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. 🙂

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 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
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.  🙂

Writing Goals, Yet Again

I have new writing goals for myself, in regards to Lady of the Snow. I’ve set up little “deadlines” and I’m hoping to stick with them.

I believe I have stated this on the blog before but I have issues though with self-motivation. 😛 During NaNo, I’m fine–I meet the goal and often it’s ahead of time. When I was in college and had research papers, I would always do much of the research and writing weeks ahead. I was never one of those that had to pull an all-nighter to get a paper done because I’d make sure it was completed and saved (in multiple places) a week ahead of time.

I’m a procrastinator but if there’s a deadline, I don’t like waiting until the last minute. It bothers me. Of course I’m not like my little sister, who often will have complete research papers MORE than a week ahead of time (she’s much more disciplined in the scholarly area than me). Still, if I have an outside force or reason to get something done, I’ll do it. But with no outer force pushing me along, I have a hard time keeping on track. I know it’s something I need to work on, especially as a writer, and it’s a big flaw of mine that I have to overcome, or at least fight on a constant basis. Yes, I readily admit that I tend to be a little on the lazy side…

Anyway, here are my new goals for my book, although they may change a little. Hoping to stick with them as best as I can though:

Deadlines for Lady of the Snow

  1. Character names and bios–August 31
  2. Loose chapter outline–October 31
  3. 1st draft (50K of it)–December 1
  4. Completed 1st draft (85-90K)–January 1

I’m hoping that NaNo will help me get a good chunk of it written; it’s helped me to write large sections in the past. I’d really like to try and get all 85K done, but I’ll aim for the lower goal of 50K. It would be nice to get it all done by the first of the year so I can start working on the arduous editing (and ultimately more in-depth research) process. It would really be nice to be able to start the query process next summer…but that will only happen if I’m able to keep on schedule and stop making excuses and procrastinating.

I need to find the motivation. That’s the only way I’ll ever have my book published.

JanWriMo and Critiques

Yes, that is an obvious play on the famous NaNoWriMo. But I’m participating in a mini-novel writing challenge amongst a few of my writing buds over at FaithWriters. There’s no specific goal per se–we each have our own. Mine is to get this first draft of mine finally completed. So hopefully this will help me 😛

I also have to get back into my critique group. Our group has been on a sort of hiatus since late October, mainly because of NaNo and then the holidays. We’re doing things differently this year. We have to submit our chapters two weeks ahead of time instead of one and write a synopsis up to that current point in our novel. The latter of the two won’t be too difficult–I already have a pretty extensive chapter outline and it’s easy to modify to fit the constant changes I keep making. The first part won’t be too bad–except I’m already up two weeks from this coming Thursday so I need to work on fixing my chapter for this time. I get to be a bit of a perfectionist, so it tends to take me a few days…and even then, it’s not “perfect.” But what is really? No matter how many modifications I may make, I can’t please everyone–I can only get as close as I can to tightening my writing. S

My last critique I had went very well–probably the best I’ve had. I only had a few minor comments and most were on grammatical things (grammar is NOT my friend, even though I was an English major). But it also took me a good week to edit it 😛 So I know I have it in me, I just have to devote the time to it. That’s normally what it comes down to–breaking that procrastinator within me and ignoring the excuses that pop up in my brain.

So today, I have to at least start editing the chapter for Thursday’s submission deadline. I  remember the last chapter that was critiqued but I can’t seem to remember what happens in the next chapter…guess I’ll find out soon!

Breaking Addictions and Learning to Focus!

There wasn’t much to write about while I was gone for Christmas. I was fairly busy between family gatherings, visiting my grandma at the nursing home, going shopping with friends the day after Christmas (talk about crazy!)…and playing Animal Crossing on the Wii obsessively. 😛

Now it’s back to life and work (oh joy!). I doubt I’ll hit my goal of finishing the novel by the first of the year, but it should be done soon after. At least, I’m hoping for it and trying to work towards it. I think I need to force myself to make time to write because I am the queen of excuses and procrastination. But NO MORE.

I realize that the motivation factor and the tendency to procrastinate will be ridiculously hard to change–it’ll probably always be something I struggle with–but it would be nice if I could change it just a small bit–especially when it relates to my writing. If I keep procrastinating and making excuses, I’ll be 65 and a grandma with a book still not finished.

I also have to break my addiction to Animal Crossing 😛 I know the game is geared towards children under 12, but it’s just so fun and cute I can’t help myself. And I’m not one for the types of games my husband plays…(Fallout 3, Resident Evil, all those shooting type games that require a level of coordination that I will never be able to reach). So, that has to happen for me to do anything productive. Meaning housework, practicing violin. house-breaking the puppy and of course, writing.

I suppose I have my work cut out for me over the coming weeks and months…

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