Looking back on 2020

It’s been a long year and a rather hard one. I remember thinking on New Year’s 2019 that 2020 would be my year. I had lots of plans and they didn’t really happen. But that doesn’t mean it was a year wasted.

I thought that 2021 will be much better because Covid19 will be under control. With the latest news I’m starting to think 2021 will be just as challenging. But I’m determined to make the best of it. And therefore, I also have to look at 2020.

While I didn’t write as much as I had hoped during 2020, I maintained this blog and I’m working on the sequel of When Colour Became Grey. This year was exceptional because the world was very stressed about the virus and the unknown it represents. It’s hard to feel inspired and write on your fantasy novel, when you’re thinking about money and preparing a plan in case you lose your job.

Now, I know what’s coming. I know the governments can with very little to no notice close all borders and impose restrictions. It’s still incredibly stressful to have this unknown around you, to be scared of going outside and being isolated from others, but I know what the restrictions will be. And you learn to live with the fact that you can’t plan in advance.

In a writing context it means that I have to be flexible with my writing schedule, and at the same time I need to stick to it a bit more. This year I’ve let myself go, but next year I need to be more productive. I have another idea brewing in my head for a short story that I may slip in before publishing the sequel of When Colour Became Grey, but I haven’t fleshed it out enough to start writing it.

I definitely have writing targets for 2021, and once I’ve moved, I will visually display them so I keep an eye on them. 😉

And while 2020 might not have been what we all hoped, 2021 will be better. I for one will not let Covid19 derail my life more than it already has. I will make the best of it, however I can.

What are your writing goals for 2021? Did you reach all your writing targets for 2020?

How to find time to write

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There is a difference between finding the time to write, and finding the motivation to write. Or is there?

We all have 24 hours in the day. No more and no less. Look at your average day and quantify how much time you actually spend indulging. Look at your average weekend, your work week, your month, and have a rough idea of how much time you spend relaxing, watching tv, scrolling on your phone, talking on the phone with friends/family, going out to socialize [pre-lockdown obviously…], etc. There is now a focus on how much time we spend endlessly scrolling through feeds without really doing anything productive. And I’m guilty of it too. I often catch myself doing something completely mindlessly and wasting my time doodling around.

You will realize you have lots of time, but you do other things. If you really want to dedicate time to your craft, be it writing, or building a boat, or whatever it may be, you have to compromise and choose to sit down and work on your craft instead of doing something else.

Look into if you can save time by organizing yourself. Don’t go shopping and wander through the aisles looking for inspiration for dinner. Have a plan, have a shopping list, make it your goal to reduce your time. Look at utilizing the time that is basically “lost” in your daily life, like commuting/driving while doing errands. Maybe you can’t write when you’re standing in a crowded train, but you can read. You can read books in your genre, or read educational books on whatever it is you want to learn or improve in. If you’re in a car, there are audible books, podcasts and many more tools to not let that time go to waste.

The answer to both finding the time to write, and finding the motivation to write, is the same (in my opinion). Because the “magic” trick is to simply take the decision to carve that time out of your daily or weekly time and sit down and do it. How do you motivate yourself to write? Sit down and don’t let yourself get distracted and remind yourself what your goal is. Do you want to write a book? Master a new skill? Learn a new language? Then take it one day at a time and work on it little by little. And keep at it.