Productivity Thoughts, Office Space, & Lag Time

What did I work on last week?

I’m still on writing hiatus for the month of July, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my systems for creating fiction and where I might be able to improve. The biggest hangup I hit is the fact that I often need a really long post-draft lag to get distance from something I’ve written in order to see it clearly. While occasionally I’ll write a story that just pours out and gets edited and submitted within a couple of weeks, most of my work requires a stupidly long cooling period (about 9-12 months, from my records) before I can think clearly about them. (This is certainly a luxury allowed by the fact that I don’t make a living writing.)

Whether or not I can shorten that period seems to weigh on how happy I am with a rough draft (rather than just wanting to set it on fire), and whether I’m compelled to come back to it sooner. If I can’t shorten that time, then I need to develop a system for creating work which I’m excited to get back to after 9 months, so that I always have a steady stream of work coming up for refinement and submission. There are still lots of thoughts happening about this process. 

I’m also setting up my weekly planner and my new bullet journal (see instagram for photos) and getting ready to kick off writing again come August (it appears 6 weeks is about as long as I can handle not writing before I get too itchy). 

What is inspiring me?

This week I’m knee deep in Secrets of Productive People by Mark Foster, which has some very interesting thoughts about systems. I like that he mentions how low-level systems (keeping your house tolerably together/getting enough sleep/exercise/etc.) is vital to having the mental space to think about creative work (I’ve been essentially doing this regarding my wardrobe, and finally feel like I’m where I need to be there). I’ve also been using the five-item list he recommends, and it is helpful in keeping my to-do’s for the day reasonable and trackable. Interesting stuff.

I got a bunch of reading in that book done while we were camping this past weekend. It was hot but I got some nice hammock lounging and reading in, so that was delightful. I think in the future, we’ll try camping post-bug season, though. Still, we had a lot of fun swimming off lake islands and making s’mores and all that traditional camping stuff, but it’s nice to be home in our own bed!

What am I going to work on this week?

We have another trip at the end of the week to see some old friends, which will be delightful, but otherwise same-old-same-old. My mother and I have been taking a look at office space to see if maybe we can split an office and have some private space for work. We’ll see if that ends up happening, but we’ve seen some nice spaces. I’d love to have a workspace that is all mine without LEGO on the floor! 

Otherwise, I’m focusing on setting up my new bullet journal and getting things organized to jump back into drafting the novel project starting in August! SO EXCITED! It’s been great taking the time off and just kicking back and reading, but I’m definitely excited to write again. 

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