Monday, September 30, 2013

Life is good. September 30th

Good news. My daughter is doing well and will be released from the hospital tomorrow. She'll be in pain and it will take a month or two for her to recover, but I still have a daughter. And I this close call has changed us all.

Today was also the first time I've had a chance to get together with Supe and take a look at where we are. Remembering what life was like before last week, remembering what I used to think was important, was a nice trip down memory lane. But don't get me wrong. I'm still all about getting my butt in the chair and getting the writing done. That will never change. But I'm a lot more interested in the messages I'm embedding in my writing. I think I can be much more clear with my themes. I think my end products might be a little more meaningful.

Who knows if it will last? We all change a little after we lose someone, or come close to losing someone from our lives. But how easy it is to forget the wake up calls and fall back into our same old mind-sets.

What I'm interested to see is what changes I might see in my daughter. She's only 24. A little young for a wake up call. A little young for a second chance.

I think this is a great lesson in how to make one's characters change. See if you've given them a slight nudge or a life changing wake up call. We've got to do our part, right? We can't just expect these people to change their attitudes without proper motivation.

As for word count, I'm just hoping to get a peek at my manuscript tomorrow. It's The Rock's birthday and we'll be bringing my daughter home, to our home, to stay here until she can take stairs again. On top of all that, I'll be watching the three Mousketeers. But I have to learn how to make room in my busy day for my own work.

I showed Supe some lovely wood sheds tonight. I'm thinking of putting one in my backyard and calling it my office. After all, the house is about to be invaded on two fronts and a baby crib is going up in the room I now call my office. I'm a little desperate for private space and if there were a couch long enough for The Rock, I'd consider kicking him out of the bedroom to make Custard's last stand in there. But alas, no couch was ever made to fit that man. So I'm stuck.

Other than space and time, everything is in my favor. But for writers, isn't it always that way?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday, Sept. 26

Sorry there was nothing yesterday. My daughter had a pulmonary embolism and the world turned upside down. I'm the only grandma, so I had her two-year-old twins and the newborn.

It's been pretty crazy here, but at least my daughter is still with us. Looks like I'm going to be taking care of her and her 3 daughters for the next month, during the day. Working writing and editing into my day is going to be hard, but I'm still determined to do it. I can't be too adamant about my deadlines, however, until I know just how much of my day is going to be mine.

I am incredibly thankful to God for sparing her. She has a saddle embolism, and I'm told it is rare indeed to survive one. Most people never make it to the doctor. But now that they've caught it and started thinning her blood, her chances are good. All prayers on her account can be cashed in at the Pearly Gates, of course.

Come on, people. Let's not forget we've got work to do. Life is short. Don't let those stories go untold.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday, Sept. 24, Return to real life

Our retreat cabin had no functioning internet, so I was unable to post all weekend. We went up Friday afternoon and returned yesterday, Monday. We are usually able to arrange for an early check in and late check out so we can have a straight 72 hours to work, but that was not the case this time.

And so, with a little less time and a whole day's worth of just messing around in the pine trees around Brighton Ski Resort, I ended up with half the 20k goal. I did walk the dragon many times, and dictated for an hour once after I'd crawled into bed--that was a surprising 2900 words in 76 minutes. I never hit that kind of production again, but I did get a lot of walking in. A LOT OF WALKING. I probably got a total of about 3 hours of walking in Saturday and Sunday, and for me, that's phenomenal.

As for projects, I did finish the first draft of Kiss This, the new Christmas novella. And I got 6000 hard won words added to the Wicked/Wickham project. I also changed my mind a few times about whether or not to even finish that one since the story line is more about the characters themselves than the romance, so while it is an exercise of different muscles than usual, it is an uncomfortable task. In the end, it was yet another email from a patiently waiting reader that tipped the scales. I will finish the book.

I also took a hard look at what I've been able to accomplish during August and September, and the end result was not what I was expecting. I thought I would have been able to edit much faster than I have. And so my stacks are uneven.

My pile of stories to be written by the end of October consists of one title left unfinished--Wickham.

My pile of stories ready for editing includes Isobelle, Mrs. Wiggs, Scavenger Hunting, and Kiss This.

You see? I'm so lopsided I'm going to be walking funny for a while.

The solution is obviously to stop writing new words and start edits on the ones I already have. Otherwise I'm going to have to start storing them in proverbial shoe boxes under the proverbial bed.

