No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth…

I got a new day job.

The good news is it keeps me busy.

The bad news is it keeps me busy.

But I am slowly making progress on the edits from the coach I hired.  Key word: slowly

But even slow progress is better than none.  So I’ll keep trying to fit in time to write – scratch that.

I will make time to write (revise) and I will finish this book.

Just don’t hold your breath.  I’m not ready for that level of responsibility yet.

Sitting Pretty

Okay, here we are, the day before my (second) self-imposed deadline, and I’m sitting pretty – pretty close to finishing!  I worked hard to wrap up some stuff this morning, then knocked out some small stuff this afternoon like making sure chapters were about even and numbered correctly, fixed the places I had marked with questions, and re-worked some rough spots.

Tomorrow I need to finish a scene and submit the query and then I’m DONE!!!

Well, and send it to a couple of beta readers and work in their feedback, but I’ll be done enough to start working on the next one.

Have I mentioned this book has been my WIP for the past seven years?

I probably shouldn’t mention it, but it’s the truth.

Can I just say I will never work on a book this long again?

Can you please hold me to it?  🙂


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!

I’ll be here all week

I have been here all week.  Maybe not here, here.  But writing.  I got up early every day this week to write, plus last Sunday and several hours today and it feels GREAT!

Not just because I feel like real progress is happening in the WIP, but because I kept the promise to myself.   My goal last Sunday was to write every day and I did it.  Yay me!

It helped knowing I have been putting my goals out here where anyone can see it and hold me accountable (not that anyone is, but you could start any time!).  I hate letting people down, so if you’re out there lurking, leave me a comment and let me know you’re checking on me.   🙂

I’m setting the same goal for this week: write every day.  I have a beta reader waiting for this book which is also helping prod me along.  If it takes a village, then I’m creating a village by making as many people as possible expect me to finish this book by 12/31/14.

I might even tell my family.  *gasp*

And my point is….

The reason I started this blog was to hold myself accountable – to have you, my non-existent readers, hold me accountable to daily writing.  I modeled the idea after Nony on A Slob Comes Clean who figured out that talking about, planning, and making schedules for cleaning her house didn’t get her house clean.  She actually had (has) to do it.

Same with writing.  I actually have to do it.  I think about my story all the time.  I write notes to myself, talk to myself in the car, the shower.  But that’s not writing.  Heck, I’ve been thinking about this story for years.  Seven to be exact.  Well, it will be seven in December.  SEVEN YEARS!!!!

That is ridiculous.  I “wrote” two books books before this one and I’ve started another one since I’ve been working on this one, but none of those are actually finished.  They are third or fourth or tenth drafts that still lack elements of a story.  They were learning books.

I want to finish a book.  Get it so that it’s ready to send to an editor, an agent.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  I know that.  But it has to be a complete story.  I’m close on this one.  I have been learning craft and structure and I’m close.  I just have to get to the end.  The real end.

And so for over a week I’ve been writing/working  for at least 30 minutes every day.  Sometimes more, but so far, never less.  I will continue this until this book is finished.  Keeping in mind the goal I set earlier this week that I will be done by the end of 2014 and will query in January 2015.

Thanks for your assistance in helping me meet this goal.  Just being accountable is making me work.  Weird, but I’ll take it.

Effort counts

Once again I almost didn’t post, but because I worked, I made an extra effort to let you know.  I wrote another 588 words on the revised scene this morning.  Granted, some of those words were from the original, but it’s still progress and I’m counting it.

I”m not sure how much time I will get tomorrow, but I’ve worked every day for six days, so you can bet I’ll get at least 30 minutes in.  Thanks mostly to you.  It may sound weird, but writing these posts really does help me feel like someone’s checking up on me.

Hope everyone had a safe Halloween, and that you have a great weekend!

Thank you, accountants!

I wasn’t going to post tonight.  I’m tired and want to go to bed.  But I worked today and wanted to report it, even though there’s probably no one out there yet actually checking.  So, thank you in advance for holding me accountable.

I worked for about 45 minutes this morning editing one scene and starting a re-write on another.  I made notes on the story problem I’ve been working on and talked through more details on my commute to the day job.  That’s good thinking/brainstorming time.  I use the Dragon Dictation app to send notes to myself.  Love that I can be productive while sitting in traffic!

I have a few more things to do on the website, but I am putting them off until the weekend so I can use my limited weekday time for writing/planning.  Working a little bit every day really is making a difference.  Also, knowing I have to sit my butt down in the chair and do it because I’ve put it out there is helping quite a bit, too.

Oh, did I mention the website’s not up yet?

I bought this domain almost a year ago.  Last week I finally bought hosting.  Today I decided I really needed to get this ball (book) rolling, so I set up the site and wrote my first post.  I haven’t, however, figured out how to publish the darn thing so it can actually be viewed on the web.   Shhhh… don’t tell me that no one’s actually checking up on me yet.

My report for today:  I wrote for 30 minutes, but it’s actually editing, so I don’t have a good word count.  Need to figure out a good way to track that.

I also did some brainstorming on an issue I’m having with the story, so that was time well spent.

Tomorrow I plan to write for at least 30 minutes in the morning, and at lunch I plan to figure out how to publish my newly created website so all you “accountants” can keep me accountable.

See you tomorrow!