Category: goals

Sundays are for Writing #4

Four straight weeks talking about writing on Sunday! I’m really proud of that streak. Really. It seems that for the past couple of years, all I’ve talked about here is books and book reviews, without time or room for anything else. But writing is where my heart truly lies. I’ve made it a priority this year, and the affirmation of that is in these weekly posts.

This week was an excellent writing week:  I wrote four different days (I don’t write on my three long work days—we’re talking 12+ hours—because I’m just mentally and physically exhausted after those early, long days) this week, and my goal is 750 words in each writing session.

Nailed it. Which means I wrote 3,000 words this week! This makes me very happy. Years ago, I remember writing 10k in a single day—more than once—for NaNo, but that was years ago, pre-stroke. So, very happy with my 750 words a day…and they are just flowing, which is even better!

I haven’t been able to work on my HTWAN lessons this week, but I’m about to go do that right now. So:  3,000 words for the week!

Happy writitng!

Sundays are for Writing #3

I think the accountability of posting here ever week is keeping me motivated to make progress of some sort in my writing ever week. At least…it’s worked for three weeks straight now, so I’ll take it.

Tuesday, I worked my way through lesson 5 of HTWAN. I completed the worksheets, but I wasn’t super happy with my answers. I wrote 1,000 words or so on the accompanying draft, but the world just wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t making me happy.

Thursday, I opened the 3,000 words I had written for the original story idea and read through it. I was much, much happier with that draft. The flow felt more natural. Less stilted. So, I decided to return to my original story idea, and the Muse was happy with that plan.

Yesterday and today I wrote an easy 500 words both days. I still have only the fuzziest of ideas where the story is going—and I could easily be wrong—but the easy Southern fiction voice feels right.

Sundays are for Writing #2

Look at me:  for the second Sunday in a row I’m talking about writing! Yay for New Year’s goals that last longer than a week…

The truth is, I haven’t started actually writing this story yet. But I’ve completed five weeks’ worth of worksheets for Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Novel Class, and now I have an actual idea (or three) of what this story is about, in addition to knowing more about my characters and the conflicts. (To be fair, what I knew about them before this class was basically zero.)

And I know what my first scene is—along with my second. This story is not about quite what I thought it was, and it will be interesting to see how it develops. I’ll be starting the first draft this week, so here’s to hitting my writing goals…the same week my semester starts.

 

 

 

Looking for Inspiration

Today, I’m looking for something to get me writing. Inspiration, motivation, some kind of cattle prod wired to my chair that zaps me if I get up…. You know, the usual.

I work best under pressure, or with “too much” to do. Something about knowing there are a ton of things that need to be done keeps me focused and allows me to get things accomplished. (A close friend once told me, “You get more done before 9 a.m. than most people do all day!” This is easier if your days routinely start at 3 a.m. I’m just saying…)

My new class—my first journalism class—starts tomorrow, and I’m moderately terrified (likely to upgrade to “completely”.). My job responsibilities changed last week, with the addition of an entire second location to do administrative tasks for. Then there’s the novel I’m writing, the one I’m actively revising, and the one I’m outlining. Not to mention the copywriting class I’m working my way through. And the book reviews that are due or past due. Blogging. I think you see my point.

While this would normally prove super-motivating and really keep me focused and on-task, sometimes, I have to fight a little bit harder to get inspired. (Hence this post instead of my first 500 words of fiction for the day.)

With that in mind, here are four things that might motivate you (and me) to write:

31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing, by Leo Babauta

Inspiration

A Writer’s Inspirations, by Shea

10 Tricks For Getting Inspired to Write, by Jonathan Morrow

 

Fits and Starts

Sometimes, the writing comes easily. Sometimes…it feels like running a marathon with 10-pound weights on each foot:  impossible.

This week, it has been both for me.

I did manage to get at least some words written every day Monday-Thursday, although Tuesday and Thursday only saw a handful, nowhere near my goal. Yesterday, I was mentally done with the week, and I didn’t even try.

Today…it’s been going fairly well. I only have 500 words to go to meet my word count goal for the day…which was initially 0, but since Tuesday and Thursday were barely productive, I knew I needed to make them up today. So, 2,000 words so far today, 500 to go.

Feeling a lot less completely overwhelmed with life and work and school as a result.

What I Read in December

I had a pretty busy reading month in December, with 14 total books read. (I think.)

Masques and Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs. This was on my TBR shelf for FAR too long, I’m ashamed to say. I’ve loved everything by Briggs that I’ve read.

pr-12-murky-pond-188x300

Murky Pond, by T.L Haddix. (Read to review.)

lizzie

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, by Chelsea Sedoti. (Read to review.)

two-days-gone

Two Days Gone, by Randall Silvis. (Read to review.)

