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Writer-Talk Tuesday: Monthly Writing Update

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I had a goal of trying to get the first draft of Follow the Heart finished by the end of January and, as you can see from the counter on the right side of the page, while I made some progress (about 10,000 words), I’m still not even halfway finished with the book. So, what am I going to do to make sure I get this book finished by mid-March at the latest?

Well, first off, I’m cutting my cable TV service off. Really this is more of an issue of finances than commitment to writing, but it should help with both issues.

Second, I’m going to try to get my house organized and cleaned. One of the outward signs/symptoms of depression is the inability to keep house. And the resulting chaos only feeds the feelings of being surrounded and overwhelmed by chaos.

Third, I need to start getting more physical activity every day. I had to drop my gym membership (finances, again) so I don’t have that outlet, but there is a community center in my neighborhood at which I can use the walking track for free when the weather’s bad. Also, the first week or so, spending time cleaning/organizing the house every day will add to that activity.

Fourth, I need to print and re-read the first eleven chapters of Follow the Heart and try to connect and fall in love with my characters and my setting. Because right now, there is no connection, which makes it really hard to write.

Fifth, I think it might be time to take some stuff down off the walls, pull out my synopsis, and go to my old stand by . . . scene-card Post-its to track where I’ve been and where I need to go:

Sixth, I need to be writing an average of 1,800 to 2,000 words a day. And to do that, I need to be doing at least one 1k1h sprint every afternoon/evening. If I do that, I can definitely meet that mid-March deadline.

So, that’s where I am with my writing.

How are you doing with your writing goals one month in to the new year? Share your successes/challenges!

  1. Tuesday, February 7, 2012 8:24 am

    I’m sure you can do it once you feel the fire again and that will come when you get back into their heads in a fresh way. I know I can do a couple 1000k word sprints a day if I’ve got my paragraph of plot ready to go. But it’s pretty darn rough. How do you estimate your editing/polishing time?

    For myself, I think I can write a scene in a day but it takes a week (not all at once) to bring it up to polished. I edit layer by layer so it takes awhile.


  2. Tuesday, February 7, 2012 9:47 am

    I know of two people who have successes to announce:
    Carol Moncado and
    Sherrinda Ketchersid

    Congrats, ladies!


    • Tuesday, February 7, 2012 11:29 am

      Yay! Congratulations!


    • Sherrinda permalink
      Tuesday, February 7, 2012 8:14 pm

      Thank you!!! Yes, both Carol and I finaled in the Great Expectations contest! Fun, fun!!!!! Carol and I became friends on FB because of the final! How cool is that? 😉

      Kaye, your plotting system always intrigues me. I always try and enlarge the photo so that I can READ what’s on your little post it notes! lol I think the visual is what I need. Putting stuff in a spiral notebook just doesn’t do it for me. I definitely need to find some wall space and invest in some colorful Post-its!

      Let’s see, I haven’t written every day like I had purposed to, but I did start a new story. A YA…weird for me, but I have a cool story idea that I think would work best as a YA. We shall see if I have the voice for that or not.

      I’m so impressed by your goals and cutting stuff out of your life…even though it might be because of monetary need. I have a hard time eliminating stuff out of my life, but I know it is definitely needed. You can get that book finished in March, I just know it!


  3. Tuesday, February 7, 2012 11:29 am

    Kaye, I feel your pain. Really. At last year’s ACFW conference I was sick and didn’t even know it. I just knew I had NO energy whatsoever. Then I find out I’m severely anemic! I’m better, but I honestly haven’t written more than 1,000 words SINCE then. So, I’m having to make all new goals for my writing – goals that actually INCLUDE writing.

    1. Drag out MS #1 and #2, edit, and expand. The rejection letter didn’t say it wasn’t salvageable, just that it wasn’t a fit for that particular line. I think I need to shop it somewhere else.
    2. Query agents. I’ve talked to 2 now, and they’ve both, since I talked to them, moved to other agencies. Are they taking new clients NOW? Who knows. God’ll have to work that one out!
    3. Build up my health. I still get short of breath and can’t walk up stairs comfortably without my heart racing. At St. Louis, I thought it was just me getting old and lazy – boy was I glad I had a REASON to feel that way!
    4. Fall in love with my job, AND with writing again. When all you want to do, once you get home from working all day, is sit in front of the television and sleep, it’s hard to feel passionate about anything!

    So those are my goals. A little writing, a lot of LIFE. 🙂


  4. Rachel Wilder permalink
    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 11:52 am

    I’m almost 10,000 in to The Color of Devotion. Getting going good is the hard part for me. Of course Mama’s doctor appointments are interfering with my schedule. She’s having a knee replacement next month.


  5. Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:47 pm

    /Snoopy dancing/ Yep! FInaled in Great Expectations! AND a couple weeks ago came in first in the Inspy category for the GOTCHA! contest!

    So far this year, I finished a rough draft [only about 6K more words] and have been working on edits on it. Also wrote about 33K of another MS [book 3 in the series that starts with the one from the contests – so not like I NEED it done anytime soon].

    Have slowed down the last couple weeks – this last week because of a minor surgery last Friday [took a bit of skin cancer off my nose – the least bad kind] but couldn’t repair it in the office using local anesthetics so I’ve been on some good drugs since then ;). Not really conducive to writing coherently but I do have to finish edits and send the Gotcha entry back in [prize = submit 15 pages to editor at TN] and then start/finish the [thankfully, fairly minor] revisions for GE and submit them [final round judging = another editor at TN]. Tomorrow, I’m going under general anesthetic so a plastic surgeon can fix the hole on my nose.

    Goals for the month: Finish additions/next round of edits to new MS and add some words to that book 3 MS but giving myself grace because of the physical stuff going on. Of course, I’m not on deadline [except for the resubmissions and getting Genesis entries ready :)].

    Back to it… gotta get it done tonight…


  6. Tuesday, February 7, 2012 5:59 pm

    Kaye, I’m praying for you that you get your goals done, get your house in order (mine is a disaster) and that things ease for you. I am editing my story until I figure out how to do the ending.


  7. Jenni permalink
    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 6:43 pm

    Editing editing editing…

    Still stuck on Chapter 26 (ironically between a rock and a cathedral) of 33. On the plus side, I’ve cut 19K words so far.

    I’m about to delete my easy-to-find bookmarks of amazon and facebook. I’d cut the internet from my computer if I didn’t use dictionary and so much. =)


  8. Wednesday, February 8, 2012 1:49 pm

    Hey great post and I wish you every success.

    Relying on a steady diet of ‘must-keep-working’ and focusing on my goals, has resulted in a decent literary February thus far.

    I get what you mean about a cluttered house, but amusingly enough, I have more issues if something simple like my desktop background isn’t something I like. This is pretty fortunate for me, considering I’m a stone’s throw away from clutter at nearly every turn. Back to the desktop: If I can’t close a window and see something pleasing, I feel seriously strange; weird I know, but that’s how it is for me.

    I talked about my February goals on my blog and thus far I’ve gotten through some editing of my first real try at a YA fantasy novel (I usually focus on adult fantasy/sci-fi) and have been able to continue a short. So, as I keep pressing on each day, whether it’s a paragraph or five chapters, I’m sure you’ll be able to do the same. All the best!


  9. Friday, February 10, 2012 12:01 pm

    Horribly! The story I was to finish by Dec 31st and then Jan 31st remains unfinished. I’ve decided to reconnect with my story, much as you describe, and clean up the front for a Genesis submission. Then, I will finish the story by mid-March.

    I’m working on a short story submission that I’ll complete and send out this weekend so that’s something.


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