Sunday, January 22, 2012

ROW80 Sunday Update

This portion of the week got eaten up by kerfuffle. This past week, though, was really the first week on this new schedule in terms of the Day Job. I still had some commitments backed up on me. (For instance I have a guest post coming up Monday at Pat Stoltey's blog -- a look at character generation and where George and Karla came from.)

And along comes Saturday, just as fast as last week. I decided that what I really needed to do on that first Saturday session each week was not to get the book in order, but to get ME in order. (Notes on what I figured out are below the update.)

A Round Of Words In Eighty Days Update:

Wednesday, Day 17 - 15 minutes. I did a little sketching, but spent most of the evening writing a guest post which was late. (I had a number of rough drafts but NONE of them interested me, so I did something from scratch. Let's see if the host likes it.)

Thursday, Day 18 - 60 minutes. Foodling with pictures. Not much, though, because I wanted to get some blog posts done. I feel like I'm not blogging well, though.

Friday, Day 19 - 61 minutes. I didn't do art or design work. I blogged some, and I decided to put that on the clock on my Wed-Fri non-writing times. I also got some things ready for a guest post, and I did some brainstorming.

But I'm going to spend the rest of the night reading.

Saturday, Day 20 - 101 minutes. Got my head together, but it was late before I really got writing. Then I had to sort out a bit of a mess in the story that I left as I finished up last week. But all is going well. Mick gets an idea, and heads for the newspaper office. I am debating whether he and Casey will get yet another small job -- and what that will lead to.

The things I realized this afternoon:

1.) I have a new big goal. Not one that affects the challenge, but the one over-arching goal for the all of it. I want to write a whole rough draft novel every quarter.

I may not be able to achieve that this year. It depends on how fuzzy my brain is and now many distractions. But I think I can move my habits toward that goal.

I have two things in mind to help get here:

  • Finish the draft of Devil In A Blue Bustle by March 11
  • Leave at least an entire quarter for prepping the draft for publication.

Item two can help with item one. This is for both obvious and unobvious reasons. Taking more time in prepping the manuscript allows you to "dare to be bad" as DWS says. But more important, once the manuscript is ready, I have a tendency to crowd out other things as I rush to get the dang thing formatted and write blurbs and edit and all that. If I force myself to wait, those things become less urgent and less distracting. I can force them to stay in their little fenced in Wednesday Through Friday territory, and keep my regular schedule with writing the rest of the week.

With my new schedule, I can keep myself from being distracted, and I can write faster. At least in theory.

2.) My blogging brain is falling apart. I noticed this earlier, actually. Lately when I sit down to write a blog post, especially if it's about something that really matters to me -- like craft posts -- I blather incoherently. (No, I haven't been posting those. If you have noticed any incoherence lately, that was after much rewriting. I am rather unhappy with how my Stuart Kaminsky post turned out, for instance.)

My problem, I think, is focus. I am focused on fiction writing, and I can only seem to do a good job with non-fiction when I'm reacting to a question or statement. (That's what I do all day long at the day job, so I find it really easy to come up with an extemporaneous post on subjects people ask about. If I need to, I'll put out a call for questions.)

The result of this is that I've had an easier time posting about the writing business than I have with writing about craft and story -- even though I'm bored with the writing business, and craft and story are closer to my heart.

So as much as I want to go back to a full posting schedule, I'm going to stick to a twice a week (other than updates) posting schedule for a while longer. On Tuesdays, I'll keep up my "writing as a job" posts, and on Fridays I'll do a review or a craft discussion. I will fold my art posts into the Sunday updates for a while.

When I get past this point, I want to post on four subjects: Art/Branding, Writing Life/Business, Writing Craft, Reviews/Interviews. Not going to happen yet, though.

So watch Tuesday for the post about money, and then Wednesday to see how this great new vision affects my writing week.

See you in the funny papers.


David Michael said...

I used to make goals related to blogging. Now, I just blog whatever's on my mind. No real schedule to it, so I might have a week with 5 posts followed by a week with only my writing progress report. My (now closed) Joe Indie blog started out as a blog for "teaching" indie game development, but evolved through the years to be about indie software business, indie lifestyle, and about whatever I was working on at the moment (game or otherwise). Guns & Magic these days looks about the same, but with a writing bent instead of a software development bent. What happened for me was that once I had written about a topic, I considered that topic "done". That's also how I learned I probably wouldn't cut it as a freelance journalist/topic writer. I just don't like repeating myself, even in slightly different ways. I'm trying to get past that. ;-)


MSBjaneB said...

I can so relate to the blogging issue. I decided to add a simple widget to mine over the weekend and had to spend 3 hours undoing the mess. I have found my blog posts are seriously lacking in words with more than two syllables as well. Great job on your goals!

Tracy McCusker said...

I hear you about the blogging Camille. My blogging brain operates only on days when I do only blogging / non-fiction frittery work (like email proposals, review blurbs, etc). If the lights are coming on for more blog posts, then the light blogging schedule is definitely the way to go.

I'm no unbiased party, but I'm ready to cheer you along on the "write a rough draft every quarter" big goal. That would be outstanding!

The Daring Novelist said...

My problem with blogging is not that I have to push myself to do it, but rather I have to hold myself back. I could do nothing but blog all day. I have six or seven blogs (all but this one on hiatus at the moment).

Heck, when I listed all the things I wanted to do on my blog, I forgot the one I wanted to do most: start posting stories again!

My problem is that I can't do it well while concentrating on my fiction. And the fiction comes first.

Jane: oh, futzing with the template is such a wonderful time sink! Blogs are like pets and children.

Tracy: I don't know if I can do it this year, but it's a place I need to get to. Four books a year would allow me to keep making up new stories, rather than get so far behind as I am now.

Julie Glover said...

It's fascinating to me how setting writing goals and evaluating progress illuminates things about ourselves. We learn about our processes and how we work best. I also maintain a twice weekly blog schedule. Now and then, I think about adding a third day, but quality rather than quantity is more important to me, and I just can't get in a third day and still meet my other goals.

You're doing well with the ROW80. Keep writing and have a great week!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Julie. Have a good week yourself!