My personality requires routine in most things, and writing is no exception. While I wanted to participate in the Write 31 challenge – posting something every day for the month of October – I also know my limitations.

My first draft for the Foothills Voices project is due mid-October, so I knew realistically I needed to focus all my creative energy to meet my deadline. Stressed that I wouldn’t have anything worth submitting, I started October strong.

By accident, I found out that writing is easier on a “real” computer, rather than the iPad and keyboard I typically use. I needed focused, uninterrupted time to write. I needed a bit block of “chunk time” as the Hope*Writers folks call it, rather than just “crack” moments here and there.

I chose to treat the work like a job instead of just a hobby. After all, writing your grandparents story is serious work. If my words will be responsible for making sure the stories get passed down to generations who never have the blessing of knowing Mamaw and Papaw, I’d better get it right. (No pressure Brooke.)

I texted Jay and formally requested the “upstairs conference room” for some writing time after work. We keep the one and only desktop computer in the loft upstairs. The builders constructed our home with a rental cabin in mind, and the loft is still complete with the cheesy billiards lamp hanging from the rafters.

Billards (1).jpg

I’m still not sure if having a mouse and a bigger screen made that much technically difference, or I just found the right ambiance. For several days in a row, I worked diligently overlooking the hillside behind our home. I decided upon the dividing sections of the story, and worked through putting what seemed like random memories in some logical order.

So I found myself, a full two weeks before the deadline mostly done with the draft I feared not finishing. Not even half way through October, yet I’d missed the boat on the Write 31 challenge. Since my reason for joining was to get my fingers moving and words on the page, I decided to freestyle a bit.

Upstairs Conference Room (1)

I considered the month of November, but for similar reasons, decided against it. I should get comments from the class facilitator back in late October. Then I have a mid to late November deadline for my FINAL draft.

So I settled on December. Only Jay and I are planning a vacation for December, not to mention the holiday schedule. So here I sit, in the library, pounding away on my iPad, thinking as I type.

If the goal is just establish a writing routine, does that require 31 days of writing without stopping? Not exactly. Actually, not at all. My goals for this blog are to capture moments in life I don’t want to forget, and as a creative outlet.

Could I dare make up my own rules? Or better yet, not set them so rigidly?