Tag Archives: 1K-a-Day

Magical Unrealism

I have a problem and I really have no idea how to solve it.

I have a tendency to overestimate myself as far as what I can accomplish in any given day/week/month/year/lifetime.

This results in me overbooking and overextending and over-committing myself.

And that results in nothing getting done. (Due, in part, to my “all or none” mentality that makes it hard for me to just chip away at big projects little by little.  I’m working on changing that one, but anyway…)

The above has led to my current backlog that I need to work my way out of.

What is said backlog?

Well…

Two Pocket Letters that are unfinished but overdue.

Two Pocket Letters that aren’t started but is overdue.

One Pocket letter that isn’t started but has no sharp due date.

Three Pocket Letters that are barely started and due soon.

Unknown number of Pocket Letters (I think six or so) that aren’t started and are only semi-committed to but are due soon.

Then there’s the upcoming holiday that I am totally unready for.

And crafts.

Starting with way too many started counted cross stitch projects and ones that aren’t started but that I want to do.

And crochet.  (Must stay off of Ravelry.)

And assorted other crafts that I want to work on.  (Like my much neglected dollhouse that I’m remodeling).

And crafts I want to learn: leather-working, wood-burning, beading, jewelry-making, soap making, spinning, wood-carving…

And then there are the writing projects.

Shall I list them?

Yes, I think I shall.

9K owed from September’s 1K-a-Day Challenge.

27K owed from October’s 1K-a-Day Challenge.

10K owed from November’s 1K-a-Day Challenge. (I hit 50K for NaNoWriMo but my personal goal was 60K.)

31K for December’s 1K-a-Day Challenge.

Finish revisions for Onyx Sun so I can get it published.

Finish Hedge House so I can revise and edit it and get it published so my friend Caroline doesn’t fly over from England and stand over me with a scythe.

Finish Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord series so I can edit the series next year and (hopefully) release it in 2017.

Finish Book 2 of The Other Mages trilogy because that’s all part of my very first NaNoWriMo novel and I really want to get it out there.  I owe it to the books to finish the trilogy because that’s what got me started on this madness.

All of the above can be finished by the end of this month, right?

Then there’s the rest of the list.

Finish Lost House.

Finish Guardians of the Abyss.

Finish a novel based on a tabletop RPG a friend is creating.

Write the sequel to Song and Sword.  (Tentative title: Song and Stone.)

Write the sequel to Sanguine.

Write the sequel to Onyx Sun. (Yes, I know it isn’t even out yet.)

Write a spin off to Onyx Sun.

Finish and revise The Sword and the Shield, a paranormal mess that I wrote in November of 2011, the month that I couldn’t decide what to write for NaNoWriMo so I wrote two 50k novels – while working full time, going to school part time, and ML’ing for the first time. (Work and school were in totally different directions, by the way.)

Finish and revise Disturbed Magic, the other mess from 11/2011.

Finish the trilogy without a name and add it to the revise and edit pile.

Finish Sea Witch (tentative title) – a novel that grew from a picture a friend sent me for a writing prompt.

Finish Vishkya, a fantasy novel that I started simply to shut it up – and for catharsis, to purge something from my past.

Expand a flash fiction piece about an angel and a demon into a novel.

Finish a… (I’m not sure what to call the genre) novel that I started ages ago.  (Like most of my stuff it doesn’t have a name.)

Find and finish a novel that I started so long ago that I didn’t have a good storage system so it was printed chapter by chapter on a dot matrix printer.  (I’m pretty sure that it was written in Word Star and the computer didn’t even have a modem.)

And then there’s a folder full of snippety type things.  They’re not really fully developed enough to be considered novels or even valid starts, but they are more than plot bunnies.  There are too many to list individually.

(The more I worked on this list, the more half-remembered, half-started stories came to mind.  There are more – lots more – and now they’re all going to be clamoring for attention too.)

And there is also my “plot bunny bag” that holds slips of papers that hold ideas for stories.  Every once in a while I get brave and dive into it, but that way lies madness.

