Day 7: Goals and Establishing a Routine

Dec09WM7Well, it’s the end of Week One for our December 2009 Writing Marathon. Today, I ask you to reflect on your goals and see how you’re doing. Did you write a lot? Not enough? Did you end up doing penance like I did for your lack of writing?

Admittedly, I didn’t get a lot done out of the gate. Why? Well, partially because Week One for me was about getting back into a well-balanced routine. The tricky thing, though, was that I was pretty far behind on my housework. (Six months behind.) Not to mention, December decided to sound the Winter trumpet with colder temperatures and snow — just last week it was fifty degrees!

You see, I find that I’m more productive when I have a clean house, a decent workspace and a creative hobby. Why? Well, when I have these things I’m no longer distracted by “the things I should be doing” because they are already done. Once the house is already clean, I find I write more. Then, when I do get a break off the computer, I already have “something else” to do like learning how to knit or focus on my artwork. This balance definitely has some other benefits, too. (Like decreasing my stress!)

Now that I forced myself to get some of that back log done, this week I’m adding in an additional layer to round out that balance. Today, I start the Couch-to-5K Running Program from

Even though I didn’t get a lot of original writing this past week, I did take stock of what speculative fiction I do have to help me focus what I’m working on. Turns out I have quite a few marketable stories I could revise, and I do have a few other “plans” I can sort out. However, the novel revisions are a big time sink, and they force me to not publish or submit anything new. Going back to the whole “I typically write-for-hire” conversation, that’s pretty scary to me. After all, if I disappear from a publishing schedule for six months, would you still remember my author name?

Still, the time for asking questions about where I’m at in my career is over. It’s time to get serious.

Original Goal: Revise a little bit every day, average about three chapters a week.
Week One Summary: Figured out how to incorporate back story and cut exposition without having to rewrite novel. Wrote four days, revised most of the first chapter.

And so, I begin Week Two.

Day 3: Oh, How the Unexpected Thrills Me. How About You?

Dec09WM3How’s everyone doing so far? We’re barely out of the gate, and already I’ve had an interesting couple of days. I think gremlins have invaded my home. While I haven’t made a ton of progress yet, I’m still doing my due diligence and trying to get back into a routine. Translation? No filing yet. Hoo-ray for me!

Here’s my account of the first, few days. I have to warn you, please don’t call the grammar police. This was written in a very stream-of-consciousness sort of a way. Don’t want a ticket for bad verb agreement.

Day One: Cats decided to wake me up by having an epic “CLASH OF THE TITANS” battle on my belly at 6:00 a.m. I am dragging and can’t focus, so decide to get a few work-related things out of the way so I can take a peek at my schedule. With a “return-to-the-gym” visit tonight and edits on a nonfiction project, looks like I’ll need to write for ARGENTUM during my lunch hour at work. In the morning, I focus my efforts on getting everything ready for the day and knock out a rough outline for work before heading in. Writing during my lunch hour seems manageable enough; provided I force myself away from the computer for a few minutes. Fortunately, I have plotted out a well-paced outline for the book which will help me revise things a bit easier. Shoot, I’m not going to even bother tracking word count for non-fiction, etc.

Unfortunately, the writing over the lunch hour isn’t manageable. Exhausted, I know I won’t get to the gym so I decide to take a brief walk outside. I realize that it’s probably better if I work out during my lunch hour when I can, because I need the break away from the computer.

So…looks like I’ll have to wait until I get home. Crap. I really don’t want to do paperwork tonight so I’m going to force myself to sit down for an hour after I work on a different project. Remind self to give cats a sedative tomorrow. This six hours of sleep business really sucks.

Fortunately, I opened the file. I looked at the file. I started rewriting the file. But that’s about as far as I got before I called it a day.

Day Two: Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE HATE ME? The coffeemaker has decided to stage a revolution. Apparently I need more fiber because it’s got “a few” grounds in it. Joy of joys. Well, I’m up so I’m going to work on my non-fiction project this morning and make some more headway on that. Work has been extremely busy, especially with the holidays right around the corner. Got home. Want to crawl back into bed. End up writing instead. Unfortunately, the internet has decided to voluntarily take a vacation so I don’t get much non-fiction stuff done. End up refocusing on ARGENTUM. Bugged about the back story and the pacing.

Day Three: Cats decide to have a freak out all morning long and tumble all over the place. Looks like crappy filters might be the cause of coffee pot woes. Hopefully. Internet still out. Grrrrrrr… I stare longingly at a DVD rack and decide to put in an episode of Charmed for fashion-filled background noise while I work on ARGENTUM. (Cheesy acting = great background noise.) Figure out back story still works, just need to cut down on the emo-ness of the main character. Needs more handcuffs. Depending upon how tonight goes, may get back into it.

Hrmm…maybe the mornings really are the best time to write for me.

To be continued…

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