You Don’t Know my Name, by Kristen Orlando. (Review forthcoming.)

Beyond Boundaries, by John Townsend. (Spiritual book of the month.)

enveloping-shadows

Enveloping Shadows, by Lauren D.M. Smith. (Read to review.)

lone-wolf

Lone Wolf, by Sarah Driscoll. (Read to review.)

house-of-silence

House of Silence, by Sarah Barthel. (Read to review.)

All Darling Children, by Katrina Monroe. (Review forthcoming.)

dont-tell-anyone

Don’t Tell Anyone, by Eleanor Gray. (Read to review.)

claytonguenov

Clay Tongue, by Nicholas Conley. (Read to review.)

Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. (As a classic, and also for my 2016 goal of reading it, again, finally. For probably the 25th time.)

Anyone read anything good lately?

Check out Anne’s post over on Modern Mrs. Darcy for some great book recs!

 

 

How I Did in 2016…and Goals for 2017

happy-2017

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had/is having a good holiday weekend.

This is, of course, the obligatory re-hash of my 2016 goals, as well as a public declaration of my goals for 2017.

In 2016, my goals were:

Writing:

1) Finish Witches HTRYN. Didn’t happen. I started work on it, and realized that I have to re-write the story from scratch (mostly).

2) Finish 1st draft of Siren Song. Done! (More or less.)

3) Finish 1st draft of The Fall.   Nope. I did write some of it, but not much.

4) Start Camelot  Done! (To the tune of 1 chapter, a sort-of prologue, and some brainstorming.

5) Revise Casting Shadows. Didn’t even look at it.

6) Finish copyediting classes and make X dollars at it per month. Also no, although I did work on the classes some.

7) Have 500 followers on this blog. Only up to 314.

8) Have 200 followers on my personal blog. Only up to 199.

Reading:

1) Read Gone with the Wind. Done!

2) Read 1 book per month from my TBR shelf. Done!

3) Read all books on the reading list for my American Women Writers class (8 total). Done!

4) Read one classic per month. Done!

5) Read one book of poetry. Done!

6) Read 2 books per month to review. Done!

7) Read one inspirational book per month. Done!

8) Read 75 books total. Done! Actually, I read 128 books—WAY over my goal—which I’m pretty happy about. You can check out my books on the 2016 Goodreads challenge here.

Goals for 2017

Writing:

1) Finish draft of The Fall.

2)  Finish draft of Camelot.

3)  Finish Witches revision.

4)  Self-pub something or find agent.

5)  Revise Chasing Shadows.

6)  Publish/sub Chasing Shadows.

7) Do/win NaNo (with the Southern Fic story).

Reading

1)  Read one book per month set in a different culture or by an author from a different culture.

2)  Read 100 books.

3)  Read one classic per month.

4) Read one spiritual book per month.

5) Review 5 books per month.

6) Read one book from TBR pile every other month.

7)  Read Battlefield Earth.

NaNo: Week 2 Update

writer
I do not own this image. But it’s so true, right?

I kind of forgot to post an update yesterday, so this is a day late (and a dollar short).

Current word count:  24,257. Almost halfway done.I feel this word count is more impressive if you also know that I’ve written 4,000 words each of the last 3 days.

Current mental status:

writing-cat
I don’t own this image, either, but can we talk about the slightly manic look on this cat’s face? SO. ACCURATE.

 

NaNo: Week 1 Update

With the first calendar week of NaNo over, I thought I I’d give a brief update:  I’ve written 10, 272 words so far. That’s more than I’ve written in a week in probably 5 years! I’m happy with my progress, and eager for more.

Over-commitment?

So…I’ve decided to do NaNo next month for the first time since 2012.

Yes, I have a full-time job with long, crazy hours. Yes, I go to school, too. Yes, I have a 5k to train for in 2 weeks, a 10k in 5 weeks, and a half-marathon in February. Yes, I have 2 blogs to maintain and I write book reviews for My Trending Stories.

What’s your point?

I participated in—and won—NaNo 5 years in a row, from 2007-2011. I started NaNo in 2012, but depression hit me hard, and I abandoned it (along with practically everything else). I found that barely-started story (about 35 pages of it) last year and did not even remember writing it. (But I was pretty impressed!)

When I had mostly conquered my depression (May 2013), I wanted to get back to my normal life. Then I had a stroke on June 1st. I spent the next 6 months in a haze of exhaustion, recovery, and adaptation as I came to terms with my new normal after almost dying.

I didn’t write a thing for over a year.

Slowly, I’ve gotten back into writing, but I miss the adrenaline-fueled rush of NaNo, so I’m giving it a shot next week.

Guess which story I’m going to finish? Yep. The one I started during my last NaNo.