Row80 Sunday Edition #4

It’s that time again.


This week was much better than last week.  I had two days off this week, that allowed me to get a few things done.

Writing: new novella.  25,000 words.  6,689 words!  In all honesty, some of that was already written, but I’m still counting it for this week.

Editing:  Edit my NaNoWriMo project, first 50 pages.  Nope.  I’ll work on this later.

Submissions: Submit to one editor/agent a week.  Yes, one query letter sent out.

Health: One exercise session a week.  No.

The Great Purge: Taking one room at a time. Still working on my room.  I cleaned out my massive sock drawer and matched them all up.  My sweet hubby wanted to take a photo, claiming in 15 years he’s never seen me match my socks.

W&*(^t :  Goal 3 healthy snacks a week. The King Cake was great.  I did have fish for lunch and yogurt for a snack.  Of course then people gave us doughnuts and chili dogs at work.  Excuse me, my Monkey bread king cake is ready.

I only have 3 days left at work and then the place shuts down for good.  I will soon find lots of time on my hands, hopefully I will use it wisely.  I feel pretty good about the week.  I hope this week will be even better.

How are your goals going?





Row80 and NaNoWriMo Lessons

Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo

I took the last week or so off, from writing and most blogging.  NaNo took a lot out of me, having it near the Holiday season just made it worse.  But there were a few lessons learned:

  1. Plotting is key, for me.  It takes a little work ahead of time, but it saves my sanity along the way.  That doesn’t mean I won’t have to work through a few plot holes or makes changes, I still have a few of those.  Plotting just makes the writing process easier.
  2. I can schedule a time for writing and the world won’t explode and the laundry won’t bury us.  Although, I thought dirty socks might smother us for a while there.  Carving out a bit of time each morning, before work or house work made writing easier.  I knew first thing I needed to write, and I did.  Like exercising a muscle, the repetitive use of my “writing muscles” made it easier.  They expected to be used each day and I looked forward to it.
  3. I can not write well with my husband and children in the room.  On Saturdays, I had to try to write with them home.  My husband likes to read over my shoulder and my kids….well they’re kids.  They run around, make a lot of noise, and constantly ask questions.  That was a valuable lesson learned.
  4. I don’t need a lot of stuff to write.  I kept my notes, plot chart, and character charts in a small satchel.  I had book 1, in the series, on my hard drive and printed in a notebook, also in my bag.  That’s it.  Not counting snacks.  I left my grammar guides and writings books on the shelf in another room.  They just distracted me.  I can pull those out later when I edit.  Also know as Rewrite January!
  5. Writing is a habit.  This goes along with #2.  When you form a habit, you become accustomed to it, like breathing or eating popcorn during a movie.  It makes writing easier.
  6. I learned I can write a novel in a month.  It’s ugly and needs edits, rewrites, and additions.  But the basic novel and structure is there.  It’s not any worse than the first book, which took a year or more to write.  When finished, I think it will be better.  I’m not one of those writer’s who produce a “clean” first draft.  Persona;;y, I think that’s an urban myth.

There you go.  Lessons from NaNoWriMo.  On to Row80:

  • Writing:  Done.  I am working on the plot for a short Novella, with the same group of characters.
  • Editing: Finish editing my WIP, Dead in the Water. Finish edits by October 21. Done
  • Submissions: Start submissions October 22  Nov.1, send out 2 a week the rest of the round.  Stop laughing….think positive. Nada.
  • Social networking: This is the hardest.  I am bad at just liking a post or a tweet and leaving.  So my goal for this is to respond more to blog posts, even reblogging, and be more involved on twitter. That’s not measurable.  Comment on 3 blogs a week. Check (I think)
  • Blogging: Have 2 nonRow80 blog posts a week.  Power of a good book 12/9
  • Coffee: Master my new coffee pot.  Apparently there is a learning curve.  Done

There you are.  I think I’m doing pretty good.  Although, Starbucks has seen me more than my coffee pot.  The Peppermint Mocha they have is amazing!  With Christmas around the corner, my posting my be sporadic.  Keep checking back.

How are your goals coming?


Time Management

Time management has always been a priority.  I’m married, work, and have 2 kids with activities. When I decided to add writing to my schedule I didn’t realize what went with that.  Two years down the road, I have a new appreciation for the organized people who populate the world.  I’m not one of them.  You would think, since I taught middle school for a number of years, I’d have better organizational skills.  Not so much.

I have debated making an actual schedule and listing all of the extra stuff I need to do.  For instance: I have 2 hours before work, each work day that can be used on social media and or submitting stories.   Actual writing and editing can be done on my days off.   I can’t write at night because my characters will keep me up and then I’m a zombie the next day.  That’s bad for the kids.  Work nights I can work on stocking blogs for future use.  Oh, in a perfect world.

What do I need to do:

  1. Read books for research on new ms.
  2. Keep up with my blog.
  3. Network on social media. This is the hardest to control.  I turn on the computer to check Twitter and Facebook and the next thing I know, an hour has past.
  4. Submit short stories to gain exposure.
  5. Edit Dead in the Water and find it a home.
  6. Edit another SS.
  7. Create a spreadsheet for submissions.  I gave up on this and just pulled out a sheet of paper to track by hand.  Seriously, this is why I married a techo wizard.
  8. Breathe
  9. Platform building- this is the most problematic to me.  I have limited publishing experience, so I’m the new kid on the block with no “contacts”.  Finding a balance here is the hardest.  I could spend all day reading other writer’s blogs and commenting. I have no clue if it’s actually working or if I’m yelling into the wind. The same is true for Twitter.  Except, I really like Twitter.  Not sure why.  Don’t even get me started on Pinterest.  Update: I have Twitter, Google+, and author page on Facebook.  I am also “lurking” around CC.

It’s so easy to get bogged down with the extras of writing, that you lose sight of what we really want to do.  Write.

I’ll let you know how the scheduling goes, I will post at least once a week.  What’s on your to-do list?