Steps

Step 1.  Set a goal

I’m going to start the year working on my goal for Book 2.  My goal for the year is to submit it get a contract (thinking BIG!).

Btw, Book 2 is not related to Book 1.  Just so you know.  🙂

Step 2.  Make a plan

To get a contract I need to first write the book.  To write the book I need to know the story I want to tell.  I have already worked through a lot of the figuring-out-the-story part, but to actually tell the story I need to sit my butt in the chair and write.

So my plan is to sit my butt in the chair to write at least 4 times a week.  With extended time on Saturdays.

Step 3. Start

I have a set a goal tracker to track 4 times per week.  Because I know myself, and recognize that I could easily use this blog to distract myself from actual writing time, I will update progress here weekly.  I’m thinking Sunday evenings (even though it’s Monday evening now – but I’m still on holiday time!).

See you in a week!

Looking Ahead to 2018

2018 starts tomorrow.

That blows my mind. Where does the time go?

Family, chores, work, church, sleep, writing – although if I wrote than in order of actual time used it would be:  Work, sleep, chores, church, family, writing.

Which is kinda sad.

I heard recently that your priorities are where you spend you time.  So, if I intend to be a writer, I seriously need to re-prioritize my life.  Also, I should add commuting in here, but my commuting time is actually useful as I listen to audio-books or podcasts, or sometimes just jam to uplifting music that speaks to my soul.

For 2018, my goals are:

  1. Finish The Book (the one that has taken a lot of this blog’s time)
  2. Finish the second book.

That’s it.  Or at least all I’m tracking here.  But I need to break it down into steps that will help me achieve them.   And make sure my priorities are in line.

Ready, set, go!

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!*

*As said in the voice of a commercial announcer.

Confession time.  I did not edit 20 pages yesterday.  Also, I did not post here  🙁  I did do 11 pages, though, so at least I met my basic goal, which was 10 pages per day all week.  I got through about 135 total from last Sunday to Saturday – almost double my goal.  Pretty happy with that!

Today I rocked it again and got through about 49 pages.  A lot of this has been edited multiple times, just going through one last time.  I’ll probably have another pass-through since I still have two more scenes to write, then a few loose ends to tie up.

The end is in sight!

My goal for tomorrow is to finish the scene I’m almost done with, then start another one.  I’d like to have at least 3 new pages by the end of the day.  I plan to get up early and to work at lunch, unless I end up going to the store.  New words are hard for me but being in the flow of the story should help.

See you tomorrow!

Things I have learned

It’s 2015.  I have not yet finished the book.  I have, however, learned some things in the past couple of months that will help me finish it by 1/20/15.  This date is not arbitrary; it was pre-determined by the date of my local RWA chapter’s meeting.

Here are the things I’ve learned:

1.  Being public about my goal really does help me.

2.  I should have kept updating the blog daily, too.

3.  I suck at writing through the holidays, and I need to improve in this area.

4.  It’s okay to take a break as long as you get back to work.

5.  Write first, do everything else after.

I’m sure there were other lessons, such as “Have Desk, Will Travel” and “Close the Curtains” but I’ll save those for another day.

The theme for today is write daily.  When I started this blog at the end of October 2014, I wanted to use it in the style of Nony on “A Slob Comes Clean” – basically throwing myself and my problem (not sticking to my daily writing) out there and making myself accountable.

For a while I did that, but then I started feeling like I needed to make the blog more meaningful (to other people) so I would feel more comfortable marketing it and therefore get more people here to hold me accountable.  But that’s not what I started it for.  Yes, I plan to get there eventually, but for now, I really need this to be all about my struggle to set this habit and write daily.  So, to answer Lessons 1 and 2, I will be updating the blog daily (or as often as I write) again, until I get this habit set.

For Lesson 3, thank goodness the holidays are over and I can get back to my regular life.  Have you heard the adage that busy people get more done?  I didn’t believe it at first, but it’s true.  And even though I had already learned this once,  I had to learn it again.  I am most productive when my schedule is full.  If I have to work 8 hours a day, plus do all the mom things, I still get more writing done than if I have TWO weeks off work and just have to get together with family and get ready and through Christmas and New Year’s.

As for Lesson 4, I’m really good at taking a break.  Not so good at getting back to work (on writing, that is).  My plan for this area is to set a timer to work and a timer for a break.  That way I can’t get endlessly distracted by laundry or dishes or cats and their never-ending supply of fur, and will get back to work when it’s time.  I didn’t even mention games or Twitter or Facebook.  Maybe I shouldn’t use the timer on my phone….

Finally, as I’ve mentioned before here, write first, and do everything else later.  I’ve already messed this up by writing this post first, but now I’m getting to work on the book.  I have to get through at least 10 pages of editing today. I’ll check in when I’m done.

Happy 2015 to all of you.  I hope you are setting goals, making resolutions, taking the lessons you learned in 2014 and putting them to good use in the coming year.  If not, get to work!

Celebrate with me

Whew!  Had a fantastic day today!

I met a friend for writing time and set a goal to get at least a net change of 800 new words and I did it!

I know you’re probably thinking 800 words?  That’s all?  But that’s an overall increase of 800 words to the ms during revision.  It includes all the words I took out.  Which I didn’t count, because that would probably depress me.

Instead I’m thrilled that I set a goal and reached it!

Don’t forget to vote Tuesday!

Checking in tonight with a reminder to go vote tomorrow if you haven’t done it already.

I worked for about 45 minutes this morning and made more good progress.  I’m going to have to start spending more time, though, and making some tough revision decisions.  Ugh.

I set a goal tonight to finish this WIP by 12/31/14 – if not before.  I will start querying in January 2015.

There.  I said it.