Category Archives: Making writing a priority

A 2012 Round of Words

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This is my official post registering me in Round 1 of 2012’s Round of Words in 80 Days. I’m still making my goals list which will be posted on January 2nd, the official start date. I’m glad to be back, to have this space of my own again even though I’m fairly certain my writing time will be limited as there are a few things coming up in the next 80 days, like a move to a new state. But I’m here!

 

A Round of Words 4

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In July I signed up for my first ever ROW80. You might have seen me posting about my progress during that time. Round three ended yesterday and the new one starts up October 3rd.

This is my official sign up for round four. Over the next week I’ll be figuring out my personal goals for these 80 days, which will most likely be more than just writing goals. Dedicating myself to this wonderful group of people for 80 days has really turned my writing around. Where before I wrote in solitude, I now write with friends. I enjoy sharing my writing now instead of hiding it, embarassed, worried no one would like it. The support I’ve gathered has been phenomenal. Not to mention myriad of tools which help me be a better writer.

So, October 3rd the new round will start and I’ll post my new goals to get done before the new year.

Sunday ROW80

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I’m writing this from the past as if all goes 100% I’ll be at a hotel this morning with NO CHILDREN for the very first time in my 13 year marriage. Yeah, I’m due. I left Saturday morning so no work got done on Saturday and if all goes well no writing today either! I really need this break, burn-out is eating me alive.

Wednesday I wrote another 800+ Faylinn’s Chronicles I’m nearing 10k words with this is a month. I’m pleased with the progress but I’m not sure really where this is going. Whenever I sit down at the computer I am just writing what I hear her say, what she tells me happened since the last time I wrote for her. It’s an interesting experience not having any idea where something is going and being completely okay with it. Thursday I wrote a couple hundred on the 4th Dice Games prompt.

And that’s all I did this week because I think my brain went on vacation before I did.

GOALS

I really need to get a thing down for my goals. I had made one for blog postings and then got swept away by Faylinn and the various flash fiction pieces. Some of the challenges fall on days that I have other blog things scheduled.

I really need to dedicate more time to reading books on writing. I read a tremendous amout of blog posts which are good and serve their purpose but don’t give me all the tools I need and lets face it, we writers need a pretty hefty tool box.

Getting to the end of ROW80, this being my first go-ROWnd and all, I’m realizing that writing isn’t just about writing. I’m sure I could hole myself up in some darkened bedroom and type out a novel over time but having those tools and being a part of a larger community of writers is what is going to change those darkened manuscripts into something people want to read. I’d rather write one thing over a year and gather up tools than write many books in that same time and not have anything to really build with.

So, I can see my goals for the rest of ROW80 will be to work toward these other things while still trying to maintain my goals.

First September Sunday Update

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I’m keeping this short and sweet.

– I made my 750 word writing goal 2x since Wednesday both on Faylinn’s Chronicles resulting in an 180o+ word update that was done Friday but didn’t get up until Saturday.

–  I posted on more than 5 fellow ROW80’ers Wednesday update blog posts.

– I worked out! For 18 minutes one day this past week. I’ve also gotten into the habit of wearing work out clothes around the house on days I am not going out so I can off shake the excuse of having to change

– I have a flash fiction piece scheduled for tomorrow’s Dice Games and will be working on next weeks this coming week. I also hope to get a few more Faylinn up, things are getting exciting I think.

There are a lot of things I need to get organized and prioritized. I’ll be working more on those goals this week, keeping the word counts down to just the flash fiction and Faylinn for now. My mind is in a bit of chaos with lots of goings on, some not so good. I hope to get more stuff organized and put together on the critique group. I’ve been solitary this week and it’s showing.

Sunday Update ~ Progress! and much rambling.

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After an entire week of no progress I actually have some this week! I’ve been trying to wake up a little earlier than the kids, which means about 5am most days so get in some writing, tweeting, blog posts etc. It’s working well but honestly by 8pm I’m ready to crash.

Thursday I was up at 5 am and I wrote just over 800 words on a WIP, then wrote another just under 500 on a Flash Fiction piece for the blog. I also mowed the lawn for about 15 minutes so there’s some exercise! A few tweeps and I are trying to start an online critique group which is severly interesting because one is in Aussie, one Europe (and here I show my superiorly poor geography skills, is Turkey considered Europe?), me in the US and another gal on the opposite coast. Should be lots of fun if we can get the logistics figured out.

