In her famous book on creativity The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron argues that every writer ought to commit to journaling three pages every morning. These "Morning Pages" are a dumping ground for self-doubt, frustrations, ideas, inspiration, boredom, or stress. Though I find this surprisingly helpful, I don't always write my Morning Pages every week. Just when I need them.
I needed them this week. I find myself halfway throgh my Fall Writing Schedule, with NaNoWriMo just around the bend, and now the stress starts kicking in. For September, October, and November, I set the goals of writing 6 new chapters in The Originals, my sequel to The Changelings; writing 6 new chapters for my Three Floating Coffins story; researching and submitting query letters to 10 new agents; completing 50,000 words (roughly 200 pages) of rough draft of Company, my ghost and imaginary friend story, for November's National Novel Writing Month; and writing two blog entries each week, at least one of which has actual content.
October's nearly gone and I barely have 3 messy chapters of The Originals complete, 3 polished chapters of Three Floating Coffins complete, and 5 agents submitted to. Which puts me at the halfway point. I could easily catch up--except that starting November I have to write 10 pages a day for NaNoWriMo, plus 3-10 hours a week on my Coffin story, plus another 100-150 pages written on my Originals story, plus more agents, plus the holidays coming up and all the good movies coming out. Oh, and this week my sinuses have been draining phlegm into my chest, giving me a nasty cogh, and reminding me it's flu season.
To sum up, I'm stressed and that's why I need to spend nearly an hour everyday figuring out which projects to prioritize and which to cut.