Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sticker Motivation

Last year I wrote a post about using stickers to motivate myself to write. That worked really well until I got lazy ran out of calendar pages and stopped. Just this month I've finally gotten back into it and it has been super helpful.

Currently I'm trying to finish a big revision on my manuscript and have set a deadline for the end of May. I tend to make "strict" deadlines and then get a little...sidetracked. This is where the stickers come in handy. I wrote out goals for each day and I only get a green writing sticker when I work toward that goal. I also decided to give myself stickers for reading, listening to audiobooks, and blogging. (Check!)

Here's what April looks like.

Not too shabby! Obviously I had some gaps with my writing, but given that I was finishing up the semester I think I did fairly well. In fact, this has been such a fun little way to stay motivated that I've decided to post my calendar photo here on the last day of each month. Knowing it'll be out in the interwebs for everyone to see should (hopefully!) make me keep up the good work. (That or I'll just stick a bunch of random stickers up there at the end of the month and take a photo!  No, no, I would never do such a thing...)

So, look for my monthly productivity updates!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Why My Writing Space Matters

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my writing space and how much I love it. I’ve heard some writers say that you should be able to write anyplace and if you can't it's only because you're making excuses.

I get that. I’m definitely capable of writing other places outside of my house (I’m looking at you, Panera Bread), but I have a harder time inside the house. That’s probably because my brain is lazy and would rather find something easy to latch onto. My house provides a smorgasbord of possibilities in the form of cleaning.

Man, those dishes really need to be done. Maybe I should go get the Magic Eraser and clean the wainscoting before I forget. Crap, I forgot to put the laundry in the dryer. And on and on and on. (With an almost-three-year-old running around, there’s always something that could be moved, cleaned, wiped, or vacuumed!)

That’s why I’m so thankful to have my own spot that’s all my own. The best thing about the room is it's no-boys-allowed and I can close the door (and the dirt) on the other side. I’ve also managed to fill it completely with things I love. DIY stained-glass projects, drawings from elementary school, vases of tissue paper flowers, homemade quilts, lots of plants, and lots of books.

And now, a beautiful writing desk my father built for me, topped with an adorable terrarium.

Isn’t it beautiful?!!

My adorable terrarium!  I've wanted one forever.  :)
Itty bitty plants!

Before I had a decently functional table in that spot. I was making do with it, and it was already more than what a lot of people have, but then I started dreaming… And, as my dad knows, when I start dreaming about furniture, he gets a new project. (See the bookshelves below as further evidence.)

Yes, the desk is large, sturdy, has places for filing (I have writing files now—yay!), and a cute little drawer for post-it notes. It’s awesome and a wonderful gift from my very supportive father. That’s reason enough to love it, but that’s not the only reason.

I love it because it makes me feel like a writer.

It’s a statement in the room. That this isn’t a room for hobbies or crafts. The furniture isn’t just a placeholder until we can get something better or until I change my interests on a whim. This is my office. Where I work. And, I’m very happy to say, I love going to work.

 More now than before.