And, of course, I should be able to get all of those done by the end of next year.

Right?

 

 

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E Is For…

Ennui

Enervation

Energy Crisis

Whatever you want to call it, I have it.

I managed to get basically nothing done on my two days off.  Oh, I cleaned the rat cage and did laundry and sorted decorations and dragged them up from the basement.   And I risked life and limb to drag the box of cards out of the top of my closet.

I did finish one Pocket Letter that was almost done and I started another.  I’m going to rethink my plan on that though.  The ones that are late are already late and have no chance of hitting a deadline, so I’m going to focus on the one that aren’t late and get them out so that they don’t add to the guilt load that is hanging over my head.

Granted, I don’t have much time on work days, but I figure if I do one card insert before work and one after work I’ll at least be moving forward – slowly, perhaps, but still moving.

And I’m going to need to write every day too, even if it’s just a hundred words.  I know my goal was at least 31k this month and preferably 77k but the 77 is definitely not happening and the 31 is looking iffy because I haven’t written a thing all month.  I can still pull it out, but…

But I’m thinking that I might need to revise my goal for the month from writing 31k (and finishing Book 6 of the Academy of the Accord series) to finishing the first draft of Hedge House and the revisions on Onyx Sun.

But I really want to get Book 6 done so I can work on editing the entire series… But as long as I get it done before I get to editing Book 5 it should be all right.

But Hedge House is a lot closer to being done than Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord is, and Onyx Sun is the only thing currently close to being publishable.

And I really need to get something published.

See, I posted this on FaceBook Wednesday night:

“Someone motivate me to do something. Write. Make pocket letters. Set up blog posts. Something!”

And my friends pitched in to help.

One told me “You can procrastinate when you’re dead, woman. Live while you’re alive! Your characters are waiting for you to bring them to life and take them on an adventure!”  I protested that I wasn’t really procrastinating, I was just doing nothing, and she said “Some days you just have to be a lump.”

Another told me “It’s okay to take a few days to do nothing but recharge. It feels weird, though, to do nothing.”

And another threatened to send me “an exploding bag of corgi shed” if I didn’t get productive.  Of course, that would just be a snack for the killer dust bunnies, so I’m not too concerned about that threat.

Another posted this:

muse

But the most helpful response was this one:

“GET THE FUCK WITH IT!!! I want another book!!”

So, yeah… I need to get busy and get something published.

Soon.

Before the killer dust bunnies breed with the killer plot bunnies and…

 

 

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Drained

So, another month has begun, I’ve had two days off, and I’m feeling like a failure because I’ve gotten pretty much nothing done.

Nothing creative, anyhow.

Never mind that Tuesday evening and most of Wednesday were spent in a battle with my digestive system (self-diagnosed mild case of food poisoning) I still feel as if I should have been able to write about 7500 words and decorate for Yule (I did get the decorations out of the back room of the basement) and make half a dozen or so Pocket Letters and…

Yeah.  I do tend to have really unrealistic expectations for myself.

I didn’t organize Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord, either. (I opened the main Word doc, though, does that count as a start?)

And I thought about how to make up for the months that I didn’t hit my 1k a Day goal. (There’s a chart involved.)

But none of those thoughts or plans seemed to make it out of my head and into the real world.

I need to find a way to change that.

I also need to not tie my self worth into my productivity.

It’s good to have goals, and to be focused on reaching them.

But there are times when nothing gets accomplished.

Always have been.  Always will be.

But there are also times when I conquer the world before noon.

Always have been.  Always will be.

I need to remember this, and be gentle with myself when I have days where I do nothing.

It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, or worthless.  It just means my battery is low and I need to recharge.

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I Did It!

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

 

I crawled into bed at 4:30 this morning with another NaNoWriMo win under my belt.  I was so close and so tired and I kept thinking I could finish in the morning or early afternoon before work but I was afraid of computer trouble so I kept on writing.

So, what’s next?

