My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Posts tagged ‘Writing goals’

How the News Spreads

Well I definitely can’t use any more excuses about my book. More and more people keep asking me about it 😛

My family has always known about my writing and will ask me on a regular basis how it’s going. I’m incredidbly appreciative of it! My crit group also keeps on me about it and for awhile that’s how it stayed. Until recently.

Over the last month or so, church members and co-workers have started asking me about it. They like to joke with me that I’ll be famous. Ha. Being a novelist is definitely not an ticket to stardom (thankfully…I don’t think I’d like it if it was). Anyway, with all these people knowing about my writing aspirations, it’s now even more important that I work hard to achieve my goal.

A little more stressful, yes, but sometimes that’s what’s needed to keep going. A little pressure is better than none in my opinion–with none, then where’s the motivation to achieve the goal? Perhaps that’s how I’m wired; some people work better without it. Of course I don’t like an overwhelming amount of stress and expectations but it’s good to have just a little. 🙂

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A Mini-NaNo of Sorts

I’m sure you all know how I’ve been slacking once again on getting anything written as shown by my fairly stationary word count bar on right. It seems like I need some sort of outward force to push me to write. Horrible, I know–if I want to be a true writer I have to write even when I don’t feel like it, and well, I certainly haven’t been succeeding on that account.

Anyway, I found another thing to push me forward. I’m part of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and only through another writing friend, Lynda Schab, did I find out about their Novel Track e-loop.  Basically it’s like NaNo, only you set your own goal. You subscribe to the e-loop to keep up with others who are taking part as well as updating your words in their word counter. They do this four times a year–January, April, July and October.  And since I’m someone who needs this outward push, I jumped in. I’m hesitant about it because I’ve been feeling pretty blah about anything to do with writing, but I know I have to push past it. I think this came up at just the right time.

Even if you aren’t part of ACFW, if you’re working on a WiP, I encourage you to join me. You can set a goal for yourself as small or as large as you want. And if you’re up to it, I encourage you to send me an email daily, every few days or weekly at Dara.Sorensen@gmail.com to let me know how you’re doing. We can encourage each other to keep writing at least throughout the month of July 🙂 I know that encouragement often helps me push past me over the lazy hill to keep me going and I know it’s the same for many others too.

Fast Draft: I Just May Lose My Sanity

I have found that I am the most productive writing-wise during NaNo. Not sure why–probably because there’s an external goal I have to reach and a deadline, set by a source other than myself. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo three times and each time I’ve reached my goal of 50K over the month.

And then November ends I have a difficult time keeping that same level of productivity–or any productivity.

Well, today, I read my good friend Jeannie Lin’s blog (like I do everyday :)) She posted about Fast Draft. Essentially, it’s completing a novel in half the time of NaNo. Each writer sets a goal for the amount of words per day they will write. Fast Draft recommends 5000, although I don’t think I’m quite capable of that many as my brain shuts down right around the 2500-3000 mark. So, I’m going to set the goal for myself to be in that range–preferably 3K each day.

I am going to start on Monday, April 12th, and go two weeks from there to Monday, April 26th. I am desperately hoping I’ll be close to the end of this draft.

During this time, I probably won’t post much except I will try to put a daily update so you know if you should get on my case or not 😛 I will try and keep up with everyone’s blogs, although my evenings are going to be taken up with writing (as that’s the best time for me).

If you are curious about Fast Draft, check out this simple article about it. And if you want to participate, great! The more the merrier!

New Blog!

No, I won’t be abandoning this one–don’t worry!

I was recently inspired to start a new blog tracking my writing progress. Whether that’s words written for my current WiP or a new one or even just working on an idea or outline, the goal is to keep me writing at least a few hundred words a day.

I got this idea from my other writing friend Corra McFeydon over at From the desk of a writer. She’s doing something similar: blogging each day to let others know about her word progress, whether that’s a novel, short story, poem, etc.

So, here’s my new blog, detailing my writing accomplishments every day–or every few days.

The Writing Saga

I’ll write a brief summary of what I wrote, the challenges I encountered and the amount of words written that day. It’s also a way to hold me publicly accountable…so if I post “zero” words for my update, you all can get on my case for it.  😛 I’m going to try and update this every other day or so for the indefinite future  in order to get me in the habit of writing on a regular basis. I’ll set it up as follows:

Words Written
Time Spent
Difficulties
Goal for Today

That’s pretty much it! I’ve a separate link over on the right side.  I hope you’ll follow me and perhaps even be encouraged to start one of your own. 🙂

A Writer’s Pen Never Stops

I find that I’m constantly coming up with ideas–whether they’re detailed or just a little spark of inspiration–yet I never seem to explore them all like I should. And sometimes my “pen” stops, especially when I’m in one of those lazy “I-don’t-care-about-anything” phases.

