Weekly Update: 1/15 through 1/21

This has been a week for putting new habits into motion.  I recently read 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Writer Smarter by Chris Fox, and the way he works really spoke to me.  When I was in high school and college, I was writing all the time, but I was only writing in the 10-30 minute spurts that I had between classes, during lunch, or at the end of class when I had finished all my work.  It was not structured, per say, but I knew that I had to grab those moments while I could because I would have to jump up and run to my next class shortly.

As an adult and a stay-at-home mother, I have gotten away from the schedule because I have “all day” to write.  Okay, not really all day, but I don’t have a set schedule.  I could be squeezing in words here and there, but because I have too many distractions and “all the time in the world,” I haven’t.

So, I spent this last week ironing out a daily work schedule.  I finally came up with this:

9:00 – 9:30 = write to a 30 minute timer

9:30 – 10:00 = housework/laundry

10:00 – 10:30 = write to a 30 minute timer

10:30 – 11:00 = bundle up Ian and go for a long walk

11:00 – 11:30 = write to a 30 minute timer

11:30 – 12:00 = housework/laundry/lunch on days where husband is off work

12:00 – 12:30 = write to a 30 minute timer

12:30 – 1:00 = exercise

1:00 – 1:30 = write to a 30 minute timer

1:30 – 2:00 = close out day/meal prep for days where husband does work

I chose the 9:00 to 2:00 schedule because that gives me time to get the oldest three up, fed, and dressed for school, and out the door, and I still have about an hour and a half to feed Ian and myself, get laundry going, wash up breakfast dishes and general “get the day going.”  And over the last year, I have learned that it did not matter if Sam had to work or not, I stopped writing around 2:00 because that was about ten minutes before Seth got home from school, and he requires my full attention once he is home.

But still, with a 9:00 to 2:00 schedule and a 30-minute work rotation, I can still get in 10,000 words a day if I write through every thirty-minute session (I average about 2,057 words in 30 minutes.)  And even if I only write Monday through Friday (which I am finding tends to be the case because I can’t focus with all four of these evil minions running around all weekend), I can still get about 50,000 words in a week.  That’s a full NaNoWriMo in one week.

Granted, last week was not a typical work week.  Monday and Tuesday were spent killing hogs here on the farm, and though I did manage to squeeze in a novella outline, I did not get the chance to sit down and work through my schedule.  On Wednesday, I got two of those sessions in, dropping about 3,900 words on The Disappearance of Ray Delgado.  I was dead-tired, though, so I will admit to droning on the couch while I listened to audiobooks.

Thursday, I drafted out Part 3 for my Pangaea series since it had to be posted the following day, and I did a little editing on it, but I was still running on fumes, so I did not get the proper editing time in on that piece.  I did outline Zombie Jamboree and The Mist Whale though, so the day was still productive.

Friday, I did a final read-through on Pangaea Part 3 to fix glaring errors, posted that, then I spent the rest of the day working on the publication prep for Moonlight and Love Songs 2017, which will be coming out on the 31st.

And, as I said above, I am learning that the weekends are not the time to try to be creative.  I can’t focus on what I am doing at this stage in my life because my kids are just old enough to get on each others’ nerves just by breathing, so I am constantly getting up to separate them and redirect their attention onto new projects.  So, I keeping my projects on my weekend schedule so that I can work on them if I happen to get that opportunity, but I will be using the weekends from now on to catch up on “business” stuff.  Book covers, blog updates, scheduling, etc, etc, etc.

I’m not expecting to write the full 50,000 words this week, and once I get on my schedule, I am not expecting write 50,000 words every week, but I know that I can.  So it’s all about getting my butt in the chair and writing.

2017 Blog Schedule

In late October of 2016, I suddenly realized that I was spending more time writing book reviews for my blog than I was spending time writing stories for others to read.  This made me feel very, very bad.  I love reading others’ books, but my characters had stories that they wanted to tell as well, and I had been neglecting theirs to read others’ stories.

Bad, bad me.

So, when I ran out of pre-written reviews in the middle of November, I let the blog slide.  I was in the middle of NaNoWriMo, I had Thanksgiving break and holidays coming up, and I was in the middle of planning my writing schedule for 2017.  All of that is done now, and I have had most of December to really set some goals.

I am returning to my writing with a vengeance.  I love to write.  I love to create.  The only differences between this year and last year are that a) I really want to publish my fiction this year, and b) you will be taking the journey with me through at least one novel this year.  I will explain more below.

