Monday, February 1, 2016

Just 100 Words

It's 8:25
Flickr Credit: Sheri Terris

I am a school person.

I'm good at school, I like school, and it's been that way since basically forever. I keep deadlines and turn things in and follow directions. I actually read everything that is assigned to me and I edit my essays many times over and most of the time I even remember do format my papers to the fullest of MLA extents, with my last name and the page number at the top—which is very easy for me to forget, by the way.

On top of that, I go to a really good school for me. I am asked important questions and am invited to find my place in the world and how to mingle what I learn in one class with all of my other classes. It's fun, and thought-provoking, and engaging, and I don't want to give that up.

But also, it eats up my life, and I hate it.

Other things eat up my life, too, of course. I spend way too much time talking to my friends, and on Pinterest, and watching Castle when I should probably be off killing characters people like or something writerly like that.

At the same time, if it ever comes down to crunch time between a writing deadline and a school deadline, I will always pick the school deadline.

It drives me nuts, because the thing that is teaching me how to follow my dreams is of a higher priority to me than actually going out and following my dreams. And on the one hand, yeah, I am paying a lot of money to go to school and I need to keep up my grades or I will lose some grants and it is very, very important that I do well in school.

But on the other hand... school is only going to be about four years. Several people expect me to go on to get a higher degree of some sort, and maybe I will, but definitely not right after I graduate this round. I have to go out and get a job. And of course I don't expect it to be anything more than an unskilled low-pay job, but when I all I've got is an unskilled low-pay job then writing is going to be the main, possibly only, thing left to me that will challenge and teach me and encourage me to get out of my comfort zone.

I would like to not get out of practice of writing from Point A to Point B.

But I have. School started three weeks ago and I haven't written a word since. I mean, maybe I tried that first weekend, but it was hardly anything. I just let it all go. And the MS I am working on gathered dust in the depths of my computer, right next to the idea that I would finish this year with three new drafts from three different projects.

I decided I'm not okay with that.

Right before I started writing this post, I sat down and wrote one hundred words of my MS. And compared to probably anybody else who is talking about writing on Twitter tonight, it is a feeble number—laughable, silly, unproductive.

But it is still one hundred more words than I have written in the last three weeks.

And I'm gonna do it again tomorrow.

Take that.

via Giphy

Do you ever get out of your writing habits? How do you get back into them again?

21 comments :

  1. We sound sort of similar in regards to school. I, too, am a person that actually enjoys school, or at least the learning part of it. What I hate is the tests and quizzes because the stress of grades make me think that time I'm spending on something as "frivolous" (in quotes because duh, of course it's not frivolous) as reading or writing is time that should be spent studying as much as I can. There are some light weeks of school after particularly heavy exams where I know I won't be burdened with worrying about getting a good grade on an upcoming test. And then I realize how much I love learning because in my classes I feel a thrill when I learn something new. I truly enjoy it.

    And so now somehow I have to find a balance between all of my other passions. I want to keep learning fun for myself, but I still have to maintain my good grades in the tough classes I'm taking. I think writing 100 words is a great idea. I can say that I don't have time for writing, and I don't. At least not for a lot of writing. But what I do have time for is ten minutes of jotting down a few words everyday. I've kind of been doing that with my coding. I've been making a little bit of time each day to do some and yes, everything is stressful and school this year keeps on dragging me down, but making just a little time to do what I love and seeing progress keeps me happy in a way.

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    1. Ah, yes, tests and quizzes can be stressful (although they happen less in college, which is nice). It's good that you get so much out of school, though! :) I think we're in the same boat when it comes to finding a balance. But doing a little bit every day, they say, is better than making it all up in one day... So here is to just doing a little bit!

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  2. HEATHER I SALUT TO YOU. School is sometimes evil and gobbles up writing time, but you have been awesome and decided to write anyways even though I'm sure you could have come up with a hundred reasons not to. GO YOU!!! (Plus Parks+Rec gifs are awesome.)

