Michille: One Thing A Day



Image by Shahid Abdullah from Pixabay

This week seems to be about re-evaluating some of our lives. What brings you joy? What doesn’t? What do you need to give up to be happier? Both Elizabethand Jeanneare doing some decluttering, so I thought I’d share what I have been doing for the past year and a half: getting rid of one thing a day every day, 365 days. Last year, I got rid of over 1,000 things, not just 365. Of course, when you pile all your sweatshirts into one pile and have 27, it’s easy to get rid of 7 of them. This year, it’s been slower because I got rid of so much last year. I do have a stash of cookbooks that I use when I haven’t found the thing for the day. I’ll go grab one from the attic that I haven’t looked at in years. A lot of that free crap I pick up at the RWA conferences over the years has found its way into the discard pile. I’m trying to be environmentally friendly about it, too: scrap metal to a recycler rather than the trash, textiles to a textile recycler (although I did take a bunch of fabric there at the end of 2019 that I could have used to make masks [sigh]).

But this blog is about writing. So, I started thinking of one thing a day, every day, 365 days a year that I could for my writing because I’m seriously stalled. But what could that be? Here’s a list I started:

•  Write every day

And already, I don’t like that. Writing something every day may work for some, but I don’t think it works for me. One writing related task would work.

What one writing related task do you do every day?

9 thoughts on “Michille: One Thing A Day

  1. Write every day is such a big THING. It means TIME and PLOTTING and THINKING and EXECUTING. All of that is so daunting.

    What if you broke it into smaller chunks? I say that I will do SOMETHING writing-related almost every day. It may be analyzing ads, it may be research, it may be plotting, it may be editing, and yes, some days (like this morning, as soon as I finish writing this), it will be writing. But getting to the point of being ready to write this next chapter has taken about a week of tweaking the previous chapters, planning this one, writing out a long-hand/Cliff-notes version of it, and then sleeping on it to see what else came to me overnight. Still, I did something writing-related every day.

    So for you, instead of “writing every day,” today you might play around with some character names and think about their backstories and GMCs. Maybe you’ll sketch out for a few days a loose plot outline (if you’re a plotter), or jot down some key images you see this book having (if you’re a pantser). If you have a draft, then spend some time editing previous chapters and tweaking things. Make an outline/notes for what needs to happen in the next chapter.

    Give yourself 30 mins a day to do some story playing and see what happens. You might be surprised that after a couple weeks of thinking about/brainstorming your story, you’re actually ready to write that chapter–and not daunted by it!

    But I advocate taking days off, too. Your brain needs rest. I’m in the middle of writing book 2 right now and I’m really jazzed about the first half of the story. I know exactly where it’s going and what I want to include. I’m a little less certain about the second half of the book, but I’m not stressing. I have a lot to write before I get there. And some days, I don’t feel like writing at all, so I do some creative stuff that’s advertising-related, or I get out my spreadsheet and analyze the effectiveness of my ads. Then there are Mondays, which are almost always NOT writing days (or even writing-related days). With the pandemic and everyone being home, I find I can get in a really long stretch of writing on Sunday when hubs isn’t working and he can watch the kids, so I take advantage of it, and I’m pretty worn out creatively on Monday. Plus, I need a day to run errands and pay attention to my kids. LOL.

    I guess what I’m saying is, just like you took the task of “cleaning the attic” or “emptying your closet” or “thinning the garage” down to ONE THING A DAY, then pick one writing-related thing a day that you’re going to do, execute it, and be proud of that. 🙂

    • Thanks for the ideas, Justine. I really need the RWA Conference. I haven’t been able to go for the past couple of years, and this year it’s virtual and I’ve had enough of that working from home. I hope nobody calls me this morning for a Teams meeting because I’m still in my pajamas. But you’ve motivated me to pull out the old manuscript and see if I can dive back into it. It does seem daunting, though, because I’m pretty far out of it at this point.

  2. I like the “one writing thing” a day over “write everyday”. I was feeling guilty because a tiny part of what I’m writing references how long before or after the event a scene happened. I’m particular enough myself so I know someone (my goodness, I hope someone reads this when I finish!) will check that Dec 12 wasn’t 87 days before and it wasn’t a Saturday if the 34 days before was a Tuesday. Anyway, I know it’s a small part of the story but the detail bothered me so I took 3 days to create a calendar to track this plus layout my story outline. I didn’t write at all and my husband even commented “I thought you wanted time to write?” I feel better now knowing I contributed to the overall story I’m trying to write.
    And I’m also cutting clutter. We are moving back into our house after renting it for 4 years. I’m being very selective about what comes back. The donate pile is getting huge!

    • I’m the kind of reader that pays attention to timelines. I use a master calendar for my books, too, and one for the overall series. I don’t want a 5-year-old to be 10 two years later in the story world. I actually put the calendar into the writing category because it’s a necessary part of the story.

  3. I agree with Justine & Sailing Always– consider stretching your definition of writing to include writing-adjacent activities.

    The other thing I’d suggest is choosing activities that bring you joy. When you’re in a slump, the last thing you need is to steer into a headwind.

  4. As soon as I saw your post, I thought, “That’s it! I need to do one thing a day towards writing!”

    However . . . .

    I used to write every day — well, if you count comments on the blog and on social media writing. I figured if nothing else, it kept my hand in, and reading other people’s casual writing was a great way to catch voice-on-paper. But these days, I don’t even do that.

    Maybe I need a Couch to 5K writing program.

    But the thing is, once I start writing on a project I’m on fire for, I’m there for it — every day, for intense periods of time until it’s done or until the flames go out. That’s not a smart way to do things, either.

    Maybe I need to work on a serial story, with little adventures. The old “string of pearls” thing.

    Well, good luck, and find your joy!

    • I know, Michaeline, one thing a day. I need to review my world and figure out how to get it in because I love it and these days I need something in my life that I love doing. America is opening up and it scares the hell out of me. Over 114,000 people have died and we just getting over the little hump. The HUGE hump is coming in the fall (I think sooner because of all the protests and the idiots going to the beach). This is real. I’m scared. And I need something to shove all the crazy away from my frontal cortex for an hour a day.

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