Trying Out a New Program

I know this blog has been pretty quiet lately, and I apologize. I’m back to freelancing/looking for a new job, so there’s been a lot of changes in my life. But I’ve decided it’s a great opportunity to also devote more energy toward self-improvement and creativity.

Coincidentally, I recently was able to see Victoria (V.E.) Schwab on her recent tour stop at One Page More Books (By the way, everyone go read her books, especially A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows).

During that evening, she mentioned her calendaring method. It rang a bell in my mind, so I made note to look it up when I got home. Here’s what I found.

To get a better sense of it, check out this tweet. And considering her productivity–I think she has something like 16 books under contract, and she was able to write three books while also attending grad school–I had to give this a try. So here we are.

Schwab Christensen calendar

My code is as follows: a yellow sticker for writing 500 words, a green sticker for reading 25 pages, a red sticker for 10 minutes of meditation, a blue sticker for going to the gym, and a purple sticker for writing a blog post or commenting in a genre forum. Yeah, yeah, I know. My standards are lower than Victoria’s. But I’m going for the “floss just one tooth” method–start small, and then grown the habit. I already got a double sticker yesterday, although I want to get more yellows–I don’t want to take nearly a year to write a first draft of my novel. And then every month I can revisit my standards and adjust accordingly.

But as you can see, it’s already having an effect: discipline, consistency, accountability. It makes it harder to skip weekends. and it keeps me on my program at the gym. Victoria was right. Productivity has gone up, and I expect it to keep going up. One step at a time, every day.

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