Over the last few years, it seems all I’ve focused on were novel ideas. Howver, not so very long ago, I was an avid short story writer.

Ok, let me revise that–I was an avid flash fiction writer. What do I mean? Well, back a few years ago–sometime around December of 2005, I found a website called FaithWriters. They have a Weekly Writing Challenge; each week has a specific theme. The stories submitted can’t be longer than 750 words.

The first time I entered, my story actually placed in the Editor’s Choice–the top eight entries of the week–which meant it was published in their quarterly anthology. It was the only one that actually placed that high; however I nearly always placed in the top 50 (and they cap it at 200 entries per week).

I used to write almost faithfully for the challenge. Most of the stories came to me while sitting in class in college and I’d write part of it in my notebooks.  (If you’re curious, you can see some of what I’ve written here. ).It’s since waned significantly–I think I’ve written one story in the past year, and it wasn’t all that good. 😛

I wonder sometimes how I lost that spark for me to be able to write flash fiction.

But all is not lost. I’ve been focusing on trying to come up with short story ideas (in the middle of trying to figure out my novel…). I think writing those flash fiction pieces really helped me practice my ability to write–even if they weren’t all that great–and I think I’ve regressed a little.

I already have one idea–sort of–for a little “series” of short stories. It’s still going to have a Japan setting however–brace yourselves for this–it’s going to actually be a contemporary setting 😛 Me, write contemporary? Yeah…it’ll be a challenge. It’s the first contemporary piece I’ve tried to write in like, forever.

Anyway, I’d like for the stories to revolve around the stranger aspects of Japanese mythology (of which there are MANY) although I’m unsure as to how to tie that in to an actual story with a solid beginning, middle and end 🙂

I’ve also come up with the idea to write a brief story about the background of my Yuki-onna and how she developed into it. If anything, that will help me identify with her character and story more and perhaps I can make it decent enough to submit to short story contests. We’ll see. I still have to write the thing–it may not come out like I think.

If you’re a writer, have you ever tried your hand and writing short stories? What do you find difficult about it? What do you like about it as compared to writing a novel?

Also, this Monday (the 7th), will be my 200th blog post. In celebration, I’ll have a little giveaway, so come back and see how you can win 🙂

Post-NaNo and All That Follows…

So, I’m just realizing that today is actually the start of December. 😛

November seriously went by faster than I could blink. It seems like it just started, and that I was preparing for NaNo and all the write-ins. Now it’s all over. I’m always a little sad at the end of NaNo–it’s something I look forward to for months and then it’s all over so quickly. But that’s always how it goes with anything you’re looking forward to–it comes and goes so quickly that you hardly realize what happened.

Anyway, now that NaNo is over and I’ve reached my 50K goal, there’s another one I have yet to meet: finishing the first draft. By January 1st.

It should be easy for me after last month, yet I always have an incredibly hard time continuing the writing spree after November 30th. The last two years I’ve failed miserably at this, always coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t finish the draft. I can already feel the excuses attempting to materialize in the back of my head, but I’m doing my best to try and vanquish them before they take hold.

I believe the biggest obstacle I have throughout the year in writing is keeping myself motivated and accountable. So, a big favor to ask of my loyal readers–help keep me accountable. Ask how I’m doing writing-wise and if I refuse to answer, keep badgering me about it. I know writing is supposed to be a “solitary” profession–at least that’s what many say–but I thrive under people holding me accountable. If it’s left up to me, I guarantee I will fail. Every. Single. Time.

Perhaps I’m weak in that sense, or maybe I’m just more of a people person than I originally thought–or a combination of both. But it’s who I am, so I should embrace it 🙂

Anyway, I’m going to try and write at least 1K today. I’ll definitely let everyone know if I met that goal–or failed–tomorrow.

Ahead of Schedule

It seems that I’m actually able to follow the writing goals I’ve made for myself this time around.

In fact, I’m ahead of schedule 🙂

The character bios are 90% done; I think I have 3 more to do before it’s completed. Well, in a loose sense. I’m forever changing them and often characters don’t always show all of themselves until I’m actually writing. But it’s a good guide for me to refer back to and it helps me visualize the character a little better.

I’m even pretty far on my loose outline. I’ve got the entire first part summarized. It’s very basic but I’ve found that the detailed ones I used to make change too much along the way. A basic summary just helps me get my jumbled thoughts organized. It also lets me see if there are holes or places where something else needs to occur or be explained.

Now to come up with the second half of the book, which isn’t as clear to me (yet) as the first half was.

But I’m ahead of schedule with that; I gave myself until the end of October and it looks like it may be done by the end of August or beginning of September.  🙂

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