Posts Tagged With: writing

#ROW80: Overwhelmed

The transition to summer is always a bit bumpy.  Adding in my husband’s employment change has made it extraly so.  There’s always so much to do and with the changes it feels like there is extra to do (there actually is like haircuts, doing chores my husband normally does, and so on… though not as much as I feel there is).  I overwhelmed myself with tasks last Friday and Saturday (trying to do it all as fast as possible), so I ended up falling short and missing doing my writing those days.

This week, I have been as careful as I can be.  I planned properly.  Though, planning writing was a bit tricky because I was in the process of changing my process.  Before, I singlemindedly worked on a project.  However, I fear I won’t make my 2018 goal of getting a new work published if I don’t work on some new short stories.  So, I’m now rotating between projects in different stages.

Well, in theory I am.  I kind of rushed my “writing” project last week (FAIRY).  I wrote, edited, and submited it in one night!  Hey, it was less than 500 words and it took four hours.  Thankfully, I got it in one day before the deadline!  But I didn’t count the writing project’s edits and submission in the rotation and went onto edits the next day (for PET)… Then I got overwhelmed.  So, Monday I got back on the horse and edited (PET) some more.  Today?  I sent out FAIRY again, as the market I wrote it for passed on it.  Tomorrow I’ll start a new writing project (PRINCE), but it might take a few weeks to get it done.

Hopefully, I can more whelmed and less over as I work on my goals.  To review, those are (and how I’m doing):

2018 Goals
Have something new published. – Not yet
Finish Querying GRANDMA – [DONE on 5/17]
Finish Editing PET – Working on

(Round) Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– [DONE on 4/26/18]
Edit SUMMER–  [DONE on 5/16]   
Send out SUMMER– [DONE on 5/16]  
Submission (1/week)– 3/1 Same piece has gone out twice.
Edit PET – There are 12 chapters.  I want to do 3 edit passes.  I am on pass 1 of 3.  I have edited 4 our of 12 chapters. 

(Round) Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– [Bulk portion accomplished 4/17/18] [Finished Free Comic Book Day stack 5/16/18] I have 2 weeks of comics to catch up on and another week’s coming in tomorrow.  I’m getting in the weeds again!
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– [Finished 6 – last updated 5/29/18] Recently finished DC BOMBSHELLS volume 6.

(Round) Blogging
Every Tuesday– Somehow made it before work…

Plan For This Week
(Which is going to be quick because I have to leave for work in 10 min)
#1- Edit chapters 5, 6, & 7 of PET.
#2- Start Writing PRINCE
#3- Submit another work
#4- Seriously make time to read my freaking comics before it becomes that stack of 200 again and guilt swallows me whole!

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#ROW80: Choose Your Own Blog Post

littleROW80So welcome to Choose Your Own Blog Post!  (You know, like those 80s novels, Choose Your Own Adventure!)  I am going to try an summarize each topic in a heading (sentence).  If you want to read that part, great!  If not, move onto the next heading.  You read the parts you want to without missing out/overlap.  Are you read?  Then let the blog post begin…

If all goes well, in one month I’ll know if I have thyroid cancer.

As I said before my break, I had a biopsy scheduled (and done) on the 23rd.  At that time, my doctor took samples for two tests.  The first test was the same one I’ve done now 3 times.  And I got the same exact results as last time.  Some mutated cells, but not enough to say it is cancer.  The second test is to test those mutated cells and determine if the genomes for cancer are present.  Those test results should reach me in a month (possibly a month and a half).

But don’t think things haven’t changed, because they have.  First, I have an appointment for a thyroid surgeon in two months.  My doctor wants me ready should this be cancer.  (More on that if it happens.)  Second, my risk of cancer has shot up.  It went from 3-12% to 30-50%.

And in all honesty?  To me, it has always felt like the odds were 50/50.  It is either cancer or it isn’t.  I know statistics and math… But to me, it has always been this much.  However, now that it is at 30-50% it is starting to feel more like 75%.  And that’s scary.

The anthology I submitted SUMMER to was canceled so it won’t be published.

There’s a little more to the story than that.  Seems I missed the publisher’s announcement that the anthologies after a certain point were canceled.  This included the one I had written SUMMER for.  However, the editor did say I could publish the short story through them as a stand-alone piece.  The header, though, lets you know I didn’t pursue this option.

