Sunday Update



Today is all about goals, goals, goals. What I want/need to accomplish vs. What is reasonable.

Goals for Writing

My initial goal of 750 words per day on the Main Work in Progress is a little excessive for me. While I would love to have a 75,000 novel written in 100 days, I also have a life, a bunch of kids and very little down time. (If you read this previous post and have an idea on squeezing in time for writing  please let me know!)

So I am revising this initial goal to 750 words a day four or more days a week. 

This is much more reasonable. Since this is my first round of 80 days, taking the time to find what works for me will help me in other rounds. If I know what that writing sweet spot is for me, it will make it easier, I think, to make my goals in the future.

Another goal I still have to figure out is whether or not to commit myself to one single work in progress during the 80 days or allow my new word count goal to count towards anything I am able to write. I very, very frequently get sidetracked by the Shiny New Idea and find myself abandoning my current WIP (which was it’s own SNI just a little bit ago) to work exclusively on that until another SNI comes along. I have a feeling that writers with finished works have a way to deal with this. I’d be more than happy to listen to the solution. Just sayin’.

I’m also wondering if some of my SNI’s wouldn’t work better as short stories or novellas. Thus rendering the time spent on them much shorter than instantly committing each SNI to full novel length.

The last writing goal I have is for the blog. Granted, my latest illness had made it difficult to remain vertical (I am actually much better now, nearly completely mended, thank you all for the well wishes!) or to concentrate. I’d like to set some reasonable restrictions on the content based on day.

Sunday Update – ROW80 updates and other information on my current work(s?) in progress

Monday– Randomness. Whatever I feel like if I feel like it.

Wednesday Writing Tools and Update – Information on any writing tools I have been using; software, books, websites, etc. plus my ROW80 update.

Friday Reader – This is the day that I’ll give a brief update on the books I’ve read that week plus any reviews from fellow ROW80 writers. (BTW, I haven’t gotten any links to currently published ROW80 author’s works. Don’t be shy. I’ll reiterate, I don’t mind paying, I don’t expect you to give it out for free, unless, you know,  it is available for free.)

I might throw in random blog posts other days but I’d like to focus on four posts a week.  Which also leaves me 2 weekdays and a weekend day without needing to be tied to the blog.

Onto other goals.

Social Networking.

I would like to make the commitment of commenting on 5 or more ROW80 blog post updates each Sunday and Wednesday. I’ve been trying to be active on Twitter but seriously, that site is almost as bad as Facebook in the Time Waste Department. Though I have been much better about not hanging out there as of late. The entire point of joining in was to become part of a network of writers and support and encourage each other. I’ve been pretty good about following through but I never remember how many I’ve done. I know there are a lot of us out there and honestly, I usually use the Twitter ROW80 blog post updates to click through so I’m not even sure who’s on the roll call. I should probably rectify that.

My Health.

Yet another area where lack of motivation leaves me with those same things I’ve always gotten, but this time instead of a pile of manuscripts lacking completion, I have an excess body. I’ve noticed a few other ROW80’ers have some fitness goals, I’d love to hear about them. I’m looking into getting PX90 and subjecting myself to it a minimum of three days a week. It’s a little spendy though so thoughts on that are appreciated.

I need something I can do in the house, that doesn’t require a ton of equiptment or extensive room. I live on a dirt road so biking is out. I have five fairly little kids so running away for a couple miles and returning won’t work. I have no access to a pool or workout place. Ideas?

Well, that’s it for this Sunday’s updates. I have written only about 300 words on one of my stories since I last posted. It’s not much but it’s better than nothing! Hoping these new goals will help me succeed a little more this coming week.



7 responses »

  1. Crystal, I feel you on the kids, although I don’t have a lot to offer. I did find tiny, tiny little corners to write; fifteen minutes waiting for the doctor, trying to get DS1 to sleep, thinking in the shower, while cooking dinner.I trailed little scraps of paper behind me like a recycling bin. My kids were compressed more, though–two stepdaughters 21 months apart who were 10 years older than the “twins” born 17 months apart.

    As for the exercise, there are household things that will double as weights–cans, bags of sugar or flour; I’ve even used books. That might push back the need for a monetary outlay at least for a little while.

    Keep focusing on the progress you have made, and I hope your week gets better. I like your themed blog idea very much.

    • I have killer arm muscles from gardening but that’s about it! I lug about 50lb bags of feed and 30-40lb bales of hay fairly frequently. What really bothers me is the cardo. I can’t run ten feet without getting winded but I also have a heart condition so I need to really talk to my cardiologist before starting anything like that. I do need to start doing sit ups though. What five kids’ll do to you is unbelieveable.

  2. Oh, the shiny new idea!
    At hubby’s insistence, I got back to my WIP and realized it had been over a month since I’d touched it. I had been writing little stuff here and there, which is good, but if I never finish the *main* project, all the other stuff is forever fluff.

    Fitness goals? Actually, our family is seriously considering the gym membership. But last we did that (10 years ago) hubby was initially excited then stopped going. It would be good for all of us, I just don’t want to spend all that money for nothing.

    • Part of my SNI problem is that I get to the point about 10k in where I start to question my ability to tell a story. So when SNI comes along it’s all “oh maybe *this* will be a better story and I’ll be better at writing it.” So, I understand for me it is also a personal inner demon thing. But I recognize it and am working on it.

      We’re too far from a gym to join right now but I’m hoping that by March/April I’ll be able to go back to the Y. The thing with that is the kids REALLY enjoy going bc they get to play. So that’s kinda motivation to at least get there LOL

  3. Crystal,

    My experience (and I have yet to learn from it) because I get to the same fizzling out point at about 30 thousand words – is to take one story and write it to finish no matter what the length.

    Everybody talks about starting a great story and crafting a wonderful opening line and nobody reads past a bad first page but I am of the opinion that the most important thing in any story is the ending – and we get the least practice writing that. So, finish your work in progress even if it ends up being only 11 thousand words. You must be able to write ‘the end’.


  4. Yeah on the more realistic goals! Pushing yourself to the breaking point is the best way to lose your joy in writing. Been there, done that, didn’t send the postcard.

    That said, I think you really should look at some of your Shiny New Ideas and see if any of them are small enough for short story length. One of the wonderful things about writing short stories is that you can finish them much faster, and then you get that feeling of accomplishment of having completed something! I tend to always have a novel project going, but when I burn out on it, I’ll write short stories for a while, until the novel starts bugging me to get back to it. Maybe that will work for you too.

    Have a great week!

    • I think much of my issue is not understanding proper lengths of finished works. I know that each book is different but it’d be nice to have a list of standards like short stories 3-7k words. Novellas 12-25k etc. (those are just examples). I have also heard that a story is finished when it is finished and word count and length are irrelevant. BUT does each chapter need to be similar in word count length to maintain a fluid sense? My guess would be yes. I just can’t figure out what is going to be a short story and what is a novel. I tend to just jump to the novel version.

      Today I started writing and did the same ol’ thing. I started a new story (but one I had started and stopped about three times). I tend to do that, to have an idea and work it many different ways, different POV etc. It’s almost like I have an idea but don’t know how to flesh it out. That is part of my stack of unfinished manuscripts.

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