So from this point on, probably until the end of October, I'm switching to page counts instead of word counts. I'm going to try to edit at the very minimum ten pages per day. But my average will have to be double that if I'm to get these four books to my editing friends and out of my hands by November. Wickham's last chapters will have to be worked in here and there when I need a break. Hopefully, it will be ready for edits when these four move on.

I also have a new personal focus plan. I'm going to work on simple, basic self-control. And I'm not talking about diet and exercise. I'm talking about the ability to force myself to do whatever it is I need to do when I need to do it. I'm not sure, but there is every possibility that I have never possessed this capacity before. I think it's high time I cut myself open and see if those muscles exist somewhere beneath my skin.

How are your self-control muscles doing? Any tips will be appreciated.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, New Moon, Sept. 19th

Big fat moon.
Big fat ideas.

I had great breakout ideas for three projects on my plate. For the day book, the night book, and the next day book. I can't remember how long it's been since I've had an ahah moment, let alone three on the same day. This bodes well for the retreat that starts tomorrow.

It is interesting to note that all three epiphanies came while I was doing physical work around the house, not sitting at the computer. So I'm going to make sure the weekend has a lot of physical movement for me too.

If Rock hadn't been so  wiped out from his day job, he might have noticed that he got a home cooked meal--the first one in ages--and homemade chocolate chip cookies when he got home. I'm ashamed to say I can't remember the last meal I cooked for the three of us. I seem to only prepare special things when all the kids are here together. My bad.

Also, the cookies are not as innocent as they looked. I packed them up and hid them for the big rivalry game on Saturday. I'll be away, but I'll take a minute to call home, to make my six Ute fans sing "Rise and shout, the Cougars are out," or I won't tell them where they are. Cougar cookies. And they'll want them in spite of the name, I guarantee it. I used to work for Mrs. Fields once upon a time. Heh heh heh.

So, it's time to get the suitcase packed and get some major words written. We typically try for 20k for these three day retreats, that is, when we're not trying to write an entire novel in 3 days. (Yes, we do that sometimes.) So I'm hoping to come home with the 20k and with the first drafts of two projects off my plate.

And from now on, no pussy footing around. I'll keep an edit count and a new word count from now on. So help me. It seems to help. Accountability and Shame are my best friends this year.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 The Reboot

I don't know what it is about the first cool day of autumn, but I feel like a dam has just broken inside me. Or maybe I was the damn dam. Who knows. But the point is, I'm ready for change. I'm ready for action. I'm ready to get off my butt and...get back in the chair. I'm ready to make things happen instead of just thinking about them and planning them.

But I'll get back to that.

I should first address my absence.
I took the weekend off for a family reunion. We had a great time that ended with some serious car trouble on the other side of the mountain. Then I spent the first of the week trying to get the vehicle situation resolved. It's a bowl of spaghetti I won't  share with you here. My husband should have his truck back by Friday, so everything will work out in the end. Blah, blah, blah.

Besides all that, I made a grave mistake.

I allowed myself to take a break from this blog. There was no need, since we did have wi-fi at the cabin and I could have posted. But since I also need to earn the right to post here, I should have set aside a half hour SOMEWHERE and got some work done so that I COULD blog about it.

But no. I took time off. 

Here's a little insight into me. I'm an all or nothing kind of gal. I always was. And that alone is what causes my husband stress from time to time, though he rarely complains.

Knowing this, the last thing I should ever do is take time off. Of course I piddle around like everyone else does on the internet. I get distracted by movies and family, and family who want to watch movies together. I'm normal. But if I get off the wagon, I wander off. I forget the wagon, the road, and the friends who are on the wagon waiting for me to catch back up. 

But I'm back now. And I hope you'll forgive me for flaking on you.

What I have found interesting, when chatting with a few other writers, is that they've been having a similar problem. Getting their butts back in their chairs has been nearly impossible for writers who are usually the most disciplined among us. I'm wondering if it is, in fact, the season change coming upon us instead of, say, the phases of the moon.

I've watched the moon phases for the past 2-3 months now and tracked my production and focus and believed there was a distinct pattern. I was counting on the moon telling me when I was going to be at my best. But this past week or so has shot that all to Hades. I'll keep watching, of course, to see if that pattern returns, but for now, all bets are off. Hopefully it's just the seasonal shake up. 

But whatever it is, I think we're in for some amazing productivity, and a spurt of creativity that I hope will last a while. I feel like the very ground is rumbling beneath my feet, and what breaks out of that ground might just be a Godzilla version of me. 

