Thursday, July 28, 2011

Something Old, Something New

So I tried something new, which just happens to be something old, I tried writing in longhand. I've done this before and become so frustrated with how s  l  o  w the writing was I soon went running back to my ergonomic keyboard. I can type pretty fast and find that, when I'm really into the story, the words can fly pretty fast onto the page. Not to mention the minute to minute changes are like lightening and well, there's the many, many benefits of spellchecker---I love you spellchecker.

But something was different this time. I had just finished up a chapter that morning (on my computer) so I knew exactly where I was in the MS and also what needed to start off the next one. The kids and I were at the pool, they were playing and I was just sitting under the umbrella reading. I rummaged through the pool bag looking for food--me hungry--and pulled out the notebook I take with me everywhere with all my notes for the current WIP.

The pen was right there, shoved into the spiral coils.

Hmmm? Before I knew it, I had added an additional 500 words while my kids had their swim lesson without a computer in sight. It was like a ridiculous, backhanded epiphany. "You mean, I can like write, without a computer? Like, the way people have been doing for hundreds of years?"

See, as a stay at home during the summer mom, there are tons of times throughout the day when I'm just a nonparticipating supervisor: swim lessons, roller skating rinks, playgrounds, etc, etc. Usually, I just read. But now, thanks to the marvels of PEN and PAPER, I can write anywhere. The possibilities are endless.

Pen and paper people *shakes head in wondrous amazement*

It's slower, true. But my pad of paper is also not hooked up to the internet (that cunning marvel of distraction) and it was pretty interesting to see how quickly I filled up those sheets without informing twitter, not even once, that I was #amwriting.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Update on Around the Word in 80 Days

Yes, yes, I've been keeping up. I realize I've not been 'checking in' however. We will try to remedy this. My goal was for a modest 500 words a day and that has been happening. So it's been 9 (work) days since I committed to the challenge and by my count I've added roughly 6600 words (which is more than the 4500 word goal mark, so yay.)

But I haven't felt like blogging.

Also, I haven't felt much like being on Twitter either. Which reminds me, I also recently unfollowed every single agent and editor that use to pop up in my Twitter feed (don't worry, I'm sure it didn't register on their radar) and I've been kind of avoiding all blog posts related to publishing.

The reason? you may ask. Well it's really very simple.

I was spending a ridiculous, some might even say obsessive, amount of time hanging on every word that industry professionals were putting forth. I was reading every 140 character bite and every single blog post that they produced and in turn, getting little writing done myself.

Turns out I'm not one of those people who can write and blog and tweet and stay completely abreast of every little thing at the same time. So we are engaged in behavior modification. ENOUGH with the Twitter I said (well mostly anyway).

I'm just writing. For me.

What have you been doing?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Around of Words in 80 Days

I was supposed to officially post this yesterday but...

I am going to be participating in round 3 of Around of Words in 80 Days! Now see, I like this challenge because you set your own goals and, if your life explodes in your face, you can CHANGE your goals.

This I can do.

So, here are my goals for the next 80 days.

  • 500 words per day 
That's it. Here's a funny thing about me. When I set a goal that is completely manageable, one I know I can easily make each day--I do. It's like I tell myself, "All you have to do, is this tiny little bit. It is just this scene, maybe the lead into the next--it's practically nothing." For me, it keeps me from feeling utterly overwhelmed with trying to juggle an entire book (or series) in my tiny little brain. Because this way, I'm not sitting here today trying to write 400 pages, I'm only writing two. The amazing thing is how quickly those just 2 pages add up when you're doing them everyday.

They're drops in a bucket.

And another thing, I often surpass my easy goal (although extra pages do not count against tomorrow's goal...sorry Becky.) But on those days when I only write 500, I still feel like a total success.

Mind games, I know. Did I mention my day job is in psychology?

For me, when a goal is too big, and I don't hit it, even if it just one day, it can be totally demoralizing. I'm suddenly BEHIND and slip into a "I have to catch up" mentality. Frequently, I don't catch up and after only a few days, my target has compounded so much interest and is so big, there is simply no way I'm ever going to get there.

This is when the writing might stop all together.

So, I'm all about little goals. They tend to add up pretty fast for me.

Oh, I also wanted to thank Kate Jarvik Birch for blogging and tweeting about the challenge--I found out about it through her. If you haven't checked out her blog My Next Life, do so right away. She's represented by Kerry Sparks at Levine Greenberg and is super nice. Thanks Kate!