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    1. THANKS. It is very easy to listen to those 100 reasons but in the end life is better if I just keep going. And take the occasional break to use Parks and Ref GIFs, of course.

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    2. THANKS. It is very easy to listen to those 100 reasons but in the end life is better if I just keep going. And take the occasional break to use Parks and Ref GIFs, of course.

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  3. Good for you! It can seem kind of pathetic but honestly any writing is good writing, and writing at your own pace with that works for you is even better. YOU'VE GOT THIS.

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Aimee!

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  4. Good for you! I think that 100 words is a perfectly admirable accomplishment. Earlier this school year I had similar feelings about school and such, and I had to set small goals like this for myself writing wise so that I wan't completely abandoning my project. Good luck to you and your endeavors! :D
    -Bailey

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    1. *nods* Small goals beat no goals. SMALL GOALS MAKE BIG GOALS. YAY. Thanks for reading, Bailey!

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  5. YES. I'm like you- I thrive in my school's environment, and doing well at school is the first thing on my to-do list, but it doesn't leave room for anything else.

    Any writing is writing and I think making that making the choice to sit down and write 100 words a day is awesome :) Go you!

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    1. Yeah... It's like, why can't I be perfect at everything? Thanks, Opal!

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  6. 100 words a day is a great plan when you're extremely busy--like, it's brilliant. Because even though it doesn't seem like a huge amount compared to what you want to do, it does add up and it doesn't necessarily take a huge chunk out of your day at the same time. I'm glad you have a working plan for getting more writing done because yeah, I know that I struggled during the times in school when I didn't have a spare moment to write. *applauds you*

    I also thrived in school (except in all things math). And I think I've actually been a little less productive now that I'm not attending any sort of school. So I've been planning to squeeze a few more schoolish things into my schedule, like reading more classics and researching stuff and trying to write more thoughtful blog posts that challenge my perspectives (still working on that), and I found Brandon Sanderson's writing lectures online and I want to watch those as I have time. *nods* And I'm hoping my brain will start to thrive again.

    I'm glad you really like school. I have a great respect for people who like school. *nods*

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    1. Yes, yes it does. It's hard because you can't do everything you want, but you can at least do a little bit of what you want, and that is also good.

      (Ah, yes, our mutual nemesis, math.) I have noticed the same thing in myself, during breaks and whatnot. Even though school takes up my time it also makes me more productive in other areas of my life. Hopefully you too can find some school-ish things that help you stay motivated!

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  7. This is so true! Like Ana, I have a tendency to regard non-schoolwork as procrastination, even though it's good for me. And I don't have time for writing, even though I love the idea of it. I just haven't made space for it in my life, and it's stupid. I should try the 100 words a day thing. School has this tendency to suck up allll my time. It's making a gap year look more and more enticing. This post basically captures a lot of what I think about school except says it better.

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    1. Yes, 100 words a day is a small goal, simple, and it really does add up! But, of course, gap years might make things better, too. :) Thanks for reading, Shar!

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  8. Writing 100 words a day is a great goal! It can be really hard to set aside time for writing, so I think it's awesome you're doing that. :)

    I hope writing and school are both going well for you! :)

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  9. I have really been thinking about this lately. I'm finding that I'm taking on way too many extra things when I should be writing.

    Great post. Good luck with getting some writing done!

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    1. Ugh, right? They're all so enticing. Thanks, Sunny!

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  10. *applauds* I'm not in college yet, but I relate SO MUCH and I feel like I'll relate even more once I am in college. But YES. It feels like you have to put aside the dream to do the thing whose only purpose is to allow you to live the dream anyway. Which, honestly, is kinda sad.

    So yeah. Congratz on your 100 words!!! :D Hope you're still going strong. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. It is kind of sad, but also I think there's an opportunity cost element that is costing more now so it will cost less later. And I'm banking on that quite strongly. XD

      Thanks, Alexa! (More or less, haha)

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