(I have no evidence that I am manic depressive, but if I am, get ready for a helluva manic stretch. And you're going to need one massive net when I start to fall.) 

In any case, the writing is back on. The goals remain the same. A few days behind. Since it doesn't involve actual physical running, I expect to catch up without too much trouble. I'll post in the early am and let you know what I get done tonight. I'm focused on getting one project edited, so no new words are in the plan for tonight.

Also, I'm headed to a writers retreat up in Brighton this weekend. We all plan to get grundles of work done before we come back down the mountain on Monday afternoon. Minds can be blown in three days, you know.

What I would really like to know is how the rest of you have been dealing with this disturbance in the force. Have any of you cranked out some awesome word counts lately? And what has your last week been like? Have you been waiting for the ground to rumble? Waiting for a Get Out of Jail Free card? And do you feel like you're done waiting?

Tell me.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday September 12, 2013

Same editing. Different day. Nothing exciting or enlightening to report other than the face that Supe is going nuts with her dragon and leaving me in the dust.

I'm leaving town--again, leaving the pit bull to watch over our worthless possessions--and won't check in again until Sunday or so. In the meantime, I expect you all to stand on your dining room tables and announce to your families that you are going to write from X o'clock to X o'clock and you are not to be disturbed.

Let's see what you can accomplish this weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, I'm sure

I know it's Wednesday because I asked people all day long. For the past two days, I've been thinking it was Friday. Not in a hurry for Friday, but just felt all Fridayish.

It was another strangely emotional day today. All my work was editing. No new words, but with my emotions out of control, any new words might have gotten me in trouble, or ended up in the trash.

I am behind schedule by 2 days on both my day book and night book. Somehow, screwing up on both somehow seems okay. Symmetry is always a good thing, right? Well, I am symmetrically behind. But I worked today. For six hours. And I got some edits behind me that I've been putting off for a long time--so long I was beginning to think I might never get them done, that I might be suffering from some editor's block. But it turned out I was just lazy.

Tomorrow, I hope to start edits on Isobelle.

I have a writers retreat Sept 20-23, so I've only got a week to get a lot of stuff out of the way so I can write something big at the retreat. Taking my dragon with me. Plan to write in the hot tub a bit. And I have my own room, so I can also dictate in there. I wonder if it will work in the sauna.


Real life has already promised to mess up tomorrow. I am going to need some deep breathing and some happy thoughts to make it through.

Tell me your Thursdays are going to be great days that will make you smile when you look back on them.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday, I think

Edited today.
Pissed around a lot today after the dentist appointment.
Couldn't focus my energy.
Should have watched my recorded "Newsroom" first. That would have solved everything. I might have written a book or two...
Maybe this will explain it. I posted it on my FB page.

Sit back and get comfortable. This is going to take a few minutes...

When you get married, it's supposed to be such a celebration that you order a damn big cake. And you make sure you get it from a place that makes cakes extra delicious so it corresponds with the level of celebration. Think about that cake.*

Every once in a while, I'm out away from the city lights far enough that I can see falling stars. Even more rare is the night when this coincides with a meteor shower. A meteor shower is falling stars on Speed.  It's life rushing past you in fast forward. It's an event  the glory of which you wish you could record exactly as you see it, as you feel it, but no matter how someone tries, you really can't do it justice. It's the Universe falling at your feet.*

And while I'm typing this, my mind is in overdrive, trying to summon something else, anything else, that would be an appropriate metaphor for the condensed bliss of watching the show, The Newsroom.  Do any of you remember West Wing? Do you remember how closely you had to pay attention to get every delicious line that was fired out of a semi-automatic script? The Newsroom is West Wing times five. I can tell without looking that the writers from West Wing grew up and found a new job. Maybe they've even been taking steroids and I don't even care, unless they are going to suffer some horrible side effects, like cancer.

I wish I could share the rush of adrenaline I feel right now, and maybe it's just because I'm a writer who can appreciate how brilliantly those words were strung and then condensed by a Honey-I-Shrunk-the-Kids Machine so the maximum words possible could be spouted (by brilliant actors, I should add) in an hour.

(And when I mentioned bliss, I wasn't talking about anything as ubiquitous as sex. An hour long orgasm would leave you exhausted, not exhilarated. Or maybe that's just me.)

