Hello March

I can't believe it's already March.

I made it through the worst of winter without totally freezing my toes off!

hello march

But more importantly, March is the last month of my first year of grad school. How did this happen? Didn't we just start yesterday?

I'm feeling a little sad today because I can't believe how quickly this two-year program is flying by. When I was applying, and undecided on whether or not grad school was the right place for me, two years felt like a really long time. Now I feel like I blinked and it's nearly half-over.

Every day it feels like I have accomplished such a small fraction of the work I need to do, but when I look back on what I've written so far, I've got nearly 30 000 words! And those are just the words of my manuscript. That doesn't include the words I've written for my book proposal, my blog, other class assignments, or separate articles I've written just because. 

I don't know if that's a little or a lot compared to my classmates, and I don't really care because this is the most I've written in a long time-- maybe ever. 

So far I feel good about what I've accomplished, but with only one more month left in the official semester, I'm starting to anticipate the summer. 

In my mind, I've been secretly hoping to work on my manuscript at an even faster rate during the summer months since I won't be bogged down with other class assignments. But I also worry that without the specific deadlines and structure of the semester I'll fall back into my old summer habits of drinking wine in the park instead of writing. 

It's easy to get a lot of work done when it's cold and grey outside, but how will I stay focused when the weather is beautiful and the city is full of festivals, parties, and patios that cannot be neglected? In the summer, any time spent on my computer feels like a crime against the sun. 

Looks like I might have to revert to the traditional pen-and-paper so I can write my book in the fresh air.

To any other writers out there: what tips do you have for staying focused on your goals without the help of school deadlines?