Category Archives: goals

I Suck At Juggling

I could blame last week’s lack of post on technical difficulties or a ghost in the machine (now I want to watch I, Robot) but truly the fault was human error.

This human to be precise.  I spaced that it was Wednesday.  I had my 40+ hours at the Evil Day Job, writing, an out of town guest and my schedule just heaved itself out the window.  Wait. *I* threw it out the window.  There, took responsibility like a big girl (have to if I’m going to wear the BG panties).

I suck at juggling.  Not a new discovery but something I need to be reminded of periodically.  I know there are people who are writing, working an EDJ and taking care of home and they aren’t flinching.  I am not one of them.

I whine, swear, wish I had wine, and gnash my teeth trying to get it all done, and I still come up short.  I can live with the fact that I cleaned the bathroom on Monday, but the kitchen will have to wait until Thursday.  I can even operate at work on less than three hours of sleep (though by 2pm I’m a bit of a whack job laughing at my own jokes).

But I can’t be that flexible with my writing.  It all feels like suck and I can’t half or even 3/4 ass it into shape.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m incapable of accepting any less or if I’m still too new to my own process to figure it out.  But I’ve put it on my To Do List to find out.  Which I’m sure I’ll get to … some time this year.

Sasha, who could use a nap

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Switching Gears & Stalling

I’ve been in super Edits Mode since November, and my brain is having trouble switching over.  This is not unlike the time my aunt tried to teach me to drive her stick shift and I spent twenty minutes trying to drive up the street.

The mechanics of what she wanted me to do was clear; however, my execution sucked.  Every time I tried to shift to the next gear, I stalled the car.  Move a foot, jerk to a stop.  Move two feet, jerk to a stop.  That for twenty minutes before I gave up.  For the record I didn’t even make it past the next neighbor’s house.

Don’t worry, the car analogy stops there.  But I’ve been doing the writer equivalent of that since I turned in Light.  Start a story, write a couple hundred word, jerk to a stop.  Start a new story, same.  Return to a WIP from before EditMania, same.

I’ve heard of the sophomore slump for tv shows and albums, but never in any writer circles.  I will admit it: I’m struggling.  It’s almost as if I feel that since I’ve been published, the rough drafts should be prettier and they are to an extent, but they are still not Light worthy.

It’s discouraging, but unlike the car incident, I’m determined to push through.  There is no fuming co-pilot to point out where I’m going wrong.  No incredulous crowd watching who can’t believe I’m doing so badly.  And most importantly, as much as I hate it, there is the safety belt (!) of edits.

Sasha (who’s written 2k new words)

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And Then What?

Barring any major catastrophes, I’ll *finally* be sending off my Requested Full this week, and I’m not sure how I feel right now.

Along the way, I’ve been elated that someone besides me liked the story, frustrated that the editing wasn’t as simple as I hoped, and embarrassed that it took so long.  And if I’m 100% honest, at times I was jealous when I saw others doing their edits so much faster.  I grew tired of the characters, had them surprise me, and at the end I love them like when I first sat down to write them.

While getting my last read through I turned my brain to the next project and got stuck.  None of my WIPS seemed to jump up and go “Oh, oh, Me Next!”  Likewise, none of the new shineys I’ve gotten lately seemed appropriate either.  There’s also the full length that I got a request for that still isn’t fully edited (ugh).

So the game plan is to finish final tweaks on this novella and send, finish rough draft of WIP that has the shortest deadline, and then back to edits on the full length.  We’ll see how that goes.

Sasha

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New Year, New Thought Process

I was raised that you bring in the New Year at peak of Youness.  This meant your house was spotless, you were groomed to Red Carpet Readiness, and all your business was handled.  You brought in the year as you intended for the rest of it to go.

This year I rung in the New Year lying on a couch in my jammies, mentally floaty due to pain medications.  In fact, I had to set my alarm to ensure I would be awake for the ball drop.  The Old me would have lamented that my 2011 was going to suck out loud and that I might as well not try.

But I thought about it.  I’ve been New Year Ready for most of my 31 years, and that perfection lasts 3 weeks tops.  I’ve had varying levels of success, but I’m sure it had nothing to do with my perfect outfit or my pristine closet — though I do long for both.

Due to my tooth, I had to research, I had to be proactive (I don’t believe I’ve ever scheduled so many appointments in one go before), I had to adapt knowing I couldn’t do things the way they needed to be done.  Again, I’ve had varying levels of success, but this time, I didn’t feel a crushing sense of failure. And that has made all the difference.

