First, accountability. I guess the thing I want to address is what have I done on the Writing Front (I use the term often enough, it should get capital letters)!
The Writing Front
The Perfect Planner
You’ve seen my posts about things I would like to accomplish this year. So let’s review. Trusty writing buddy and I went shopping. While at Office Depot, I found the kind of planner I was looking for.
The planner’s binding seems sturdy and durable enough to survive the damage I would eventually deal it over the course of the year, the whole is about the size of a normal notebook so I have lots of room to jot down my deadlines for the year, the cover is somewhere between robin egg’s blue and sea green, and the best part is the fact that the layout of the days is exactly like what I used to use in high school. In a word, it’s perfect.
It has been really much more useful to keeping deadline than my phone calendar, so I consider this a win!
The other goal for the year is my word count, so I should probably tell you how I’m fairing. For the whole year, the goal is to get down 200k words. According to my awesome, awesome spreadsheet from Svenja, my goal for January was 16,986 words. I fell short. By a lot. I only managed 8,932 words. As you read in my previous post, it was a bit of a tumultuous month, which means I have a lot of catching up to do. I am known for my comeback streaks.
So here’s the 2016 year counter as it stands at the end of last month:
At least I’m only a bit behind target for this month! As soon as I get my next work schedules figured out, I think I’ll add in another work day or two. Speaking of work days, guess what? Its’s TUESDAY.
And that means TACOS! Well, not just tacos. It also means it is Sprint Night! Trusty Writing Buddy and I had dubbed Tuesday nights from here on out until forever our Sprint Night. It’s that one hour where we will always “meet” and write. We officially start the sprint on Twitter. The time changes to whatever works best for us, but the hour must be done. It’s actually one of the main reasons I’ve completed so much writing this month. It accounts for at least 6k of my monthly words as I write about 1.5k words an hour.
Now, you know all about the Writing Front.
On the Reading Front
I’ve finished Business for Authors by Joanna Penn. I loved it. So much information. My brain loves learning new thing, but I really need to sit down with a notebook and hand write the things I want to research if I want to soak it in properly. Making notes in my phone has been helpful since I’ve done a lot of the reading before my day jobs, but hand writing helps my brain remember it forever.
Last month, Trusty Writing Buddy has gone about handing out a reading challenge list like candy to everyone. That included me. Here’s a link to the challenge we’re doing if you’re interested in joining. I didn’t get much into it last month, but I hope to play catch up a bit this month. I already knocked out this month’s challenge. It was to read a book recommended by a friend. So, I read a book I’d never even heard of until a friend told me a list of books that she enjoyed. The Demon Trapper’s Daughter was the one I ended up reading. The others are interesting enough, and have ended up on my To Read List. My Goodreads Want To Read list to be specific.
The Goodreads App
I know I am behind on the smartphone shenanigans, but did you know that Goodreads has an app? It has made my life (as well as this reading challenge) significantly better. Having the ability to update my progress will come in so very handy when the day comes along, and it will, when I go to pick up my book to read it for the first time in a few days because of weird day job scheduling, but I drop the book and lose my marker.
Scanning the bar code has made entering books from a library run a breeze. I keep eyeing at my bookcase, waiting for the day I can attack it with my scanner. I am looking forward to getting a handle on the reviewing system for Goodreads and reordering my virtual shelves into something a bit more manageable, a bit more me. I’ll probably do it on one of those none existent days off.
I have off tomorrow! Let me clarify. I have off from my day jobs tomorrow. Hurray! So I have deemed it my official Revision Day!
I plan to treat tomorrow just like any other work day. I’m going to lay out my clothes, go to bed at a good hour, and work for eight hours on revising. Yeah. There’s something I learned from Joanna in Business for Authors, who in turn, learned it from another source. To be a professional, you need to act professional. While I am allowing myself the opportunity to not set my alarm tomorrow and the time to make myself a proper breakfast, I am going to use tomorrow as a quasi-experiment day.
I want first and foremost to see if I can learn to bring that professional writer mindset out and also, to try and see what it would be like to work at least an eight hour day as a writer. Granted, I won’t be spending eight solid hours writing, but revising is part of the writer gig. I want to try and get myself to that point where I can treat writing less like a hobby and more like my career, something I can earn a living from. Making a living with my writing? What a novel concept.
I knew I wanted to write stories when I was twelve. It’s odd how much has changed in my life in all the time since that night I spent lying bed unable to sleep and the first story crept into the corners of my mind. So many things have entered and left my life, but my need to write stories has never wavered.
Is it the writing that makes me a writer or this eternal need within? I shared a question that has been bothering me earlier on Twitter, but still I don’t think I’ve found the answer as to why I write. The only answer I have so far is to get the story and the characters and the twisting plot lines out of my head so I can sleep on occasion.
Love and Lightning and Lots of Sleep,
-M. L. Trumbull