Friday I was up at 4:40 am(UGH!) I wrote a 700 word episode in Faylinn’s Chronicles for the blog which is 6 days late but who’s counting? I don’t think anyone is actually reading it so I suppose it doesn’t matter. Hooray for low expectations! I also start with the Jenny Food. I was so hungry all. day. long. My stomach started eating itself. Which I suppose is a good thing.

Saturday I slept till 7 which totally threw my day off. I ended up going to the store for a new Wii remote and getting the family a pizza (I had a Jenny food pizza) and didn’t get home until 1:45. I spent the rest of the day with what I am fairly certain was warm pudding in my head. Needless to say, pudding has limited thought processing. I did get 240 words of the next Faylinn written up for Monday, found a new flash fiction promp site and started a few blog posts (meaning they got a title and a scheduled date)  then I settled into bed at 7pm with a fully charged ereader and a pair of yoga pants.

Sunday I slept past 7 this time. UGH! I still haven’t made up the 5 blog post replies for fellow ROW80’ers from Wednesday so I’m making that up today by doing 10 or more. Sorry to all those that posted Wednesday, I’m being a bad support person. *slaps hand* I’d like to figure out how to generate more interest in my little ol’ blog. Really get some interesting content going. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to share! please. I’m begging you.

Oh and the online critique group has a hashtag!

There are still things I need to get caught up on. Mainly my reading, especially the ROW80 reviews I had planned to do on Fridays. I need to figure out where Faylinn is going so I can actually write it. I want to do more flash fiction. I’ve been getting good responses on the two I’ve done so far and they are a lot of fun but I don’t want to make the mistake I did with Faylinn and end up spending all my time writing flash. I can get really engrossed in things really easily.

I’d also like to take some time for reading craft books, I have a slew of them just sitting waiting as well as a lecture packet on developing character emotions I need to get working on. Hubby has agreed to let me have a weekned here and there completely away from everyone. At a hotel. OMG. I’m thinking probably not more than Friday night through Sunday afternoon and twice a year but Holy Cow! twice a year! I need to figure out logistics on that, financing etc. Some of the daily deal sites have great opportunities if I’m not too broke when it comes up (a recent one was 2 nights in Daytona Beach for $105, on the beach!) Which I’m hoping -beaches aside- that I can really work on some writing in a clear space.

Sorry to ramble.

What’s doing?

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Finding over an hour of uninterrupted quiet in this house is akin to Columbus’s search for the new world; it’s a really long, terrible journey and you arrive only to find out later that isn’t exactly where you planned on ending up. Thursday night I dialed in to a conference call unsure of what I’d find. Husband did his best to quiet the kids and keep them on the far end of the house (which really isn’t very far) and I insulated myself behind the locked bedroom door and -for good measure- the locked bathroom door. Armed with a notebook and pen I sat on a stool and listened to Tara Wagner, The Organic Sister talk about Overwhelm.

At one point I ened up having to leave the bathroom as Husband needed to put the toddler in the tub to keep him occupied. I headed outside, sitting in the dark, scribbling madly trying not to smell so human to the mosquitoes. It didn’t work. I finally ended up sitting in my car with my dog outside the window. “What’s doing?” her cocked head was asking me. Yes I know, Leeloo, people are strange.

The call extended well past the hour and I was slightly disappointed and throughly relieved that the *2 raising hand feature wasn’t working. I had pushed it a couple times. After I sat for a moment with the huge amount of information swimming in my head. Fourteen pages of notes accompanied me back inside where I verbally dumped everything that had been said on Husband.

Things needed to change.

I am constantly in a state of Overwhelm.  Life homeschooling five kids, keeping the house relatively tidy, caring for 9 chickens, 3 turkeys, 3 cats and a dog, trying to complete my A.A., planning a very big move in about 6 months, and then trying to work in time to create anything additional has become a study in Chaos. I’m chaotic, the kids are chaotic, my relationship with Husband, chaotic. Anytime I find that hour or even ten minues, of quiet time to write it takes me half that time just to quiet the chaos. And even then it’s not where it should be.

The reason I’m writing this here is because something resonated with me that I can’t shake from my thoughts. Tara said this:

Chaos inside creates Chaos without.

When we sit down feeling chaotic, overhwelmed, anxious, nervous, all those things that tumble around inside creating an unpeaceful feeling, then we put hands to keys, pen to paper, what is it that we are creating? For someone that expresses themselves through various art forms, looking back on the things I have created, I can see that when I’m rushed or feeling that inner chaos of just needing to get this project done! I haven’t been able to create the quality the things I made other times when that feeling was absent.

That isn’t to say we’re supposed to create from a place of perfect peace. Emotions are what drive many forms of creation and turning off that flowing source of power isn’t going to help. But feeling emotions and being chaotic are two completely different things. Like Asia and Bermuda.

