Monday, September 19, 2016

From the Writing Desk

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It’s interesting how some events have me leaving the writing world behind while others have me turning toward it and the hope that can be found there.  The types of events – of stressors may have a large part to do with it.  Stress from a lack of money or environmental/financial stability is more likely to have me leaving my computer and my writing, than one that reminds me that life is short. That this is the Final Run Through, not a dress rehearsal.  There are no do-overs.  The same opportunities may present themselves more than one, but you are never the same person the second or third time that you were the first time.

I have a writing plan, one that I developed using the techniques I learned from a Strategic Planning for Non-Profits class I took some years ago. It made sense to me.  Writing has two parts, a business side and the artistic side. The business side seems to be taking a bit longer to understand than the artistic side, which is completely natural for me. Strategic Planning for Non-Profits fit neatly with-in how I view the business side of writing. The first part of that though, the very first, very basic step is too write.

There are a couple of different schools of thought on that – one is to write every day, another says when the inspiration strikes, and a third basically states life is nuts, schedule it, but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day.

Pinterest is the black hole of time, and I freely admit to spending way too much time there. But, I’m also a visual person, so I keep boards of stories and worlds I’m working on or ideas that come to me in the form of pictures instead of words.  Because, I suck as an artist and it’s easier to start a board than copy it down or print the pictures out, cut them out, and tape them into my writers journal – which I do. Probably more than I should.

I used to have a goal to write 2000 words a day. That’s fantastic, but not realistic for me at the moment. I have a teenager. They’re involved in band, and they are also dealing with some heavy crap right now. 500 words 3 to 5 times a week. If writing is also my self-care – fantastic, I get to do it. If it’s not, then it doesn’t get done. My goal is to write full-time and not have to work outside my home again.  Not because I don’t like my day job, I do. And I believe in my organization’s mission 110%. But, I would rather be writing. I want to not have leave my house in a snow storm. I want to be my own boss.

I can totally see the following conversation happening with any one of my editors:

Me – I’m taking a snow day, there’s a blizzard out.

Editor – You work from home. You never have to get dressed.  You can write.

Me – Yeah, but it’s snowing outside, and I want to take a snow day. I have the vacation time…

Editor – You don’t get vacation time. You have a deadline to meet.

Me – But there’s a blizzard…

Editor – Deadline…

I have the best editors and have a great relationship with them, so this wouldn’t be a bad thing.  But, knowing my goals, figuring out the steps, and working toward them is the only way to make a dream into a reality.

So, my current Writing Goals, which I’m tracking in my version of the Bullet Journal, which is something I have recently discovered and am in the process of figuring it out and what works for me, are:

Writing Goals - Tracked by Hours

Close-Up -- the numbers are how many hours I wrote that day.  The color of the box represents what I was working on.  I keep track of my word count and WIP in my journal as I write in 15 minute increments and like to know how I'm doing.  I didn't write anything in August.

My 2016 Writing To-Do List is on the opposite page, I pick a colored pencil to use for tracking at random, then keep it in my pencil/pen case.

Reading, exercise, and self care are also in there, but that is something different. For me, a word count works the best. I have started writing more and more in Scrivener, so the page count doesn't work as well, because there are no page numbers unless you take like 4 extra steps, and I have no desire to do that.

I have to figure out the best way to stay accountable here or over on Facebook....

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