Showing posts with label Schedule. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schedule. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All Aboard! (*cue maniacal laughter and intro music*)

November is here, and even though I'm not a ticketed passenger aboard the NaNo Crazy Train, I am inspired to set challenging goals for myself.  I have Stephen King to thank, as absurd as that sounds.  His book On Writing has lit a bonfire under my writer's ass.  (Seriously, if you haven't read that book, you're missing out.  Here's the Amazon link: To The Best Writing Book on the Craft...EVAH.)

King isn't the only successful writer to advocate a daily writing schedule, and I adopted the practice over a year ago.  My problem has been considering blog post writing part of that goal.  Some days, if I'm being completely honest, the only writing I accomplish is on my blog.  That will change this month.

Starting this past Monday, I no longer consider writing on my blog part of my daily writing practice.  Per Mr. King's advice, I pledge to write between 1000 and 2000 words a day OF MY MANUSCRIPT.  In On Writing, King talks about two catagories of daily writing: "With the Door Closed" and "With the Door Open."

In November, I'll be writing with the door closed.

What he refers to by "writing with the door closed" is how (he suggests) a writer should pen the first draft.  The door to your writing space is closed; the phone is unplugged/off; the Internet is closed -- no Blogger/Twitter/FaceBook/email/  No matter what, you sit down to write and you don't stop before you've met your word count goal.

Now, some may not agree with this method.  We all work differently, and there's no right or wrong way to approach your craft.  But my goal for the month of November is to re-establish productive daily writing habits, and I'm riding my tidal wave of On Writing inspiration.  So far, I've had success.  On Monday I wrote 1467 words, and yesterday I wrote 2150.  Today, I'm shooting for 2000.

Incidentally, "writing with the door open" refers to the revision/edit phase of a MS when, according to Stephen King, it's time to show some of your work to a small group of beta readers.  I part company with King's philosophy on this point.  (He's probably right, mind you.  But I have my reasons...)  I plan to continue sharing my rough, first draft work with Jessica, my awesome critique partner.  At least for this, my first novel, I appreciate the feedback she gives me and the "deadlines" we stick to in exchanging our work.  That, too, is keeping me on track.

I still plan to write occasional blog posts, but I won't be sticking to my regular MWF schedule.  I probably won't be able to comment on your posts as often, either.  I think November is the best month to relax the blog schedule, since so many of you purchased your NaNo tickets this year.  I think we'll all be ready to meet back here in December, right?

So, happy writing to all of you.  Best of luck meeting your daily work count goals, and remember to schedule in and enjoy your downtime with family and friends.  Drink water throughout the day, especially if you're like me and slug down more than your daily recommended dose of caffeinated coffee.  And write, write, write!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is it just me...?

...or was my handbag smiling at me?

Or maybe all this writing I'm doing is blurring the lines between reality and imagination. (I love when that happens!)

Anyhow, I wanted to ask anyone stopping by to help me welcome two awesome writers to the blog-o-sphere. Even though I haven't met either face-to-face (yet!), Mara, Adriana and I have been friends for the past couple years, enjoying each other's fiction and supporting each other as we hone our crafts.  They are wildly talented writers and all-around great people, and I know you'll love them too!

Mara McBain's blog is Mara's Musings
Adriana Noir's blog is  ~*Ink in Faded Hues*~

Pop over and say hello (...and why not follow...? :D)

Hope your week is off to an inspired start!  On this week's To-Do list I've got reading/critiquing Jess's chapters, working on chapter seven of my WiP, and writing a short story entry for the contest of which I'm a finalist.  What are your goals this week?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tick, Tock, Write a Lot

Just when I think life can't get any busier, I succumb to the urges of my sisters' long-standing, near-failed campaign to get me on FaceBook.  Reconnecting with my family at last week's funeral and baptism melted my resolve like ice cream in Georgia sun, and I can't seem to get enough of them.  Plus, I'm finding my college sorority sisters, who I haven't chatted with since before my Peace Corps years.  Okay, I admit it: I'm loving FB.  (Let the ridicule begin.)

