Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday Tally and Turning up the Heat

Status of my novel
total words to date: 41,460
pages: 180
completed chapters: 8

Last week's goals:
  • keep working on 100 day challenge - wrote every day!
  • find two markets to submit some of my poetry - barely looked for this one... though learned a poetry contest I entered should announce winners on the July 15th. then I'll know if the poems I sent will be freed up to send elsewhere.
  • write three more scenes in Emergence - did it! this chapter will definitely be broken up in revisions...

Goals for this week:

  • keep working on 100 day challenge
  • find some poetry markets (really this time)
  • finish chapter nine(one really good, long, scene left)
  • storyboard chapter ten
Yesterday I wrote about personal obstacles to writing. What inspired it (other than not being in the mindset to work on my WIP) was watching a short movie on 212 The extra Degree of Effort. I command you to go watch it. Now. Before reading on. (Don't even need sound, though music is inspiring.)

So, looking at that list of obstacles, how can I write more? It's not a matter of not having the time. Here's a shortened version, some were combined into one general problem:

  • too tired - not tired ALL day. stick to writing in the afternoon, or when muse demands I write in the morning. exercise more so I have more energy, same goes for eating right
  • bugged by kids - ignore noise, resign myself to the fact that needy kids won't let me get anything done if hubby isn't home (son listens to him, not me)
  • fear of expectations - mantra: "It's okay to write crap." write in the moment. don't worry about how long the chapter is getting, or stop to count words, or that I'm being utterly undescriptive and telling much that should be shown. that's what editing and second drafts are all about. I can count words when the flow ends and I can't think what else to write.
  • allergy medicine making me too lethargic - not sure what to do about this one. currently take Benadryl. any better suggestions that aren't too pricey? On a bad allergy day, if I don't take meds than I'm sniffing and sneezing and blinking watery eyes; if I take the meds (even one pill), I have to take a nap or slump into a lack of energy and motivation topped with foggy brain (not conducive to writing).
  • video games (much less stress than writing) - get writing done first!
  • too busy checking email/blogs/forums - check everything before writing session, then ignore even when stuck or looking up research.
  • hubby expectations on weekends - don't give in to no writing, but keep it to one short session
  • television most evenings - if I procrastinated writing that long, it's still possible to write during commercials
  • only one hour 'til hubby comes home and there's so many other things around the house that need to be done - house doesn't need to be perfect. don't let everything wait until last minute (get housework done after lunch on short babysitting days, and don't worry about doing any on long babysitting days)
  • interrupted by IM's - actually tell hubby/whomever that I am going to start writing and not to message me unless it's important
Okay, now what can I do to up myself that one extra degree? It has to be something new, beyond what I've done to push myself. Hmm. Alright, here we go. Wednesday I don't babysit, and hubby telecommutes. After lunch, whether my kid takes a nap or not, I can take two hours to focus completely on writing - sign out of MSN messenger, stay away from blogs and involving websites that have nothing to do with research, put a bottle of water on my desk, tell hubby he can take care of kid if it's a non-nap day and let him take charge of disciplining our son for bugging me (i.e. grabbing arm or building tower on my desk), and immerse myself in my novel. Plenty of time to get into "the Zone" and get past the initial forcing of words, giving my muse time to settle in to start the words flowing. If I find myself struggling halfway through, I can do the 48/12 method: 48 minutes of focusing on the task, then 12 minute break to walk around, get food, check email, etc. Then back to work for another 48.

I'll report back on Thursday, let you know how I do. For now, I need to go get today's writing done.

1 musings:

Joanna said...

Mary, I am SOOO imptressed with how you set goals - and then actually evaluate and and meet them!

You're an inspiration!