imposed deadline or schedule. No point in banging your head against the wall because the schedule didn’t pan out the way you’d hoped. You’ll just give yourself a bigger headache.

#2 Big lesson learned…The 30 posts I wrote in the first 3 weeks of November totaled approximately 30,000 words. That means that I am capable of writing beyond my blog posts. January will hold 9 blog posts – at most 9,000 words. That leaves me more than 20,000 words I should be able to write on my WIP.

coming soon

image source: Google.com

Beginning January 4th:

Wednesdays will be Woman’s DayThe posts will consist of all the elements I had in both Monday and Wednesday, so you won’t be missing out on any of your favorite topics. I will be including more posts on and for women – our strength, courage, sexiness, health and inspiration with a little history included now and then.

Fridays will be Lists and Links. Every other Friday will continue to be The Life List Club. Alternate Fridays will be lists on writing and other topics I feel would be of some value to you. A mash-up of links will be at the end of the lists. They will include the best of the blogosphere for the previous two weeks.

The last Saturday of each month I will post an update on my Health Challenge. This is where you’ll learn about new and ongoing health challenges in which you can participate. At the end of each post will be doctor approved health tips just for you. 

I hope you’ll enjoy the changes and will continue to visit with me Wednesdays, Fridays and one Saturday a month.

Don’t forget! This Friday is The Life List Club Milestone Party! It will be a celebration of 6 months of working toward our goals and a look ahead to the New Year. Please join us to win some awesome prizes as our gift to you for sticking with us.

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19 thoughts on “Big Progress and Little Changes

  1. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with you executing your blogging plan. Wow, 30000 words in posts alone – that’s huge.

    I can’t wait for the Woman’s Day posts 🙂 That’s an awesome idea. And yes, being flexible is the healthiest approach to life in general 🙂

  2. Oh well, you know what they say about well-laid plans…Thank goodness you had already written all those blogs or you may have become very frustrated knowing you weren’t able to keep that commitment due to family priorities. I’m happy you were able to be there for your mother and daughter as needed, too.

    I just added a day to my blogging schedule, so I’ll be posting Monday and Wednesday each week instead of only Monday. I believe that may be my max; I’ll see how it works out. My focus is always devoting 1-3+ hours to my WIP per day, six days a week. The extra day is when I write my blog. Life interrupted my WIP goals in November, but I’m back on track now. Just as you are.

    Like Catie, I adore the pink on this blog. Happy, happy New Year!! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jolyse. Yeah, weird how well blogging ahead worked out. Didn’t do what I’d planned but did what was needed. It’s all good.
      Oooh, I can’t wait to see your new day and what you’re writing! That’s a hefty schedule you have for yourself, but I know you can swing it—evidenced by how quickly you got back on track with your WIP!
      Glad you also like the pink!
      Have a wonderfully happy, healthy and successful year!

  3. Marcia, the changes you made are wise ones and I’m really impressed with the dedication you had to complete all that blogging ahead. You’ve given me some great things to think about and an actionable plan. I may be on the path to similar changes. Your woman’s day sounds amazing!

    • Thanks for your support, Jess. It means a lot! Changes are good if the readers approve! That’s why we blog, right? To bring a little smile to all the readers out there.

  4. Marcia, sounds to me like the changes you plan to make are good ones for both your writing goals and your blog readers! I did the “post ahead” thing quite a bit in October and November – not to the extent you did but I’d always try to have a week to two weeks worth of posts done in advance. It did lead to a lot a peace of mind when work got crazy or I was working on deadlines for other WIPS. I’m going to keep trying to stay ahead of the game in 2012!

  5. Sounds great Marcia. Writing fewer posts can be helpful both to the writer and to those who follow the blog. It is all about time and quality. And yes, family does come first for me. Happy New Year!

    • Thanks for the support, Marion. I worry a bit about cutting back as I don’t want to shortchange my readers. I think you’re right, though, it will be helpful in the end.

  6. You know what? Good for you on cutting that third blogging day if it was keeping you from getting anything done. As you probably remember, I did so a few months ago. One of my goals this week is to make myself a daily schedule so that I’ll get more accomplished each day–instead of just playing with my dog. Good luck to you on your writing goals. May be both reach the stars in the new year.

    By the way, I love this pink you have for your blog. 😉

    • Oh Catie, thanks so much! I’ve been meaning to ask you how you feel it has affected your readers and your WIP. I hate to take anything away from the readers, but I do wnat to give them great books to read. I guess something’s got to give! I do wish that we both reach the stars this year, too! Wishing you few interruptions, speedy writing and easy rvisions to get you to publication this coming year!
      Glad you like the color…I waffle on my feeling about it almost daily, but have had great feedback. I guess you all know better than me. 🙂

  7. Life always manages to interrupt our plans but it sounds like you have things under control. And granddaughters are the best interruption ever. Just don’t forget to enjoy your writing by putting too much emphasis on progress.

  8. Life always tends to intervene in spite of diligent planning. I hope you mom is happy in her new surroundings and that this move has brought a sense of peace for everyone. It can be such a difficult decision and yet improve everyone’s life immensely. That’s my wish for all of you.
    I would love to be organized enough to have a month’s posts ready and waiting. Good for you for proving the value of this. All the best for 2012!

    • Thanks, Patricia. If you can set aside the time to blog ahead, it really is a good feeling. My Mom is very happy in her new place which is bigger and brighter than her old place. It helps me worry less and frees up some worry-free time for my sisters. She’ll have an aide checking on her at night and administering her meds each day. Meals are prepared for her and her apt is cleaned weekly. It’s a great place and she’s already making new friends.
      I wish you and your family a fantastic 2012, as well!

  9. Sounds like some excellent changes for you to accomplish your goals…your blog ahead post writing was timely for your family….things work out in a such a strange way sometimes…I post once a week and now 2 more a month for the Team Blog I am part of…so I hope to write posts ahead as I usually do in winter so I can accomplish other goals….your are always an inspiration Marcia!!!

    • Aw, Donna, thanks! I’m fortunate that I don’t have to work a full-time job in addition to all of this. I’m sure you can get ahead and have time for other things, too!

    • Thanks, Kaitlin! It’s so nice to see you here! With a little fortitude and planning, anyone can do what I did…give it a try when you need to accumulate some free time to work on another project. Even blogging ahead two weeks helps. Then when life knocks your feet out from under you, you can stay on track with your blog.

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