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A lot of people have ‘to-do’ lists. But do you have a ‘done’ list?
A week ago I finished the novel that I began on my last birthday, July 14th. It took approximately 5 months and 20 days to write, with some weekends off. It’s 148783 words long.
But who’s counting? 🙂
That is actually a good (and real) question.
One of my friends said that my writing output equaled about 900-1000 words/day (or the daily equivalent length of about 3 of my blogs together).
Another friend asked me how I completed it so quickly. Part of the reason is that it existed as a musical play first. So the first expression of it acted like a really good outline for the novel. And part of the reason is that I loved living in that world I created.
But the other reason is that I have a ‘done’ list. I made a commitment while I was writing the novel to spend 1-2 hours a day on it, 5 days a week. If I took a day off during the week, I made sure I made it up on the weekend. (And sometimes I just wrote on the weekends anyway, even when I didn’t have to make up for any days I missed. And frankly, the weekends were often the most productive times, because I had fewer distractions, and felt freer to stay up late 🙂
The everyday ‘done’ list is a record in columns of when I started and finished writing, how many words I wrote, and what I researched (my novel is historical so I count any time spent in research as part of my writing). I also recorded links to any good websites I wanted to remember or notes to myself about what I needed to fix. (“Make sure p. 274 matches new information about Anne”, etc.)
The point is that it’s all too easy to forget what you accomplish. If you’re a minimizer like me, it’s all too easy to denigrate or undermine your own accomplishments. Keeping a ‘done’ list is proof that you actually did something everyday-it’s ‘write’ there.
Do you need a ‘done’ list for your life? If you consistently get to the end of each day and know you were busy (or accuse yourself of goofing off because you can’t remember what you actually accomplished), you may need a ‘done’ list or journal.
Tame your inner critic who lies to you or acts like nothing is enough.
What you do and who you are is enough. Give yourself credit for it. Write it down if you don’t believe it!
May we pursue our paths, giving ourselves credit where credit is due,
P.S. Next week I’ll share what I learned about my own personal creative process, and how it could help you uncover and nurture yours.