Tag Archives: hobbies

Writing Rotation

On Monday I wrote about needing to find some focus and discipline for the creative surge that was swamping me.  I may have come up with a solution.

One of my other hobbies is counted cross stitch.  I really do enjoy it, although it tends to take a back seat to writing most of the time.  I probably have more WiPs (Works in Progress) for counted cross stitch than I do writing, and every once in a while I try to find them all and organize them and set them up in what is known in cross stitching circles as a rotation.

There are several ways of doing rotations.  One is to spend a certain amount of time on one project (say a week or three days or whatever) and then go on to another one.  Another method, especially for people working on BAPs (Big Assed Projects) is to complete a page (or part of a page) of a chart and then go on to another one.  Often they will alternate a page of BAP with a smaller project.  Yet another method is to do so many stitches on a project and then go on to another one.

It is this last one that I am adapting.

I use the site 750words to maintain a habit of writing daily.  I use it to rant about my day, to do stream of consciousness writing about plot problems, especially when I’m outlining, and to actually write, especially during NaNoWriMo.

Now I’m going to use it to work out a rotation for novels.

Currently I have three thing that I’m working on: the scene(s) for Book Two of The Academy of the Accord series, finishing Book Five of that series, and finishing Sanguine.

The current plan is to do 250 words on each one every day, using 750words. (It has a counter in the bottom corner.)

This will provide slow but steady progress on each of the three projects. And when I finish one (the scenes from Book Two shouldn’t take much longer) I can either increase the word count on the other two or add something else in to the rotation, like Book One of The Other Mages trilogy.

(That won’t be all I do: I will work on them outside of 750, but it will keep me working on all of them.)

There will, of course, be days when 750 is used for ranting or plotting. I know that and I’m not setting myself up for failure by trying to promises that I will always use it for the 250x250x250, but mostly I think it will.

Will this work?  I’m not sure. I have yet to find a rotation schedule for counted cross stitch that works for me, but I am more committed (addicted) to writing than I am cross stitch, so maybe.  And I’m on a 970-something streak of daily writing with 750words, so that’s promising.

At any rate, it can’t hurt to try.

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Writing vs Other Hobbies

Writing is my passion, but I do have other hobbies.

I’m remodeling a doll house.  It’s slow going, because I need to make more room to work on it, but I am slowly collecting the stuff I need for it.  (And even it is writing-related — one room is going to be a writer’s loft/studio/office.)  And every once in a while I attack the chaos in my craft room in the vain hope that someday I can work on the doll house down there.

I have lots of stuff for scrapbooking.  (I seem to have a paper addiction.)  Like the doll house, though, there is a space issue, but I long for a time and place to spread it all out and create pages.  (I want to make two poetry scrapbooks – one of my poetry and one of favorite poems from other writers – and a ScrapBook of Shadows.)

I also love houseplants and am hoping to create some fairy gardens soon.  (Thank you, Pinterest — I needed another hobby.)

I can crochet and would like to do more of it — maybe this winter.  (I just got a book of crochet motifs and some of them are just so neat… They make me want to start hooking again.)

(Erm… that didn’t come out quite right…)

And there are lots of other things I want to learn: beading/jewelry making, spinning, wood-burning, leather-working, wood carving… pretty much anything that involves working with your hands and creating something.

But my main addiction other than writing is counted cross stitch.   I will not reveal the amount of floss and fabric I own, or the number of projects that I have started, or the number of charts that I haven’t started.  Let’s just say that I hit S.A.B.L.E.)  (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) a long, long time ago (and probably in a galaxy far, far away).

A conversation with Warrior Poet of Writers Two reminded me of a realization that I’d had once before:  counted cross stitch is a lot like writing.   You start with a blank piece of fabric (paper) and with needle and thread (pen and ink) you create something.  At first it’s just a blob of color on the fabric, but eventually it takes shape and becomes something recognizable — just as a novel forms from a few nebulous ideas for characters and scenes.

My only real problem is balancing my hobbies.  Granted, during NaNoWriMo months there is no balance needed:  word count clearly trumps stitch count.  But the other nine months?  Yeah.  Things get tricky there.

I want to write.
I want to stitch.
But unless I learn to do one or the other with my toes I can’t do both at the same time.

One of the nice things about counted cross stitch is that it does require concentration and focus.  It provides a break from thinking about the novel and lets that part of me recharge.

But I can (and do) keep a pen and notepad in my stitching nest.  You know… just in case…

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