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Posts Tagged ‘targets’

Normally I like to keep Thursday posts for random subjects, raising points outside of writing. However, it being the start of the new year and with a collection of new approaches to my writing, I wanted to share how it’s going…

1. Writing – well, so far I have focussed on creating a writing space in my home where I am free of distractions and can sit and write for at least an hour.  I have a new book in which to write and am currently exploring concepts and ideas which can feed into the development of previous plans.  This week is about setting the new pattern rather than producing anything particular, but in effect I am using writing exercises to see what ideas have staying power.  I have not yet explored other venues for writing but at the moment my ‘nook’ is working well.

2. Mentoring – I have found some more sources of mentoring but I have not yet committed to any particular resource or scheme.

3. Courses – I may have got a little carried away, as I have now signed up for 5 courses: 4 writing and one psychology.  They are all short, with short videos which I watch at lunch times.  I will see how I go, but I am enjoying the learning so far!

4. Reading – I am reading a very good book, quite slowly.  I am pleased not to feel under pressure to finish the story as I am savouring it!

So I am feeling pretty positive right now.  I need to keep on as I am, setting aside regular time to write, study and read – organisation is essential, and a bit of strictness with myself won’t do any harm either!

Maybe I will use Thursdays as my mid-week barometer for a while, and you can keep me on track!

I hope your new year targets are going well too!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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This week I had yet another bug (and we haven’t even got into the winter cold season yet!) which wiped me out for a few evenings. Hopefully I’ve seen the back of that now but it was a reminder that it only takes a few days to lose the writing habit.

In order to cheer myself up a little I invested in some new writing tools – a book of short exercises which I will be able to do in my lunchtimes (unlike the plot and structure ones which require longer sessions) and a big pack of pens in lots of different colours which I can use to mark up my output. I like to use colour as a tool in presenting ideas, as it can be useful at identifying themes and patterns.

Never let it be said you can have too many of either!!

It’s not all doom any gloom on the writing front though – I have done some writing exercises this week, trying to work out both Fred’s next move and whether there is any life left in the crime story I was working on before I got ill in the summer.

I have not really wanted to pick that one up again because I feel so removed from it, but the characters were interesting. I am considering keeping them and the setting, but building a new story around them.

I would like to do that. As there was a degree of confusion in my key character already – she wasn’t sure whether she trusted her perception of events – I think there is scope to change the storyline and bring a different outcome to bear without losing her voice or her sense of disequilibrium.

However, I know from my mistakes before I have to work hard at the planning stage – so daytime exercises will be generating ideas and imagery, evenings will be spent shuffling things around and seeing what has possibilities by leaning more heavily on my plot and structure tools.

Only when I have a full, strong, narrative will I actually start the writing phase. It’s like decorating a house – you have to do the prep work first!

So this week has been a little slow, but useful; next week I need to step it up a gear.

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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The clocks changed this weekend and it’s thrown me out a bit. In my head it’s nearly 1am and I should be asleep, especially as I only have one day in work before taking a break for a couple of weeks!

So this post will be particularly brief…

  • Plot and structure is going well
  • I actually managed to read a novel!
  • Fred is still awaiting his next escapade
  • I haven’t booked in a writing session with my friend

So a mixed bag of a week.

My challenge now is to get Fred moving through a couple of eras by next Sunday and to finish rereading the Plot and Structure book in the same time. After that, I need to distill the most salient points into notes and study them – it’s a little like preparing for an exam although I need to remember the details for longer!!

That’s my whistlestop tour over, and now it’s time to hit the hay.

Happy Writing
EJ
🙂

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This week, my writing progress has been pretty rubbish. I have done some writing, and although Fred is no longer languishing in the fierce desert sun, he hasn’t made it onto his next trip either.

In the spirit of honesty, I haven’t picked up a book to read at all this week either.

I have not been managing my time too well really; I have too many plates spinning to want to add any more. My down time was wasted, this week at least. That’s not to say I haven’t done useful things but I haven’t focussed where I should have done. And I have let hours go by with nothing achieved at all.

But this week is over: I have a new one from tomorrow, where I will get myself into a better pattern, waste less time and focus my energies.  Planning starts now.

If you don’t try, you don’t succeed.  I want to get back to succeeding at meeting my targets, so I better try harder!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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Well, my three days of early starts and late finishes is over for this session, and I have the next three weeks to recover before it starts again!

I used to think working long hours was normal, acceptable – in some way a validation of me as a professional. My career break changed all that and made me feel much better about saying no to long working days and being available at all hours, so when I do it, I know it’s my choice.

It’s been a lovely realisation that I can have a different balance in life, and has made me a far more focussed and positive person in the workplace too.

But now I am back to the norm, so I need to get back to my writing, and although I gave myself today to work on another project I intend to get somewhere between 1000-1500 words completed tomorrow and something similar on Saturday – I have my nieces staying again so won’t guarantee Sunday’s output! I want to build up the momentum again, and have something to tell you in my extra posts!

For tonight, I’m going to rest up and get a good sleep, so I’m all ready to get back to my poor, confused heroine tomorrow!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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This is my first weekly round-up since before my holiday, which makes sense I guess – you knew what I was up to!

This week was sadly a case of too many germs spoil the writing, because I was not really feeling good at all. As a plus point, yesterday and today I am definitely much better which is good because we had two of my nieces staying to help turn the patch of weeds and brambles behind my house back into my garden!

But all this means I haven’t really got a writing update for you. I can tell you about finding a toad in my garden, about the bumble bee nest under the shed, about the millions of spiders everywhere – and about my plans for keeping my garden both useful for humans and wildlife-friendly going forward – but that’s not really what this blog is all about!

So instead I’m going to use this opportunity to set some targets for June:

This month I will
1. Blog 5 days per week – my usual three plus two about my writing progress
2. Write every day
3. Get the crime novel up to 25,000 words (minimum)
4. Approach 8 more agents with the family tree novel (minimum)

Nothing unrealistic there… I am a little concerned how I will cope with the next three days at work, which will be exhausting; but on the other hand I can write during my breaks and prepare blogs on the train, neither of which is normally possible, so it’s all to the good!

I am leaving it there for now, as I have to get up about an hour and a quarter earlier than normal tomorrow and I need to hit the hay!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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If you have Dory in your head now, that’s ok. I do too…!

This week, writing-wise, has been all about keeping going.

It has been hugely busy: I am trying to sort everything out before my holiday, which starts on Tuesday, and I have been a little overstretched and under-rested.

However, I have only missed one writing session and as that was when I caught up with a friend I have only seen twice in the last 20 years, it was worth a night off.

Nothing outside of the new story has been looked at – no submissions, no chases, no revisions of other work – and I have to be honest and say it probably won’t be until June what with one thing and another. That’s a shame but I cannot spend time feeling negative about it: there’s no value in that and it won’t change things anyway!

What I have decided is to take the new novel with me on holiday and try to do a few sections here are there; I had intended to have a break but it’s flowing too well to stop, even if I only do a few sentences now and again. I don’t want it to get in the way of exploring a new place though: the writer in me also needs to have time to be inspired and learn about different places.

So writing’s going well on one hand and there’s room for development on the other.  I just have to keep swimming…

Actually, that’s pretty much every part of life at the moment!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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