Sue Mitchell, The Memoir Muse at An Untold Story
Sue Mitchell, The Memoir Muse at An Untold Story

During the month of April, I challenged myself to carry out two major constructive changes in my writing.  First, I signed up for the A to Z Blog Challenge , a challenge which requires 26 posts during the month of April (every day but Sunday) on any topic you choose.  I chose to write about the development of a character’s emotions and feelings.

The second challenge I took on was to write at least ten minutes each day before looking at emails or social media.  My hope was to break a habit. Research has shown that it takes 30 days to break a habit, and that same 30 days can train a new habit.  This challenge had its genesis with Sue Mitchell, writing coach at An Untold Story.

The last letter of the alphabet, Z, is written and posted, and the 30th day of April has come and (almost) gone.  I survived both challenges and I’m a better writer for it.

Writing blog posts for 26 out of 30 days kept me on my toes and my fingers tapping.  Of course, some of my posts were written ahead and scheduled to post, but some days I wrote more than one post, or about 1,000 words.  Just think if those cumulative words had been for my memoir.  A few more days and I could complete my first draft!

With each letter and post, I could feel my writing skills improving daily.  I suppose you could say I felt I was finding my groove!  And I met some incredible writers and bloggers widening my writing community.  A win/win.

The real high comes from the fact that after 30 days (OK, almost 30 here in the Pacific NW) I no longer sit down at the computer and head first for emails, Facebook, Twitter or anything other than to WRITE FIRST. Priorities have shifted.  Oh, yes, they have!  I feel more in control now.  And if I don’t make it to Facebook or Twitter until later in the day or at all on a single day, I’m comfortable with that.

So, I challenge each of you to think about what I’ve accomplished in 30 days.  I know many of you don’t struggle with these issues of managing time for writing, but some of us do.  And when you get a handle on it, you just can’t help but brag a bit.

Q4U: What are you doing to make the most of your writing time?  I’d love to hear how you manage your time and challenge yourself to stay above the fray of everyday life.

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18 thoughts on “An April Reflection

  1. Congratulations, Sherrey! I admit I’m addicted to social media and I need to focus more on writing. I enjoyed reading your A-Z challenge.

    1. Hi, Joan, and thanks for your support during this challenge. And although we are distracted by social media, it is an important component to our writing life. 🙂

  2. Sherrey, I am a work in progress when it comes to carving out writing time. You have inspired me through your A-Z series and this wonderful post to write first before checking anything else. Thanks for your valuable insights!

    1. Kathy, it’s always a good day when you stop by! I know we all struggle with time management, and I want so badly to overcome the distractions. Thanks for your willingness to admit you too struggle.

  3. I so appreciate your challenge to be disciplined. That applies to several areas of my life now, not just to writing. You have written words I needed to hear. Thank you for your post as well as your example. 🙂

    1. Linda, I think we are all leading fragmented lives thanks to not just electronics but social media’s invasion. So glad the words of this post reached you.

  4. You know the linky list for this goes up on Friday right? I don’t think I’ll do a reflections post. I can’t write at certain times of the day. Every day is different. Though I do write something at some point. One does have to set priorities and I know that my email will still be there an hour later and it’s not likely I’ll miss anything urgent on FB. I don’t usually reply to e mails till I know I have the time and head space to do so. They’re not going anywhere. I’m retired but involved in many activities and yes some days real life gets in the way of writing. (Any volunteers to clean my house?)

    1. Yes, I know, Sue. I don’t think I’m going to link in. This reflection was just for me, my own selfish purposes. Revelling in the fact that what I hoped to learn was exactly what I learned — if I didn’t waste so much time at the computer on things other than writing, I’d be finished with my book by now! (If you find volunteers to clean for you, could you share their info??)

  5. Congrats on completing the challenge!! 🙂
    I plan on jumping back into my novel to do some clean-up editing. I’m looking forward to revisiting my characters – I missed them!

    1. Congrats to you too, C.B.!
      After a trip to see our grandson get his diploma (away two weeks), I plan on doing the same — jumping into my writing with tenacity and determination.

      1. I’ve never chased a tornado myself, but it can’t be easy… As for discipline, that’s downright dangerous. 😉 Thank you for your lovely compliment.

  6. I enjoyed reading your April entries. I wonder what challenges you’ll come up with next. Thank you for being an inspiration.

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