I'm getting in a little too deep here. You're probably tempted to roll your eyes, or walk away, bored. But I had to say something because...because it's kind of like when you desperately feel you should bare your testimony to someone. (Mormons will get this--they won't appreciate the analogy, but they'll get it.) But to writers I say, you MUST watch this show. You must find a way to write more intensely. You must find a way to push your intense fiction into the spotlight so I can have more adrenaline rushes when I read.

Stop being okay with your stories being okay when you could very well be writing the next Newsroom. If you're not standing on your desk when you write, you're doing it wrong. If you need a sturdier desk, sell your car and go get one. And if you don't have something important to say, for hell sakes don't make something up, go effing FIND something important to say. Go. Find it.

Or you don't get any cake, damn you.

(And now that I've got a fire under my butt, maybe I can get something done.)

Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 Denoument

After a fantastic production day like yesterday, today was a bit anti-climatic.

I had planned to edit all day. I got four hours in. Since I was pretty caught up on the writing, I wanted to go hard on the day book, but it was not to be.

Supe, on the other hand, had a tremendous day of editing with her dragon. When she's writing with it, she's getting around 3k per hour compared to my 2k. And she has come up with a great way to edit with it too. Instead of going in and fixing each typo, she reads the paragraph again, as it should have been written. It's so much faster than typing, that it doesn't take her long to read through what she'd written, only with all the correct punctuation, spelling, etc.

She's brilliant that way. I told her she should be doing a blog, but the woman is far too busy being productive. And it's all still so exciting that she can't wait to get back to it every time she has to step away.

After my current project, I'm going to try to do the Editing a la Supe. I have so many finished projects lined up for final edits that anything that will help me plow through I just have to try.

So. Tomorrow is another day. I've got to play catch up when I'm not in the dentist's chair. And I've got to get my walking in, which I failed to do today.

Hope you did better than I.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sun/Mon check in--Sept. 8&9 Finish lines!

DISCLAIMER: There may be an uncontrolled number of exclamation points in this post.

I know I wasn't going to check in until after Monday's work, but I couldn't wait.

I finished Mrs. Wiggs! The word count is only about 14k, but I expect it to end about 16k and around 70 pages after the edits. Not bad for a short episode. It will still be standing in line for edits, but I'm thrilled the first draft is done. I hate it when short projects take a freaking long time to write.

Here's the breakdown, then I'm going to share a little helpful advice about the Dragon.

Saturday, I wrote just under 400 words on my Alphasmart while sitting at a restaurant waiting for some friends. That turns out to be around 1100 words per hour. That's about my average on my Alphasmart. I can pretty much bank on it.

Sunday I had to fight tooth and nail to get in front of the computer, then I realized I wasn't going to be able to work well with Football in the background and the phone ringing, even though the Rock said he'd get it. He also cleaned and vowed to let me do nothing but write for the next four years, but it wasn't happening. So I grabbed my headset, my Alphasmart, and my digital recorder, jumped in the car, and drove out by the Great Salt Lake, to a little bend in the road midst acres of farmland, where very very few cars drive by. I like to think of it as my West office.

I opened the top on my car and sat in the cool breeze. I couldn't get comfortable with the Alphasmart and a pillow on my lap, so I pulled out the recorder and went to town. I didn't even walk. I just sat in my car and told the story. OH MY GOSH, I couldn't believe how slowly I was telling it. I was certain I could type faster. I had half sentences, long pauses, and I kept forgetting to say "New Paragraph", etc.

Then I had to pee. An hour or more of good sunlight left and I had to call it quits.

I hurried home and when I transcribed the file, I was shocked. With a file of 1 hour and 37 minutes, I had written 3256. That averages--even stumbling and bumbling around--to be over 2000 words an hour. For me, that's a lot of talking.

I thought I could settle in and do some typing, but after some frustration, which I'll address in a second, I decided I had to get out of the house again. And I still hadn't walked yet. So I took the recorder and headed to the park. It was dark, but the center of the park always has people and has good lighting. The next session wasn't very long because yes, I forgot to pee again before I left the house. This time, I had 47 minutes (which also means 47 minutes of walking!!!!) and I got 1610 words in  (my average was still over 2k per hour!) and I walked 1.12 miles!

This also got me too close to the end to stop. I wrote two sessions on Dr. Wicked for another 2593 and I typed The End at 1:01 am! Perfect timing. And I'm still on schedule with both my day books and night books!