Well, the next first thing is to catch up on the Sunday Snippet blog hop from last week and this past Sunday.  I’ll start that after work tonight and hope to finish it tomorrow.

Then I have some Pocket Letters to focus on and I’m going to hit them hard on my days off this week.

And there’s Onyx Sun to finish the revisions on and release, but I think I’m adding that to next year’s goals, because tomorrow is December 1st so it’s back to the 1K-a-Day Challenge.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to finish Hedge House (I still need to write the big battle and then the final scene) or get back to work on Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord series in hopes of finishing it before the end of the year so I can focus on getting the series edited next year.

I also have to decide what to do with Hedge House.  Right now it has a very sharp break that makes it seem like two different novels, so my options are to either go back and rewrite it so that it follows the original outline (which will give it a smoother transition), or turn it into two books (which will be published together).

But that can wait.  It’s recommended to put some time between writing and revising so you can go back with a fresher eye.

Plus, in addition to the 31k I need for December, I still “owe” about 9k for September (for Book Two of The Other Mages); 27k for October (for Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord);  and 10k for November to hopefully finish Hedge House. (I had a personal goal of 60k for November.)

So, that’s roughly 46k owed to the challenge.  Technically that’s way out of the range of the challenge I set myself, but for some reason I don’t feel like I’ll have completed it without finishing the monthly goals, so I will finish them, although not likely before the end of the year.

Unless, of course, I decide that writing 77,000 words in 31 days while trying to keep up with other things is a good idea…

Which it isn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Procrastination

Can you believe that I’m planning next year’s goals already?  I can’t.

I mean, we still have two months left of this year: there’s no way I should be trying to organize next year’s writing and editing goals.

And yet I found myself doing just that yesterday.  I’d finished my usual morning routine and had caught up on the Sunday Snippets blog hop, so instead of writing or working on an outline, or doing anything else related to the goals still remaining for this year, I started working on making a list and schedule of my goals for next year.

And at some point it dawned on me that I was procrastinating.

“But I’m not,” I argued with myself.  “This is useful stuff that I’m doing.”

Well, yes.  It is useful.  It’s nice to have a list of the things I want to work on and some sort of timetable for getting them done.  But I already have an impossibly long list of things that I need to do by the end of this month.  (I procrastinated more today by making a list of them and figuring out that I need to write 6000 words a day for the rest of the month to make my goal – which, admittedly, will make the 2k a day I want to do next month seem like a short note, but still…)

And that’s the most dangerous kind of procrastination – the kind where you’re doing “useful” stuff – because it doesn’t feel like you’re wasting time so you don’t count it as procrastination.  (Unlike, say, time spent on FaceBook.)

And now it’s time for me to quit procrastinating and go frost the pumpkin bars, which aren’t really procrastination because you can eat them.

 

 

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I Still Have Two Weeks

Okay, so it’s a little over two weeks until NaNoWriMo, but the “I’m not ready!” anxiety has settled in already.  (It’ll get worse before it gets better.)

But there’s no reason for it.  My outline is coming along nicely.  There’s still a lot of work to do on it, but at least now it’s an actual plot instead of just a series of scenes.

I’ve also named a couple more characters and give a last name to a couple more.

And one of my co-workers is being written into it, more or less at her request.

See, there was this spider, and she doesn’t like spiders so she knocked it off the window ledge.

It came back.

So I started teasing her that it was going to haunt her and all of its descendants and friends were going to follow her home and…

And then I said that I was going to have to write a book about someone who killed spiders and faced retribution for it, and she was all thrilled with the idea of being in a book.  (I haven’t seen her since I decided to include her in this one, but I can’t wait to tell her.)

So, my outline is shaping up.  I need to get it printed again, though, so I can make more changes to it, as it’s nowhere near done yet.  There are still a lot of details to work into it, and I still have a few “Should this happen before or after this happens?” things to sort out.

So, NaNoWriMo is coming and I’m almost ready, at least writing-wise.

Beyond that?

That’s another story.

