Tracking Creative Progress and Becoming a Writer

2017… the year I’m trying to get serious about being a poet. And about allowing myself more creative time in general.

I’ve been using the awesome (and incredibly simple) app Timesheet to track how much time I’m giving to writing and how much time is going to a given project. In January I tallied an impressive 35 minutes. Total. But in January I also gave most of my creative time to a photo book project. Many, many hours in fact. It was something I was passionate about creating and have been putting off because I’ve been terrible about allowing myself time to work on creative projects at all. I’m thrilled with the end result. And I’m learning how to give myself time for the creative projects I really want to work on, not just writing… and how to gently let go of the projects begun that became a burden instead of a joy.

I’m doing better with writing this month, and even though I haven’t clocked a lot of hours yet I have seen definite progress on my project. I’ve also taken on a commission for the first time. A small project for a friend who needed some poetry in her story. I’ve got a good start on it and am waiting for more notes from her before I launch into finishing it up. I’ve never tried to write something that isn’t a vision in my own head before, so this is good practice, even if not something I’d normally do. 

This month is also InCoWriMo (International Correspondence Writing Month) and I’m participating for the first time. This means I am writing a LOT of letters. But more on that in March when I’ve finished up the challenge.

I’ve been using my bullet journal (more on my planner and journal habits in another post coming soon too) to track a lot of writing related things. I am trying not only to keep myself accountable, but to do so in a visible way that encourages me to work harder.

  • How many days in a month am I doing something writing related?
  • How often am I posting to my Facebook page? (I’m getting MUCH better at this. Drop by and give me a like and follow! Link on menu to the right.)
  • Am I keeping up with posting at least twice a month on this blog?
  • How much time am I spending actually writing?
  • How often am I submitting my work?

That last one in particular is something I need to work harder at. In 2016 I submitted my work to 21 journals/contests. This year the goal is 50. So far I’ve submitted to 6 journals and submitted an application to compete in a kids’ poetry writing contest. I’m anxiously watching my email right now to see if I’m one of the 64 participants or not.

I want to be serious about this writing thing. So I’m trying. In baby steps.

How are your creative projects going two months into the year?

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