  400 Alphasmart
4866 dictating
2593 Dr. Wicked.
7859 total

Hands down, recording wins. HANDS DOWN. And you know how long it feels like I was writing? 2 1/2 hours--the time I was typing. The time I was recording didn't feel like writing at all, didn't feel like work at all. Subtracting the 400 I wrote on Saturday, I wrote 7459 today. In one day. And it felt like 2 1/2 hours. I had to go back and re-check the math too. I couldn't believe it. I spent 4.7 hours working and got 7859 total. You see how close that is to 8000?!!! Holy crap. (This most productive moon phase will last until the 12th, people! Get crackin'!)

Yeah. Don't hate me.

So this is the help I'd like to share.
After the first session on the recorder, I downloaded it, then thought I'd better do some corrections so the software could see where to improve, etc. I started editing, with my headset, not my hands, and it was like the software stopped speaking English. I was doing everything the way I'd learned before, using the same commands I'd used before, and it was like it didn't hear a word. I was so frustrated I wanted to throw it all out the window.

I called Supe, just to vent, and she suggested I shut the program down then open it again.
I tried it. It worked! It went right back to understanding my commands and editing the way I'd edited before. After coming home with so many new words, I was so glad I didn't have to scrap my Dragon! The only thing I could imagine was that my headset had gotten damaged in my purse, but no. Headset is working fine.

You all tempted to try the Dragon yet?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Quick check in, Friday, Sept. 6

Still ahead on the day books.
Didn't get that night book finished today. Slowed down by a family emergency, then when I did sit down to write, I realized I had research to do before the final scene could be written.
So, after slogging around the internet learning about the Civil War and various weapons, my mind is numb.

I'm headed off to bed (it's only 10 pm!) to stare at the dark ceiling and figure out the choreography of the finale. Tomorrow I will be back on track. I know I was only going to write five days a week, but with so much possible for the month of September, I cannot restrain myself. I hope tomorrow I feel the same.

Have a lovely weekend. I'll check in again on Monday.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Almost forgot! Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013

Yes, yes, yes! I am on schedule! I'm even a day ahead of schedule with my day books!

I know it's only been a couple of days, but considering my last week in August, every consecutive day is a big win! Tomorrow I will finish up my current night book. Since I'm ahead of schedule on my day book, I'll probably devote the entire day to finishing up Picklesfork, the first book in my new series called The Ghost and Mrs. Wiggs. Short Western thrillers that should give readers a few laughs and a nice twist.

Get it? The Ghost and Mrs. Wiggs, written by L.L. Muir. Get it? 

Then on Saturday I'm going to start on the last scenes of Kiss This, my new Christmas romance.

See a trend here? Lots of projects that were nearly finished when I got distracted by a squirrel, or a new story line. It's just time to clean house, you know?

Something interesting from the day's surfing:
I watched an interview with Diana Gabaldon tonight and she shared some advice she'd given to her writer-son. Besides telling him to never read his Amazon reviews, she also said, "You don't owe the readers anything. Your only loyalty is to the book. There is nothing but you and the book." Then she admitted that there are those who write what the readers want, what they expect, and they make a lot of money doing it. But she writes for herself and her characters.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT? I'm really curious. I was a little taken aback by her attitude, but I have to say, the past two books I've written were not intended to make the readers happy, only to tell what really happened to those characters. (And I know that sounds a little crazy, but it's true.) But I can't say I totally disregarded what the readers were expecting. (Both books were sequels. One has yet to come out.)

My question is, do you think such a mindset would be freeing? Or do you think it might get you into trouble? Do you think the quality, the honesty of a book would be better if we all shared that attitude?

I'm headed to bed early. Human hours--again.

Answer this too:
How did you do? And how did you do it? Did you have to hide from the world? Or act crazy so the world would hide from you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 Planning Day

Today was the last full day of the organization phase of the moon.
It's called the EXO phase--the days of high focus but low energy. It's the perfect time to make plans, to see into the future and plan what you'll do once the energy is there. It's time for building structure.

I'm really glad there was a little EXO left after the holiday weekend because the next few weeks will go better if I've planned well.

So, this is what I've planned...

Since I already know the word count I need to hit, I also needed a plan for my editing needs. I've probably mentioned this before, but the only way I think I can get all my editing and revising done is if I'm doing it daily too. Here's the problem: I can't edit a project until after the first draft is out. I've tried. It doesn't work for me. Every book I've tried to edit along the way stalls. As in, stops dead in its tracks. I cannot edit as I go. Period.

So, if I waited until each project was finished, then edited it, I wouldn't get any writing done while editing--unless I spent my writing time on another project. So that's what I'm doing.