She had some wonderful suggestions on the process of eliminating chaos, of Overcoming Overwhelm. One of which I will be implementing over the course of the next few weeks; to figure out my priorities.

Only once I get to a place where I know where I want to go, can I move forward.

I want to Write. I know that much. But I need to create the time and space both externally and in myself, where that can take place. I need to shed the other excess things that take up that precious area and eliminate them.

The fanstastic thing about self discovery for me, is that once I discover something it’s as thought a door has been opened, a light turned on in a half-dark room, I can see things in a second that hadn’t been able to manifest before and it never goes dark again. It’s as exciting as it is scary. So, some of my posts might be a little deeper than I had planned to go. I still plan to write because if we wait for that perfect time nothing will ever get done. I just know that I’m not the only person that experiences Overwhelm and I am so impressed and delighted with Tara’s creations and her message that I felt not sharing it would be a disservice to everyone that hasn’t heard of it yet.

And that my friends is What’s Doing. Have a happy, and un-Chaotic, Saturday.

Wednesday Writing Tools & Update

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I have to admit that lately all my writing tips have been gleamed from myriad articles and blog posts from people on Twitter. I like these because I can read them, and get some pertinent information, in a few minutes. I don’t like these because I end up just reading them all the time and not actually writing. I need to find a balance.

For this week’s writing tools, I’ve picked out a couple good ones that have helped me figure somet things out.

Here is a good article about people (other than yourself) you should have on your self-publishing team. I’m not sure where I am going to find these people though. I think this would help me focus more on writing than working on cover art, editing (other than tightening up what I’ve already written), etc. that is becoming time wasting for me.

And here is an excellent tip post about exposition.

Something that is not exactly a writing tool but I’m going to add here anyway, is a new group I’m joining through www.TheOrganicSister.com. Tara has written an a-friggin-mazing ebook/workbook for self discovery. This is the catalyst that started me seriously writing a few months ago. It has helped me to realize the self-defeating characterists I hold that prevent me from doing what I feel called to do. She now has a tribe. I want to join it. I might find those souls I need for my writing team, who knows.

For my ROW80 update things haven’t been too hot. I worked on an actualy WIP this morning and when I entered in my word count in my excel spreadsheet is said I wrote 1600 words. I have a feeling I didn’t do that many today and that I might have written on another day and can’t remember and didn’t enter the wc but at this point I’m taking that as a win and marking today being done. I have to get ready for my son’s speech therapy shortly.

I haven’t worked out, yet. I have done the social media goals and blogging goals. I have been better about trying to accomplish more each day (Twitter and Facebook still are big time wasters. But in my defense, I think I enter a time warp whenever I log on.) I’ve been organizing my home and paring down like a fool.

A big thing I am having a hard time with (but also not a hard time with which is part of the problem) in writing is this serial I started last Wednesday. I’ve gotten some really great feedback about it and I have to say that it has opened me up to some writing techniques that I felt I lacked before. Mainly, droning on about things trying to fill space and word counts. In the serial, which I’ve made each post between 500-1200 words, things have to happen. I can’t have 600, 900, 1200 words of nothing. It’s boring. Descriptions have to be short. Feelings have to be portrayed in a few words instead of paragraphs of prose. There is minimal dialogue since she’s recapping  her day, so each word uttered has to matter, has to push the story forward. But it still has to flow, make sense, be complete and interesting since each “episode” is read unto itself with lots of real life human time between them.

I have to have something for the reader to want to come back to.

But it’s taking up a lot of brain space. I haven’t been able to work on any WIP’s because I’m constantly thinking of what is going to happen next. I wrote over 1200 words on Sunday and Tuesday another 1300. This is keeping with my 750 words 4x a week goal but not on my work in progress. I’m really having a good time with this though. The excitement I’m getting in feedback is reverberating with me. I think the anticipation of what’s to come -with other’s going along with me- makes the serial just that much more interesting to write. It won’t go on forever though, I already have a rough idea of where the story is going but I haven’t outlined it other than in my head. I’m trying to stay detached from the outcome so that much of what happens is a surprise for me as well.

If you’ve ever thought of doing something like this, I highly recommend it. I just wish my WIP’s didn’t suffer so.

If you haven’t read my serial and are interested, I created it’s own page where you can read each post chronologically all together. Just click on Faylinn’s Chronicles at the top. Tomorrow there’s another episode coming out which will get added after it’s published.

That’s it for me today. Where are you with your goal? Have you gotten side tracked?