My 1K-a-Day word count is suffering badly this month, even worse than last month.  Part of it is other life things getting in the way.  Part of it is stress (mostly about other life things.) Then there was losing a day and a half to a migraine last week, and this week getting hit with something that was more than a cold but less than the flu.

Ah, well, I still have two weeks, right?

 

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Blame It On The Weather

Well, I didn’t do it.

I didn’t make my word count goal for September.  I tried, and I was doing really well at catching up, but then…

Motivation all sort of washed away in the rain.

That steady, soothing, relaxing rain that tells you to go back to bed and stay there because there’s nothing worth doing anywhere else.

It didn’t get me to go back to bed, but it did lull me into lethargy, drowning all hope of being creative or accomplishing anything.

On a brighter note, though, I did finish Book 7of the Academy of the Accord series.  Or at least, I got it as finished as it can get for a first draft, especially one that’s taking place in the middle of this series.  Once I get the revisions done I’ll be able to tell better what needs to be changed in it. (It’s going to be a major mess, I can tell you that much.)

Finishing it means that I only have one more first draft to finish the series. Sadly, just like Book 7, the start of Book 6 also needs to be untangled from the end of Book 5.  I’m not sure if it’s going to have parts of Book 8 in it or not – I think it might end before that one begins.

But I’m afraid that it is most likely going to require more changes to Book 7.

(You know that plan to edit this next year and publish it in 2017?  It’s starting to look more like 2018.)

So, anyhow, I finished Book 7 and decided to take a bit of a break before tackling Book 6, so I went back to my greatest nemesis: Book 2 of the Other Mages trilogy. (No, it still isn’t finished.  Yes, it will be someday.  Maybe even this month.)

The current plan is that I am going to finish September’s word count.  I’ll work on it in addition to October’s 31k goal, using September to work on (and hopefully finish) Book 2 of The Other Mages, and October’s words to work on Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord.

And, of course, in the midst of all of this is work, getting my outline in shape for NaNoWriMo, two talks and prep sessions for NaNoWriMo, a kick off party for NaNoWriMo, blog posts, weekly Sunday Snippet blog hops, and a bunch of pocket letters to make.

(I finished my first one yesterday and I don’t think it turned out too bad for a first go.  I just hope my swap partner likes it — this is almost as nerve wracking as submitting a novel for publication.)

At that rate, November is going to be a lot more relaxing than October!

 

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Too Much To Do…

… and too little time.

But I have a plan.

I’m behind on my 1K-a-Day Challenge (as in, way far behind, as in I need to write 6000 words a day for three days in a row to make goal) but I’m also committed to some Pocket Letter trades, and since I can only work on pocket letters on my days off…

You see where this is going, right?

Yeah, I thought so.  But it’s all right.  I have a plan.

I’m going to get up early.

(Right.  I’m writing this about 1:30 in the morning and won’t be in bed much before 2:30 if then, but I’m planning to get up early.  Okay?  Is that better?)

Okay, let’s try this again.

I’m planning to get up early(ish – around 8:00 or 8:30) and get my usual morning online stuff taken care of.  And then I’m going to write at least one thousand words.

Then, if my roommate is up, I get to spend about half an hour setting up and organizing stuff to do pocket letters.  (If she’s not up, I am allowed to spend fifteen minutes sorting card stock scraps by color.)  (I don’t have a dedicated area to do pocket letters yet, so I’ll set up stuff in her room where it’s less of a distraction while I’m writing.)

Then I write another thousand words.

And alternate pocket letters and writing throughout the rest of the day.

Actually, throughout the rest of the month.

I can still do this!

Breaking bigger tasks (15k behind with three days left to go, so needing 18k by the end of the month) into smaller bits (5k per day to get caught up plus 1k per day to stay on track) makes the bigger tasks seem more manageable.  And 6k a day, while doable, is also intimidating, so I’ll break it down into 1k increments with a break in between. (My eyes will thank me.)