It's never been more important than now to schedule my time, so that the writing rope I've been swinging on doesn't fray and snap.  Jessica Bell (The Alliterative Allomorph) to the rescue!  Jessica and I are newly formed critique partners, and I'm ecstatic about our partnership.  I've read some of her fiction and her poetry, and I "get" her. Probably because I write like her.  Our styles are similar, our preferred genres are in the same family, and our positions along our journeys are comparable.  (Except she's "more published" than I am :D)

We've discussed how much we can read/critique at a time and set up a regular schedule when we'll swap chapters.  This is good for me on so many levels.  First, it gives me much-needed deadlines.  I've always worked most efficiently and effectively with a looming deadline.  Second, it propels me into the revision stage with the chapters I've written, while pushing me to write the chapters I've outlined but haven't reached yet.  Since this is my first experience with a writing project of this magnitude, I've tried to listen to the advice of many successful authors and pen the entire first draft, before beginning the revision process.  But in all honesty, I don't think that's the best approach, for me.  I reach a certain point and just can't seem to move forward, for want of revising the early plot and character groundwork that isn't right (enough) for later chapters.

And, did I mention how excited I am to start reading Jessica's book??  I know the premise and have read excerpts.  Her characters are authentic and people I want to cheer on, my kind of people with tormenting inner conflicts and a support system that contributes to their problems more than helps them through.  She's brilliant, and if you don't follow her blog yet, here's the link again *wink* --->  The Alliterative Allomorph

In addition to my new writing schedule, I'm going to schedule time in every day for social networking and housework (in that order, LOL).  Otherwise, I'll sit here and converse on FB and tweet and read blogs, all day long.  Which I'd love to do, of course, but Overcome isn't going to write itself, is it?

What about you?  How do you schedule your time?  Do your writing/crit partners play a role in how you manage your time?  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In Ten, Nine...

I leave for France in nine days, and counting.  I'm going to share a slice of my vacation adventures with you!

On June 17, the day before I leave, I will announce a contest for One Significant Moment at a Time followers, old and new.  The prize?  Something cool I pick up in France!  I'll be on the lookout for interesting, regional souvenirs, things that represent la France but which are impossible to buy here in the States.  Both my State-side and international follower-friends are eligible to win.  Be sure to check in on the 17th for full details!

I haven't written a word for my WiP in a couple weeks.  However, I have printed all the chapters and organized them in a ring binder, along with a copy of the outline and blank pages for notes.  After a little break from the project, I'll have fresh eyes when I read it over on the plane.  I won't be editing, but brainstorming ideas on how to make the story stronger and outlining future chapters.

My daily writing has taken on the form of entries for a two-week long creative writing contest at  The contest is called "15 For 15" and runs from June 3rd to June 17th (finishes up just in time for my trip!).  Each day for fifteen days the contest judge posts a photo prompt.  Contestants are challenged to write off-the-cuff for exactly fifteen minutes, producing a flash fiction piece, vignette, poem, song, letter, article, etc. based on the image.

Timed writing is a wonderful way to stretch my writing muscles, and believe me, fifteen minutes is not long when you're trying to get a cohesive piece of work finished. Once I've posted my daily entry, I love reading all the entries by the other contestants.  It's fascinating how many interesting and creative directions writers take with the identical prompt.  (Should you be interested, here is a link to my collection of entries.)

My writing goals have also included preparing a series of blog entries that I'll schedule to post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while I'm away.  Each post looks at a facet of French culture and discusses the most jarring differences with American life, which caused me culture shock when I lived there.  I'm having a blast writing them, and I hope you'll enjoy reading them.  And -- they will play into the contest I'm announcing on the 17th!

How have you been tweaking your writing schedule to adjust to summer vacation plans?  Have you packed your journal yet? :D