Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  Managed 10 pages of new material last week. Not as much as I wanted, but I'm still moving forward. I hope to do better this week.

News from the publishing world: This article is geared more toward self-published authors, but I felt it had information anyone who is trying to promote their work could use. Link: Advanced Marking Tactics For Indie Authors

Quote of the week:  "If you don't make the time to work on creating the life you want, you're eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with a life you don't want." ~ Kevin Ngo. I'm not saying I don't like my life now, there's just some things I'd really like to change or have change.

Health news: According to research in Physiology & Behavior: Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience yawning helps your brain. When you yawn, you inhale deeper than normal exchanging warmer air with cooler air. This is good because the brain operates more efficiently when its cool.

Random things:  There's nothing like the soft purr of a cat cuddling up next to you after a hard day at work. 

Random photo of the week:

This a Halloween wreath my nephew's girlfriend made for us. I can't wait to hang it on the front door.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Planning Time Again

I'm a big believer in goal setting. It gives you something to work toward. I start out with the main goal then break it down into steps or smaller goals that make that main goal achievable. I set dates of when I want to reach the smaller goals so I keep moving forward. 

I realize it's only the middle of September but I've started doing the preliminary planning of my goals for 2015. I've sketched a few things out on paper. At this point there's nothing concrete or specific, just a few items I think I'd like to accomplish this coming year.

I'll let the list sit for a few weeks, adding ideas, subtracting ideas until I get the list down to two or three major goals that I want to achieve in 2015. After I have those goals, then I break each one down into 10 monthly goals. I do 10 monthly goals because it's nearly impossible for me to get anything of note done from the middle of November until the end of the year.

Depending on the monthly goal, I break it down into weekly goals. One weekly goal I nearly always set every month is to write 25 pages of new material each week. If I know I have something big going on a particular week then I set a smaller weekly page goal, but I try to write more the week before or after that busy week.

I think goal setting can help you achieve anything you want to whether it be writing a novel, losing weight, or breaking a habit. None of these things are easy to do, but goal setting puts you on the path to success.

Do you set goals when you have something you want to achieve?

Friday, September 12, 2014

This I know for sure...

I hate to wait. Or as I tell people, I'm not good at waiting. I don't mind waiting in line within reason or waiting at the doctor's office (also within reason).  Of course, being a writer, there's a lot of waiting involved but that's expected so I don't mind.

I think I'm more of a person who hates waiting for things to happen that I have no control over. I've been waiting for something I've been yearning for for the past 4 plus years to happen (and no, it still hasn't). On a more trivial note, I hate waiting for packages to come in the mail.

I've tried to develop patience for this over the years. One thing that I think helps is growing plants. There's nothing I can do to make something grow faster so it teaches me patience. I've been growing an African Violet plant for some time now. I've spent a lot of time trying to make it happy enough to blossom which it hasn't done in more than a year. Then finally, ta-da -- flowers.

It's said good things come to those who wait. My question is how long must one wait?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  As I mentioned on Monday, I've been dragging my feet when it comes to finishing the book. On the good side, I've reached day 83 in the 100 days writing challenge.

News from the publishing world: There are more books that I want to read than I could ever afford to purchase so I'm a big fan of my local library. I go at least every 3 weeks so I found this article interesting. Why The Public Library Beats Amazon For Now

Quote of the week:  "We each travel our own road. We will take detours meant for no one else, understanding that for some the detours are few and for others many. We will pick up stones in our shoes, and the stones may be small or large, at varying times. How we maneuver the detours and cope with the rub of the stones is what determines how and when we reach the finish line. This applies to life in general, as well as components of it such as career and personal goals." ~ Lisa Richard Claro. This quote reminds me that everyone has problems they're dealing with even when it looks like they're on top of the world.

Health news:  According to researchers at Louisiana State University one of the reasons dark chocolate is good for you is because the role cocoa powder may play in combating cardiac disease. Gut microbes (the good ones) help convert the cocoa compounds to molecules that help fight inflammation. Sounds like a good reason to indulge in chocolate to me.

Random things: I watch very little television as a rule but I'm really looking forward to the start of the fall TV season. I can't wait for Sleepy Hollow and Person of Interest to start. Are there any shows you can't wait to come back on?

Random photo of the week:

 I saw this on the internet. Considering how my writing has been going lately, it made me laugh and somehow seemed appropriate.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Reaching For The Finish

I've mentioned a few times before that I wanted to finish the first draft of my current work in progress by the end of August or by September 12th at the latest. Unfortunately that's not going to happen.

Between working 10 hours days the last week of August and doing only the bare minimum of writing last week (the 100 words per day required for the 100 day challenge) so I could enjoy the holiday and visits with family, I haven't meet my 25 page a week goal the last 2 weeks. I want to say this isn't an excuse, but if I'm honest with myself, it is. I had time to squeeze in more writing than just 100 or so words each day last week, but I didn't. 

I only have about 50 pages  give or take a few and the manuscript will be complete so one would think I'd be chomping at the bit to write those last pages and write "The End," but for some reason I'm not. I can't really say why I'm not rushing to finish. It's not like once I finish it, I'll be done with it. This is only the first draft so there will a lot of revisions/rewriting ahead of me. 

I don't know why I'm dragging my feet. Part of me wants to tie everything up and write The End, but part of me doesn't. It's not like I don't have an idea for the next book - I've been jotting down character sketches, scenes, and the like for the next book as they appear in my mind for the last month or more. 

Maybe it's because I really like these characters. Maybe it's because I know the first set of revisions are going to require a lot of work - someone I didn't expect turned out to be the villain, not the person I thought it was so I'm going to have to go back and lay the ground work for that so it doesn't come out of left field for the reader. Or maybe it's because I know I'm not going to even attempt shopping it around after the revisions are done until the first full week of January or so.

Do you ever find yourself dragging your feet about something that you once looked forward to?

Friday, September 5, 2014

This I know for sure...

I love to read. It's my favorite thing to do when I have free time. It's also usually the first thing I'll do when I have free time. I never go anywhere without a book or sometimes, my Kindle. There are times when I'd rather read than spend time with people. I don't know if it's because I'm an introvert or just that I enjoy reading that much.

One of my favorite memories of childhood is when my mom would take my brother and sisters and I to the library. We went about every three weeks. We didn't have a car so we walked there and back. Going, it seemed like the library was forever away. In reality it was probably only a 15 minute walk one way. Coming home seemed much shorter. It could be because I would always try to read and walk home at the same time. My mom would always tell me to close the book and to pay attention to where I was going, but as soon as I could, I'd crack the book open again. I wasn't the only one who tried to read on the way home. One time, my brother was reading on the way home and he walked right into a parking meter. Other than a black eye, he was okay. After that I decided maybe my mom was right and didn't read while walking any more.

What's your favorite thing to do when you have free time?