Without much further ado, this will be my blogging schedule for 2017.  (one day may still change–I am still undecided.)

THE DAILY PROMPT

This will appear every day at 5 AM EST.  That way, all of you early bird writers have a chance to work on the prompt before you start your day.  If you have purchased any of my prompt books previously, some of these may look familiar at first, but I publish five separate prompt collections a year, totaling up to almost 1,000 prompts.  Most are bound to inspire you.

THE WEEKLY UPDATE

This will still appear on Sundays.  My work schedule updates on this day, so it’s natural for me to write about what I did and did not accomplish in the previous week and what I am planning to complete in the upcoming week.  This will likely be the post where I announce any changes to my writing and publication schedule so it will be a good one to follow.

EBOOK RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Anytime I release a new e-book, I will be announcing it on Tuesday.  There will not be a post every Tuesday, and I cannot even promise every other Tuesday, but there will be at least one post a month on this day, occasionally two.

PAPERBACK RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Every e-book I release will not be coming out in paperback, but a lot of them will.  Generally, I will be released the paperback two or three weeks after the e-book has hit the stores.  I will be announcing these as they become available, but always on Thursdays.  This way, my Tuesdays are always open for e-book released, and you never miss an announcement when a new format of a book is made available.

PANGAEA WEEKLY INSTALLMENT

I am trying something new this year.  Every Friday on my blog, my Goodreads blog, and my Wattpad account, I will be sharing a weekly installment of the first book of my new science fiction series, Pangaea.  I will be writing approximately a thousand words on this project every week and sharing them.  I hope that you take the time to read them, and I hope that you enjoy them.  Please feel free to leave comments and reviews on any installments, but please keep in mind that this is my initial draft.  There will be plot holes, dull moments, contradictions, and so much more.

 

As for Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, I am still undecided.  I am going to leave them open for the time being to give me some breathing room, but Monday may become a scheduled day eventually.  I have another story idea that has been milling around in my head for a few weeks, and it might work quite well as installments.  We shall see, though.

I hope that you join me in 2017.  It looks like it will be a great year.

Finally! An Update.

I promise that I did not forget all of you.  Between trying to do NaNoWriMo, the Thanksgiving holidays, and having all four kids sick from school starting two days before Thanksgiving and I have two that are still sick today, everything else just came to an abrupt halt.

But today–well, today was a bit different.  For the first time since I finished “the Beast” (my NaNo project), I was able to actually get up at my 4:30 AM alarm, and though I trudged around the house until 5:00 trying to catch a kitten that my husband let in when he left to go set himself up in his deer blind in the woods, I did get to sit down and complete a fair amount of creative work before all four of the kids woke up.  (Seth and Ian stumbled into the living room around 5:30, but both settled in on the couch and dozed until the other two woke up.)

A lot of new changes are coming to this blog.  Most of them are beginning after January 1st, so my posts may be few and far between throughout most of December.  I will be posting a blog series on creating a story workbook.  I am planning on posting the first in that series on Wednesday.  Once the series is finished, I will come back and link the entire series together for easier reading.

As for my NaNo project…well, let’s say that my story blew so far off course from the outline that I don’t think a mere “edit” is going to fix it.  It’s on the back-burner for now to give it time to simmer while I work on other projects.  It is a good idea, and I think it will become a great story, but the fervor of NaNo has never been good for my writing, and though it does get the idea down on paper while it’s hot-n-ready, my finished draft leaves a lot to be desired.  So, I come back to that project later in the year.

At the moment, I am planning out a Christmas novella that I hope to standalone publish before the end of the year.  The main goal of 2017 is to complete and publish many of my “works in progress” throughout the year.  (And I will be honest here…I have enough “works in progress” to keep me writing and publishing until 2021…it’s terrifying.)

So, here’s to the final month of 2016.  A month of planning, writing, and setting goals.

 

Planning Ahead

This is where I will be normally quoting my writing statistics and how much progress I made on specific projects throughout the week, but I will not be doing that this week.

I spent the entire week taking time off from my writing to refill my “word well,” and since I was not writing, I was setting up the schedule for this blog on when I want to post my book reviews, assigning certain reviews to their days, lining up giveaway contests for the rest of the year, and setting up free book deals for everyone.

So, this week, nothing was written. I lined up the projects for this coming week yesterday, so I will have a word count for you next Sunday.

Have a great week!