Aug 12, 2014

I made a workbook for my lists!

The schedules I make for myself change rather often… and they’re rarely about time. I spend a lot of time deciding what level of production I need to obtain. Largely that production comes in word count… sometimes it’s in pages. But it always, invariably, includes lists

I love lists and being able to check items off or cross them out. I am a completionist at heart. Pretty sure I’ve talked about how much I enjoy being able to cross things off my to-dos.

So as part of my ongoing attempt to increase my productivity, I've decided to make monthly work books. All it requires is a piece of cardstock, some normal weight copy paper, a needle and some thread, and I've got a bound book inwhich to compile my lists for the month

This is what the cover of Augusts looked like after I did a little decorating

Beta#1 wants me to draw dragon eyes in the empty spaces on the back.... and color in the rest to look like scales.

So far it's been super helpful.

(I'd show you today's, but I made a note of someone else's email address on it... and it wouldn't be nice to give that out!)

Is this enough evidence that I'm addicted to lists?

Aug 11, 2014

Missed Deadline

Sometimes it's nice being my own boss... there's no one to yell at me when I misss a revision deadline because I have an epiphany that demands a book's ending is rewritten. 

You might be wondering why I'm not working on that. Why I'm typing this up instead. The answer? it's difficult for me to slash things to pieces with one hand while I munch down some lovely feta and pesto pasta salad with the other. Typing, I can do. So I'm eating lunch and chattering at you.

Revisions are an interesting process. Largely, because I spend the weeks I'm revising, learning what I did and didn't put in a book. There's a lot in my head that doesn't go into a story... sometimes it's the options that didn't make it in when I'm plotting out a scene (Did I rain down hellfire? or was it only acid rain? or was that deluge plain water... but in quantities that would drown anyone?) and sometimes it's things that should have gone in... like a brief reminder who a character is when we haven't seen them in this book.

The thing I love most about revisions happens when I'm chugging along, and I set it aside for a moment to "do life" and find myself struck with some piece of knowlege or plot that will make the story better. 

That's what happened this time.

So Ray's book is getting a new, expanded ending,  and it is going to be fantastic! And that is why I'm not mad that I've missed that deadline. I get to set a new one.

Aug 8, 2014

Writing Anywhere... Everywhere

If there’s one thing I love about writing, it’s the fact that I can do it anywhere – and in fact I tend to do it everywhere. If you follow my oft neglected instagram feed, you’ll see the occasional Manuscript with meal/beer picture in the mix. (okay, it’s cider.)

Truly, I have some form of writing medium on me at all times – even if it is only the “notes” app in my phone. On a typical day, I’ll have 1-3 notebooks, the iPad and its keyboard, and my phone on me – occasionally we can count pages for editing among those, and there is always a sea of pens sloshing at the bottom of my bag.

Any spare moment I get, I’ll pull out something to write on/with and get a few words in.

Honestly, I spend most of my “out and about” writing time at bars. Largely the stolen moments are while the DH is out smoking, or when I feel like ignoring the world, but still want a pint. And I’ve noticed that for the majority of the places I like to write, they all have a common theme – they all have wonderfully deep bars. Maybe someday I’ll talk about those specific places.

Aug 7, 2014

Thursdays... A Pox On Their Houses

How I feel on Thursdays*

Douglas Adams clearly got me.  Thursdays are… the bain of my existence. No matter how much I try to make them work or how I try to “get over it” I can never get a good clear hold on the days.

My word counts on Thursdays are abominable – unless I’m super proactive – and in general, I just want to adopt the attitude of a particular early nineties punk band and say “F the world” but I can’t, so I’ve found that to make Thursdays tolerable, I need to adjust my priorities and mostly that means I don’t expect anything from Thursdays. For the last several I’ve simply thrown in the towel and read instead of trying to get a word count in.

I’m trying to make sure I have a large pile of edits to input when Thursday morning rolls around, but not even that is a “sure thing”

Anyone else have problems with Thursdays? or any other day of the week for that matter?

*The picture is of the passenger side window that (clearly) needed to be replaced in our 61 Cadillac.... It's been gathering dust since and was the perfect embodiment of my feelings on Thursdays

Aug 6, 2014

IWSG: Starting Over

This post is part of  the Insecure Writer's Support Group

Writing is a series of starting over.

There’s only one real “Start” that gets out of the way when you start your first novel. From then on out, everything is beginning again. You finish a draft, you start over by rewriting or editing. You move on to your next project and you start the entire process over again.

That is what gets at my insecurities.

Most of the time starting over makes me forget. I’ve got a blank page and an outline… and no idea how I managed to get a decent word count into a first draft the last time around. I restart a book after letting a draft sit and I stare at the words wondering how I ever thought they were the right ones to put on the page.

I start over every day. I clear out my word-count goal spreadsheet and I start the meter running again. And I don’t always make it.

But maybe that’s the best thing about starting over… I get to try again tomorrow.