Weekly Writing Review [July 4th, 2020]

I thought I’d do a weekly post mortem so that I have a sense of what I’ve accomplished with respect to my weekly writing goals and what’s on the cards for the upcoming week.

Learnings from JK Rowling

I was watching this video on YouTube a couple of days ago. If you watch it starting at the 6 min 40 sec mark for about 1.5 mins, here’s what you’ll learn:

  1. Read read and read some more. That’s the only way you’ll recognize good writing and be able to distinguish it from the bad.
  2. You’ll go through a phase of imitating your favourite writers. That’s fine. That’s a part of the learning process.
  3. You’ll write a lot of not-so-good stuff before you’ll start writing stuff that is good. Once you go through a lot of that, you’ll arrive at your genre, your own style.
  4. Persistence. This path is not for the faint of heart. But if you persist, the rewards will be huge.
  5. You should want to be a writer. Badly. You should always write.

If you want a dose of inspiration, listen to her Harvard Commencement address. It will make you both laugh and tear up at the same time.

What I accomplished last week:

  1. Wrote 2 blog posts
  2. Worked on my quarterly goals and landed in a place that makes me feel great about them. I’m gung-ho and ready to go!
  3. Worked on creating an outline for my children’s novel. I’m pumped about it! Although it’s not fully done, it has a lot of good elements to it which I’m happy about.
  4. Created a simple ritual to get create a vibe of creativity and flow before I begin writing every day. I’ve shared the details in this post. It’s been useful so far for sure!

Special thanks to my friend Hendrik for helping me set up the Google Search Console on my website! Also for sharing some nuggets of advice on how to improve the visibility of my posts on Google. That was super helpful!

Plans for the upcoming week

I had a really good writing session this morning. I was talking to my friend and coach Dimi yesterday about how I wasn’t quite able to lock into that deep work zone last week mainly because of some distractions (albeit juicy distractions) that came out of the blue. I found myself glued to my phone for multiple hours a day. So Dimi and I came up with this plan: every night before falling asleep, I’ll put my phone in the living room. I’ll wake up, meditate, journal, eat breakfast, and get straight into writing. Only then will I allow myself to check my phone.

It worked beautifully today. I had a lightbulb moment of clarity about how I’d like the story arc to flow. This was something I’d been struggling with for the last few days. Then I spent a good amount of time writing the story – I finished the first chapter and created the summaries for the next three chapters. Like I said, it was a 3 hours of deep, juicy, creative work! I loved it!

I’m going to continue this format for the rest of the week to see if it works just as well every day. I think it will. I also plan to incorporate some affirmations multiple times a day to remind myself that my #1 mission is to get really, really, really good at writing. I really have to keep it front and centre if I want to make massive progress on my writing goals.

Here is what I’m gunning for this week:

  1. Write 3-4 blog posts
  2. Spend 3 hours every morning on the book
  3. Now that I have my quarterly goals set in stone, I want to chart out the path to getting to all of them. This also involves deciding on some sort of a task management system (even if it’s something as basic as pen-and-paper or using a quick google spreadsheet)
  4. Finish listening to On Writing by Stephen King and reading Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher
  5. Complete all the exercises from the 3rd chapter of the book One Year to a Writing Life.

Yay! Here’s to a great week ahead!

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