Sona’s Thesis Semester Action Plan

newyearprocrastinate 600x312 Sonas Thesis Semester Action Plan

So remember that head start on my thesis I mentioned last month? Well, that’s long gone. In fact, I waited until today, the last day of January, to post this because I was hoping that somehow I would manage to salvage some of this month and actually have good news to report on the writing front.

Sadly, I don’t. Yes, I’ve been doing some work here and there on both my light fantasy YA and my thesis project. But things aren’t going nearly as smoothly as I hoped they would. Dhonielle suggests this might have something to do with the fact that, since we got back from our two-week break in Hawaii, I’ve had no semblance of a routine at all. And me thinks she’s right. I need routine. I crave routine. And back when I was full-time on staff, some five years ago, I used to have it. I’d work for about a zillion hours, then veg out in front of the TV for a few, then sit down with my sister and put a good dent into a screenplay. Having a partner really helped me — if one of us was feeling lazy, the other would enforce the rule that we had to push through. We had a mutual goal we were working toward, and we needed to get there, plain and simple.

Working solo is much harder for me. I’m my own boss — yay — but that means that I have to start taking myself and the deadlines I create seriously. I have to create a routine again, the way I did before. Yes, I have a lot on my plate, with school, work, writing and family, but I’ve managed before. I need to manage again. And the clock is ticking. The deadline is real and looming — I have to get my thesis project moving and turn pages into my peer group and my awesome thesis advisor, who’s already given me a gentle nudge. It’s time to buckle down and get things done.

My action plan:

Have an attainable minimum: this means two solid hours of writing time, at least three days a week. My goal for each session will be 1000 words, which I know is a doable number.

Get out of the house: This strategy has also been helpful to me in the past. I know that if I go somewhere — a cafe, the school lounge, the bookstore — to sit and write, I will do it. I will not work on freelance pitches, watch a Switched At Birth marathon, or pick up John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars just to read one more chapter. I will work. I will get pages out. This is especially effective when I meet up with a fellow writer, again, because  misery loves company. I mean, because then we motivate each other.

Set and Meet Regular Deadlines: Thankfully, I’ve already got some in place, because I’ve got weekly meetings with both my thesis peer group and our newly reformed critique group, which meets on Thursdays. This means I have deadlines built in to every week, and deadlines are what motivate me to write. After all, there’s nothing more humiliating for a writer than not turning in promised pages.

Take Myself Seriosuly: Like I said, I’m my own boss. And if it were anyone else, I would have fired them already. (I can be tough, for sure. Just ask some of my former employees.) I’m too easy on myself, and I need to stop. We’re all tired. We all have colds. People manage work and kids every day. Enough excuses. It’s time to get shit done.

What’s your writing action plan this year?

Comic courtesy


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