Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
And, I promise something absolutely genius for next month. Right now I'm still a bit in recovery mode.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I apologize for missing my post last month. I have no excuse, but I also don’t know what happened. One day I looked at the calendar and it was almost April. Where March went, I have no idea.
Today I’m going to talk about Brainstorming.
I have a couple of writing friends that I talk to on instant messenger a lot. They’re real life friends too, but they’re both writers and we are often on the same wavelength. When I’m stuck, many times I can bounce ideas off of them and solve my problem in a short amount of time. It’s great. They say writing is a solitary activity, and in a way it is, but the internet has changed that a lot too. I do love instant messengers.
Sometimes we’re so much on the same wavelength that it’s scary. This happens a lot with one of them. Story time!
One lonely Sunday night about a month ago, I was sitting at my computer trying to do something with myself. My writing work was done for the weekend and I wanted to play. What do writers do when they play? They write stories for fun. I was pondering possibilities when my friend popped up and proposed an idea for a new world that we should work with in the future—we write together a lot too. I said cool, because I liked her idea, but neither of us were intending to work it out that night. We chatted about some other stuff, then suddenly I had an inspiration and decided, what the heck, I’ll start a story based on her idea. Just to be clear, the idea was for us to share, I wasn’t “stealing” as it were. I threw an idea out at my friend and we were off to the races… I didn’t end up getting any actual story written that night, but four hours later we had a complete world built. I had a complete crew for my airship and some of the plot for my first story in the world. My friend had characters, plots, etc for her stories. We even had a lot of them tied together. We were so much on the same wavelength that we’d send the same idea to each other at the same time. No joke, our IM’s almost mirrored each other for content. It was amazing and a little freaky.
Happily I have the first novella in this world completed, only a month later, and the plots for two more stewing. It was very exciting and nice to work in a new world for a while. This one isn’t a young adult either, though I suspect it would appeal to many age groups. Sometimes small, spontaneous projects make writing fresh again, and brainstorming with a friend is a ton of fun. So, if you’re in a slump, need a change of pace, or just need to bounce ideas off of someone… call a writing friend. A lot of times it helps them too.You can look for my Steampunk novella later this fall.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Last week was spring break for the kids in our area. So it meant a week without my day job for me, a time to focus on my writing, evicting the dust bunnies (I served notice mid-winter break), and start converting an unused bedroom into an office.
For my focus on writing I composed a reading list of books I've wanted to enjoy but haven't had time to, picked out a book to read on plotting, and of course set word count goals.
When Thursday came, I knew I was in trouble. I'd reached none of the mid-point in my goals for the week. Time to reassess….
Goals are dreams with deadlines. ~Diana Scharf Hunt
And my deadlines were looming four days away….
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. ~Les Brown
This is true but sometimes you need to hit the moon…. For example, edits need to be returned on time. The thing about setting goals is to find the 'ideal'. Ones that are achievable yet stretches you.
So looking back, I can say my goal list was a bit beyond realistic BUT also I suffered from an extreme case of shiny object disease.
Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. ~Arnold H. Glasow
This is so true in my case. While I probably couldn't achieve all the things on my to-do list, I could have crossed more off. One of the main things I was reminded about this last week – I don't do well with 'free – floating' deadlines. I had all week to accomplish the things on my list without any interference from the day job. So I relaxed – to the point of almost slipping into a coma. The result of this? I lost a week I needed! Now I have to squeeze those things around my day job schedule.
I need to break my goals downs to 'micro' goals. For example, for Monday, I have a 1k word count goal before leaving for my day job. This will mean no playing Bubble Atlantis on facebook which I love to do. I also have goals sprinkled throughout my day.
So how do you set goals? How do you keep them?
Saturday, April 7, 2012
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