Instead of one stack of projects (on 3X5 cards), I have two. The projects for which I'm still writing the first draft I call my night books. The completed books that still need edits and revisions, I call my day books. I have them in order. I'm going to put in 4 hours a day on my day book, then four hours a day on my night book, writing new words.

The exciting part? I've got so many projects close to completion that in about ten days, I should have five projects sent on to editors or formatters. For those of you who know my projects, these five are: Isobelle, Wiggs, Scavenger Hunting, Wickham, and Kiss This. All of them will be out the door before the month is half through! What in the world shall I do with the second half of my September?

(Yeah, yeah. I know. Don't hate me. They're not done yet. And let's not forget what happened with the second half of August--I got little done at all. This month I will tempt Fate by declaring I cannot do worse.)

8 hour days, my friends. A full time job that I love. Surely, I can pull this off.

So far, Day 1, I got over four hours on the day book. My daughter and her hubby needed an emergency date, so instead of playing with my dragon, or Dr. Wicked, I held the baby and played with the 3 year olds. (Not all at the same time.)

Tomorrow, I shall guard my night book time a little better. I wasn't up to writing much tonight anyway. I'm still worn out from the holiday. I'm also afraid I've reverted back to human time. Since coming home, I've been going to be early and getting up at the ungodly hour of 9 am. If I'm not careful, I'm going to end up with a nine to five job.

Heaven help us all.

So. Tomorrow night starts the next moon phase, the New Moon phase, called PHYLO. Low focus, high energy. We should be able to get a lot of things done in the coming week, even if we might be a little emotional doing it. Hold onto your butts...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013--Out with the old, in with the new...

Hello Campers!

Getting to be like Groundhog Day, isn't it?
Well, let's change it up a bit. Let's move on into this fresh new month and leave August behind us. But before we go, let's take a look at how we did.

First of all, I assume you all increased your goals, or at least wanted to aim higher than usual or you wouldn't have been hanging out here, right? So? How did you do? Did you have a word count to which you could compare your August word count? Did you write down what you accomplished in August at least? After all, if you're serious about improvement, you have to pay attention. You have to write down your numbers. 

If you're keeping track of progress only in your head, it's not nearly as fun. If you really have a great day, you need to celebrate it. You need to at least be able to point to a number scrawled in the corner of a calendar and say, "You see? I AM a writer!"

So. I'm pointing at my August calendar and saying it now. "I wrote 52,878 words for the month. Yes, far fewer than the goal, but I have accomplished so much more than the month before. I kicked butt. And speaking of butts, I also lost 9 pounds. Yes. Yes, I did."

And I will keep the momentum going. I don't just intend to write every day, I will write every day. My goal for the month is...let me count here...five days a week, starting tomorrow...4k per day (not including edits of the projects I have finished...

22 days=88,000 words!
Who's with me???!!!
Come on!

That's not including weekends. We get DAYS off! And September is such a perfect-weather-for-writing month!

One thing Supe and I have been doing for the past few weeks is to keep a running journal of our word counts. We both got calendars with columns that give lines for the hours of a typical work day. They're the kind hair-stylists use for booking appointments. And what we do--or rather, what Supe does and I try to remember to do--is to write what we did with our hours. Did we have a word count? Did we watch TV? Did we veg on Facebook?

We are keeping track. 
Not planning each hour, but giving an accounting for it.
If we're serious about being full time writers, then we need to be putting in 8 productive hours a day on this job, right? And since we are also the business owners, we need to make sure the employees are earning their paychecks. We're making an accounting. We're being accountable.

Some days work better than others. Sometimes I would rather leave it blank than own up to how long my nap was, or my lunch was. But I'm pretty driven to get 8 good, writerly tasks entered each day. And we've agreed to exchange calendars once a month. Shame is a pretty fine motivator. Not guilt. Just plain old shame. I'll let you know how it goes.

As for the holiday weekend, I got nothing writerly done at all. But I had also planned, long ago, that I wouldn't push it. Had a great time with the family. Now I'm ready to get back to work. 

I've got my goal of 88k words.
I'm also going to lose ten more pounds. With the help of my dragon, I'm incredibly optimistic on both counts.

What about you? 

There is nothing in the rules that demand you fall into a deep, punishing depression if you don't reach your goals. And aiming high doesn't mean you're setting yourself up for failure. It just means you're lifting your chin. 

And who among us couldn't use a good chin lift?