Hitting your stride… starting small and building up your reading and writing habits.

A February 2021 wrap up

I have to admit, I’m making a concerted effort to get my TBR down so far this year. I managed 6 novels this month, taking my total TBR down to 407.

I’m also getting back into the swing of writing regularly again, though most of my writing this month has been in edits and re-writes on my current WIP. I’m giving myself a few months to polish off this draft and am really excited with the forward momentum despite losing work time for chemotherapy and recovery. I’m planning on spending the first half of 2021 drafting and the second half polishing manuscripts ready for submission. With 3 drafts completed, I need to get them to a point I’m satisfied with, and start querying. I can’t keep putting it off or toying with the manuscripts. Otherwise I’ll never get past where I am.

So, I’m past the halfway mark on my queer contemporary novel, which makes me feel like doing a happy dance.

Having this enforced break from my regular pace of writing and work, and now trying to break back into productivity, it’s like I’m starting over from scratch. I’ve mentioned it many times before that you need to create a writing habit. It gears your mind and circadian rhythms into a rewarding routine. So for my first month back into writing, my word count was down (and the fact I did a lot or re-reading and editing to get back into the tone and setting of the novel after time away) in comparison to what I would usually turn out. But I feel a great sense of joy to be back at the keyboard and working towards my goals.

I’m a huge lover of checklists, graphs for productivity, and making spreadsheets where I can colour in squars with each achievement… a visual reminder of progress in very motivating for me and keeps reminding me of what I have achieved and not to be so hard on myself.

What do you do to track your progress?

What helps motivate you in organising your writing?

Besides all that I’ve just been concentrating on getting through my treatment and fighting my way back to health! Combining a bit of physical therapy with my treatment has helped no end. It’s keeping up my physical fitness as well as stacking the cards in my favour for a quick bounce back after all this chemo is over. (It is beginning to look like mid-year until I’m finished with treatment. UGH!) You have good and bad days, but I’m seeing slow progress which gives me a warm fuzzy inside.

I have to wrestle with my pooch for the couch on a daily basis, he seems to think it’s his spot for naps – he still does not understand that it’s for ME to take naps on. My furbabies bring me joy each day, and don’t seem to mind that I don’t have the stamina to play with them too much or take them for long walks. My little fluffy cheer squad!

Not the best quality of picture (because I used my phone and not my regular DSLR camera – and it was a few days before they got groomed, so my boys are looking a bit scruffy. But still cute as all getout!

© Casey Carlisle 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

6 thoughts on “Hitting your stride… starting small and building up your reading and writing habits.

  1. Felicia Sue Lynn Reviews says:

    I’d be interested to see the spreadsheets you use to track your productivity! Everything I’ve tried to help keep me productive ends up being less useful than I think it will be. I also definitely need to figure out a way to keep a consistent writing schedule. Thank you for the much needed inspiration!

    • femaleinferno says:

      Oh Gosh! I would inundate you with excel spreadsheets! LOL The main ones I use is like a daily calendar spreadsheet where I have plotted everything out I need to complete on a given day: writing, blogging, editing, social media, marketing activities, fitness, or any other goal I’m working towards… and cross each off each day (or cell) as I achieve it. I have a whole months work planned out in advance to keep me motivated (that’s the organisational side of it.) Then I have a spread sheet tracking my progress for each WIP, each cell is a chapter I can colour in as I complete. I also have a spreadsheet tracking my monthly reading and writing status, and it is graphed out automatically so I can see if I am improving or slacking on my productivity. I keep these main ones on a magnetic board at my desk so I see them every time I sit down. I know exactly what I need to achieve each day to stay true to my goals… I’m a bit obsessed with charts and sticking to a schedule. I might do a blog post on how I work my system if you think that’s interesting enough… I’ve held off doing such because I thought it sounded boring… a bunch of spreadsheets… woo! 😉

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