At the beginning of this year I thought I’d try something different, well different for me anyway. I put a writing plan in place. I made a nice little list of what I wanted to do, and when I thought I could get it done by. I’d been reading for months about how other writers’ swear by it, how they’re so much more productive, how good it works, etc. I’ll admit I probably got a little too excited about the magic it was going to help me create, but really what was the harm in trying, right?
Wrong. All I can say is I was very, very wrong. Planning didn’t work for me. Not the way I attempted to do it anyway. I stifled myself with structure when what I really needed was flexibility, at least more flexibility than I’d given myself. So, yes it’s official – I suck at planning.
The first time I had to reschedule everything, because of ‘life’, I knew I was in trouble. By the time June arrived the deadlines, and my excitement had gone up in smoke. There were a couple of things on my list that didn’t pan out, and left me feeling a little let down, but you can’t control everything. These things happen.
As it all started going downhill, taking my enthusiasm with it, it became a daily struggle to get words on the page, and quite often the next day I’d dump the work I’d done, and start again. As goals weren’t reached, and deadlines came and went, self doubt started creeping in. I was caught in a downward spiral, going nowhere fast, and it was spilling out into other parts of my life. That’s never good, and it took me a little while to realise it was happening.
Now, I don’t want anyone thinking I’ve had a bad year, because in reality my year, compared to many other people, was good. It just wasn’t what I’d planned, and maybe that’s the real problem – I relied too heavily on trying to plan. Let’s face it, life doesn’t care about plans.
The year isn’t quite over yet, but I’m being realistic when I say that none of what I planned will be finished by the 31st of December. However, there is always 2016, and I will complete that list.
There is a big positive from it all though – I learnt from the experience. I know what I should have done differently, and I know what I would never do again.
And next time I will do better.