In a way, that’s how I write my outlines:

This is what needs to happen in the novel.
This is what needs to happen to get there.
This is what needs to happen for that to happen.
This is what needs to happen for that to happen so that can happen.

I just keep narrowing it down into manageable bits of storytelling.

Speaking of which, I need to get back to work on my outline for NaNoWriMo, too.  November is getting closer day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second…

 

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Four Days Off

Why is it that if I have all day to write I get so little writing done?   I just finished four days off (I go back to work today) and I got next to nothing done.  I keep saying that I need to win the lottery so I can just stay home and write, but if I did that nothing would ever get written.  Apparently I need the pressures of deadlines and time constraints in order to be productive.

Well, I am a bit ahead on the month’s 1K-a-Day Challenge, but I didn’t finish Book 7.  I barely touched it, in fact, because a friend gave me a writing prompt that turned into a plot bunny and I ran with it, needing something fun and lighthearted as a break from what I was working on.

Unfortunately, that story is turning much more somber than I wanted but I decided to just go with it for now and fix it in the edits.   There’s no rush on it and I’ve started Chapter Three twice now, and there’s a third version coming. (I’m pantsing this and have no clear idea where it’s going.  But I don’t want to get tangled up with another outline, either, so…)

I think that since I’m a bit ahead on word count now I’m going to go back to work on Book 7 of The Academy of the Accord. It was getting to the part where I’d be patching stuff into it again and it’s hard to make headway on word count while doing that, but having a cushion gives me the luxury to sort through bunches of other files to find what I need, and write short connecting paragraphs to tie it in. (When the cushion runs out I’ll build it back up again with the new project.)

(See?  There are advantages to multi-tasking.) (Although the thirteen or so Word docs currently open on my computer might be stretching the multi-tasking thing just a bit…)

So anyhow…

I’ve had four days off and now I’ll be working for three. I wonder how much I’ll get done before Monday?

 

 

 

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A Writer’s Work Is Never Done

August is over already?

I managed to meet my 1K-a-Day Challenge for the month.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, as I was about 14,000 words behind at one point, but then I found a great group on Facebook that has really helped.  It’s called The Writing Desk  and its sole purpose is to keep you accountable for writing.  From the group’s description:

“The Writing Desk serves to be an anti-procrastination station. Here, everyday members are expected to post their production and together as a team we can cheer one another on. Think of it as a year long NaNo.

“Here, there will be no forum talk (that’s what forums are for), no political debates, no self-promotions, no book reviews, no writing prompts, no videos of cats, no reason to procrastinate. I know it sounds cruel, strict and militant but hey- if you want to procrastinate go to YouTube!”

So, anyhow, even though I caught up on word count, I don’t think I’m going to get Book 7 finished this month.  For one thing, I’m back to a section where I’m patching other stuff together, and that is slow going, as well as confusing.

And for another, I’m not sure exactly what the “end” is. Hopefully I’ll recognize it when I get to it.

But I’m off today, and for the first three days of September, so my new goal is to have it finished before I go back to work, and maybe have the patchwork part of book 6 (there isn’t as much of it) done too.

And be a few thousand words ahead of par.

And update the outline for my NaNoWriMo project, and set up a three ring binder with pocket dividers to hold outlines for future novels:  the NaNoWriMo novel; sequels to Song and Sword, Onyx Sun, and Sanguine; and anything else too insistent to ignore.

And I need to get to work on the revisions for Onyx Sun.  I do have one scene written to add in, and plans for at least one other.

Unfortunately, the scene I wrote spawned an idea for a spin off using a minor character who became very intriguing in that scene, with a back story that really needs exploring, so I suppose I should add that to my outlines binder.

I can’t seem to write fast enough to keep up with the plot tribbles’ breeding habits.

So, to summarize:

I’m revising one novel
writing another
doing first edits on another
and outlining another one — or four or five

And I need to start getting stuff ready for NaNoWriMo — putting up fliers, etc.

And worse? When I’m not looking some more things will sneak onto the list.

It’s never ending.

Never done.

 

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