Monday, July 24, 2006

Dash, Dot, Dot ...

I don't get writer's block. Is that too proud to say? Putting words on the page isn't the problem. It's getting the butt in the chair that can be difficult. And once in the chair, getting started. The words are ready, but apparently I'm not.

The web site 43 Folders has a lot of tips on managing work and managing time. This one suggests a method to alternate a flurry of work with short breaks.

I had done that during National Novel Writing Month, writing off the top of my head for ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes. That was spurred on by others posting on the forum, saying "How did you do?", "How much did you write?", "Let's go again!".

I'm trying it now on my own. Works well, and eventually I get sidetracked with the work and forget to take the breaks. Just a matter of getting started.

Monday, July 03, 2006

FY, Aye ...

  July starts the new fiscal year.  Any new start (1st of the month, January 1st, or even Monday) is a good excuse to own up to the past, shake it off, and try harder going forward.

  The previous fiscal year started in March (when I threw off the shackles of my night job), so there is not much to report.  Despite some failures, the outlook for FY07 is promising.

Stories Submitted: 4
  Productivity was not stellar.  Still, the work was put out there.  One mainstream, one SF, and one flash fiction stories are still in limbo, waiting for the first verdict.  One SF piece has been rejected 8 times, but is on the road for the ninth time.  As Heinlein said, "You must keep it on the market until sold."

Contests Entered/Won: 2/1
  50% return is great.  I think I'll quit while I'm ahead.

Novels Completed: 0
  Disappointing, but solid work was done and the future looks bright.

  • I thought I could get at least one thing published.  Turned out to be the contest entry.
  • Another goal was to get a short story accepted.  Failure there.
  • Finally, there was the 100 hours in June challenge.  Failed miserably, putting in only 50 hours.  However, it was a good lesson.

1st Quarter Goals:
  The theme is to focus on what I can control.  One mistake in the prior quarter was to have a goal of getting a story accepted.  Short of self-publishing, I can't accomplish that directly.  With that in mind, the following are the expectations for 7/1 - 9/30/2006.
  • Have 12 stories out for submissions.  Requires writing 3 more flash fiction, and 5 more short stories.
  • Complete SF novel.  It has good bones but needs a lot more meat on them.  Backstory, world building, and research are required, plus about 50k+ words.
  • Consistently post on blogs (own and others) and critique work of others.  Online distractions need to be limited.
  • Keep up with Two Year Novel class assignments.

  Is that all?  ;-)