Sasha

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Goals for 2011

I was looking over my annual goal list, and right here at the beginning of the year it looks daunting. Very daunting. A whole year’s worth of stuff to accomplish in one package is… scary. Still, I have a whole year to get it done and I’m already making progress.

First thing to check off is my five-year career plan. So far ism on track. This year calls for 3 books to be published. I have book 2 of my angel series ready to send as soon as I finish the sub packet, and the final book is in progress. That’s two. I have an R&R on my plate which I believe will be the third. As an add-on to this year’s career goals, I want to finish book 1 and begin querying on my rock star series, and get the second book’s first draft finished. I think all of this can be done by the end of summer, barring any major problems or delays.

After the career comes the personal goals. I hereby solemnly swear to clear the old books from my bookshelf, to get clothes we can’t wear out of the house, and to finally sit down and deal with all that paperwork I’ve been avoiding. I’ve also committed to reading 500 books in 2011. It sounds like a lot but I read very fast so I will probably up the ante later.

This is the closest I come to new year’s resolutions.

What’s on your plate for 2011?

 

Voirey

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The Rush to 2011

As the year draws to a close, best-of-the-year posts are popping up everywhere. It seems as if no one cares what happens in the next three weeks. They want the year to be wrapped up and over so they can get started on 2011.

One place this impatience is very noticeable is in retail. There is a common complaint that stores rush the seasons. Some retail markets start stocking Christmas items before Halloween. I’m all for getting ahead of the holiday-season shoppers but that seems to be a little bit of overkill to me.

I worked in a clothing store for a while, and every year we had some of the same sales contests. The hardest one for us was the annual sweater sale. Starting in July, sweaters would start coming in and we were told to sell them. They had to be worked in to our store displays. We were ‘strongly urged’ to wear them to work to put people in the sweater mood.

Of course the urge to rush to recap this year and rush into next extends past selling. Blogs all over the internet are popping up with ‘best of’ polls. best book of the year, best title, best song, best cover. I try to keep up with them all and support my friends, but there are so many things open for voting that I lose track.

For people who aren’t in sales, or pushing their professional goals, December will often turn introspective. What have you accomplished this year and are you really any better off than last year? This is one subject that has the potential to turn morose quickly.

Personally, I’m not ready to give up 2010 yet. I still have 3 weeks to go and I’m going to use them. There is stuff to do, fun to be had, and a mark yet to make on the year. I have a goal to rewrite a book before 2011. Realistically, it’s long and I probably won’t get the whole thing redone, but I’m giving it my best shot.

Okay, so I’m not immune to the year’s-end rush. Risking Eternity is up for best cover of the year at Embrace the Shadows, and I’m all over that. I am starting to assess my accomplishments and am pretty darn happy with them. I’m just not done with them yet and before the ball drops on 2010, I want to have something new to add to my list of brags.

Are you looking back on the year or still looking forward? Let me know what you still have to do in 2010, and one commenter will get a PDF copy of Risking Eternity. While you’re at it, drop by the Best of 2010 Cover Clash at Embrace the Shadows and give my angel a vote. If I win, I’ll give away a second copy.

 

Voirey

 

 

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To Do And Not To Do

Last week,  I was reading Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith (it’s a book on business and social media).  There’s a section that talks about coming up with a list of things you need to do and things you need to stop doing.  I’m a list maker so this resonated with me.

I also realized this is something I need to apply to my writing life.  I know the things I need to do for my writing, but I’ve been slow to put them in action.

Part of the reason is that my Writing Do To list is in my head.   Aside from my sometimes faulty memory, I can usually find a reason to not do something on the list.  It’s the same with the Writing Stop Doing list.  I’m aware of the things  I need to stop doing, but I choose to ignore them or do something else.

Here some things on my Writing To Do and Stop Doing lists:

To Do:

  • get a website up
  • participate in conversations instead of observing them
  • read more fiction
  • hold myself accountable to the goals I set

Stop Doing:

  • downplaying that I’m a writer
  • waiting until the last minute to write my blog posts
  • writing story notes/ideas on the nearest writable surface
  • being on the internet without a purpose

I know there are more things to add, but my faulty memory is failing me at the moment.  Later today, I’m going write the lists in a notebook and then figure out what actions I need to take to make each item on the lists a reality.

So what’s on your Writing To Do and Stop Doing lists?

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