Making Progress

Now that baby boy is getting slightly more independent and I’m getting more rest, I’m working on things. I’m still not great about reading books, but I’m determined to keep on trying. It’s hard because some of them are good, but not great. For me, it’s hard to find a book that really enthralls me. It doesn’t even have to be the best well-written, just if the story is good and moves well. So if you have any MG recommendations, throw them at me.

I’ve started writing the sequel to my “Tower” book. It’s a MG Fantasy. This series has been crazy, it’s like it possessed me and I wrote outlines for several books. I have been editing the first one, but that gets a little humdrum after awhile, so I decided to start writing the second one. I had planned to do it for NanoWrimo, but it just didn’t happen. But I’ve realized I’ve got to spend time writing, even if just for my own mental health. You feel really cut off from the world as a SAHM. Especially in our covid times. It’s hard to keep reaching out when it’s not reciprocated.

I don’t blame them, it’s hard enough to reach out in the first place as a mom. Kids really take over your whole world. And it could be they have family in town, whereas we really don’t. So it gets lonely. But somehow crafting stories can help fill that void.

I just wanted to brag a little about making progress. And I’m submitting a small portion to my writer’s group again. They are so good with helpful feedback. We all critique each other’s stuff and make each other better writers and it’s so great to have that.

How are you doing? Are you meeting writing goals? Or maybe just having fun? What kinds of books are you reading lately?

Writing When You’re Busy

Most of us will reach a point in our lives when we feel like we’re too busy to write. Whether it’s a challenging job, parenting, or other life events, it’s going to happen. So how do you squeeze it in? I’d like to hear from you. Here are things I do to make time.

Outlining on My Phone

I’m a plotter, at least in the sense I write an outline before I write the actual story. I don’t have to have all the details ready yet, but I like to get a bare bones idea of the story before I really flesh it out. And it is writing. You’ve got to get those ideas out sometime.

Now I don’t always write on my phone. I prefer the ease of the keyboard vs. swiping ad infinitum. But sometimes you don’t have time to sit down and type. I do find myself waiting, especially in our pandemic world. Maybe it’s waiting for a pick up, or the flu shot, or a really long shopping line. So why not make the most of the time and get a few ideas down? That’s one of the many reasons I love Google Docs. You can sync up what you’re doing from anywhere. That way you can continue your idea at home, on your computer if you like. Or perhaps you’d like a long soak in the tub? Keep going on your phone (just be careful not to let it take a plunge, lol).

I don’t think I’d get as much writing done if I didn’t employ this method, because I also…

Editing on My Phone

Already have a story written? Time to polish that bad boy up. And no better way to do it than… you guess it, your phone, haha! Seriously though, I’ve heard many editors say it’s good to change up the way your story looks to edit it. What they meant was font change or print out. But I think that can apply to your phone, too, because the page spacing will be different. I’ve caught many errors that way.

And editing still counts as writing.

Setting Aside A Specific Time

Setting a goal of ten minutes a day or even 30 minutes on Wednesdays is another way to make the time. You can get a lot more written in ten minutes a day than you think. And ten minutes a day is more than 0 minutes a day. So is 30 minutes on Wednesdays. My husband is an exercise science major and he always touts the “better than zero” plan for exercise, which is even exercising 5 minutes is better than zero.

I think the same can apply to writing. Maybe you can only get that one line out today. That’s still one line more than zero. It would be nice if we could all take the time off to write the great American novel. Even many published authors will tell you they still have to keep a day job, which means time is limited. So do “better than zero.” I’m honestly saying this to myself as much as anybody.

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on making time for writing? Have you got any tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments.

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Finally Checking In

Okay, here I am. Whew. I did some things though, so be proud.

  1. Blog Again. A post. Yeppers.
  2. Edit my MG Novel. A few changes, but there will be more since I submitted it to my writer’s group.
  3. Enter at least 2 writing contests. No progress here either.
  4. Regularly attend my writer’s group. I almost forgot. We were watching Squid Game when my phone reminded me. Whew!
  5. Bonus Goal: Write the sequel to my MG fantasy during NaNoWriMo. At least it’s still October, right?

An itty bitty baby does keep you busier than you think. Remember in college when you had all the time in the world somehow? I feel like I did. I could play Diablo until the wee hours of the morning and still have enough time to get my homework done. Ah, Diablo. The good old days. Ah, video games. The good old days.

What are you missing about your good old days? Are you hitting your goals? Let me know!

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#Row80 Mid Week Update

So, yeah, I totally spaced this. You see, Mr. Z decided to do the truffle shuffle in the poop leaking from his diaper among other things. They tell you there’s a lot of poop, but you don’t really get it until you get it.

Did I accomplish any of my goals? To quote Eddie Huang from Fresh Off the Boat, “Aw, hell naw.” Except, I guess, that I blogged about it. Check!

But the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So let’s put one foot in front of the other, and soon we’ll be walking out the door. Hey, hey!

#Row80 Begins!

I’ve been waiting almost a month for this. I know the Row80 folks wouldn’t have minded if I jumped in late on the last round, but I like to officially start things, so here I am. For those of you who don’t know about Row80, you basically list goals you want to accomplish. And then you spend the next few months accomplishing them and reporting in. For a writer, it’s often very good to have some accountability somewhere. That’s why I love it. I haven’t done it in years, but I’m ready to roll.

Goals

  1. Blog Again. It’s a simple goal, but it’s more about making it habit. The old saying was 21 days, but apparently that’s all over the board now. Regardless, habits can’t be made until they happen often, right? So here we go!
  2. Edit my MG Novel. We’ll just call this one Tower. It’s a Middle-Grade Fantasy and I’m super excited about it. I really think this is the one for publishing. It’s been fun changing to middle-grade because I’ve done YA and Adult for so long. The most helpful thing I’ve done for this transition is to read middle-grade books to get in the language zone. Anyways, polishing is a writer’s life, so I want to do that. I’ve already haphazardly edited it, but now I want to get it really shiny for submission next year.
  3. Enter at least 2 writing contests. I don’t know if there will be 2 contests I’ll want to enter this year per se, but I want to at the very least have two submissions ready to go for whatever contests I select. Preferably flash or short fiction.
  4. Regularly attend my writer’s group. We’ve been meeting online since the pandemic started. They might be back in person, I’m not sure. But either way I want to start participating again. There’s some real synergy that comes from sharing goals and ideas with other writers.
  5. Bonus Goal: Write the sequel to my MG fantasy during NaNoWriMo. I don’t know how much of this will be possible and I don’t know that I’ll be able to win, because of my little guy, but you don’t make any progress if you don’t try. Right?

Let’s do this!

Photo by Luke Webb on Pexels.com

What about you? What are your goals for this Row80? Or just in general?