Those that followed along from the beginning know I struggled so much with this piece.  In the end, I was satisfied enough with it to submit it.  Though, I wasn’t happy with it.  While I thought it was a decent piece to be with many, I felt it wasn’t a solo thing.  So, keeping my writing career in mind, I passed on the option.

I am happy to announce the accomplishment of not only some ROW80 goals but one 2018 Goal.

2018 Goals
Have something new published. – Not yet
Finish Querying GRANDMA – [DONE on 5/17]
NEW GOAL- Finish Editing PET As I stated when I made these goals.  When I finish one goal, I need to add a new one.

Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– [DONE on 4/26/18]
Edit SUMMER–  [DONE on 5/16]   
Send out SUMMER– [DONE on 5/16]  
Saturday Submission (1/week)– I’m changing this to one a week since I am now doing a rotating project schedule (I will talk about this more next week after I test it out).  I did 17 queries in order to finish my 2018 goal.  Definitely went to break rocking it!
NEW GOAL: Edit PET – Last ROWnd I was working on this, but I stopped in order to meet the deadline for SUMMER (not knowing the anthology had been canceled).  Since I’ll be cycling my writing tasks, I chose this for my Edits (and it ties to my 2018 goal).  I already started on this.  Chapters 1 & 2 are done! 

Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– [Bulk portion accomplished 4/17/18] [Finished Free Comic Book Day stack 5/16/18] I am a little behind on last week.  I hope to catch up this week.
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– [Finished 5 – last updated 5/29/18] Recently finished DC BOMBSHELLS volume 5.

Blogging
Every Tuesday– Last week is an excused absence!

There’s a fine line between rewarding and punishing yourself, and I tend to be on the wrong side of that line.

On top of these goals, I have separate goals on a sheet of paper regarding my household and exercise.  My reward for meeting my exercise goals is a random clothing purchase.  I usually don’t buy myself clothes or nice things because I have a little more than enough (I rather pay off my credit card balance faster).  Except recently…

My socks started dying.  I would be putting them on and the top part had worn out.  They started shredding as I pulled them on.  Little by little, I started realizing I was running out.  And as it was I had very few pairs to wears comfortably with my knee-high boots.  So, I told myself… Make those fitness goals and you can buy them.

Only, life.  I was always super close.  But a family event or scheduling issue would make me miss one part of it by one.  I was proud of what I did those weeks, but did I reward myself for it?  No.

And even worse?  I was holding hostage a necessity (a good pair of socks is important when you are working in a store or running).

So this is my PSA:  Rewards are great and motivating things.  Promise yourself a bottle of wine when you sign that contract.  That necklace you saw and thought was pretty?  Run that 5K and buy it!  They should be indulgences and moments of celebration.  But don’t hold dinner off until you finish editing those three chapters, especially because you only have thirty minutes until you need to get in bed.  Don’t keep wearing falling apart shoes because you can’t have a pair until you run a ten-minute mile.  Don’t deny yourself water until the whole kitchen is spotless.  Things you need are not rewards.  They are musts!  Meet your musts ASAP!  

Don’t worry about me, though.  My husband found out what I was doing.  He bought me new socks.  And then, to break the cycle for myself, I bought myself new shoes for work/running the trails with the kids this summer.  The shoes I’ve been using have practically smooth soles (from being worn down).

And, though I could probably add another two discussion topics, let’s close this up with what I’m planning to do by my next blog post check-in.

#1- I will hopefully be up to date on all comics and have at least 1 more trade read.
#2- Edit chapters 3 & 4 of PET.
#3- Have a list of short stories on my hard drive that need a home.  Also Send 1 out.
#4- Find a new anthology to submit to.  Start work on that.
#5- Have my summer schedule worked out.  (And make sure I have time for writing and reading in it!)  Last day for my kids is Thursday.  We have a family fun day planned Friday, so I need it for Saturday and beyond.

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#ROW80: Because TBR Piles Need To Be Scary!

littleROW80Do you know what the first Saturday in May is?  The answer I am looking for is Free Comic Book Day.  I’ll be working the event (comic shop employee, after all), but before I start my day (at the best day job EVER), I’ll be buying.  Because FCBD is like the Black Friday for comic store sales.  And after I spent all this time catching up… I’m going to drown myself in it all.  (Not that I’ve conquered the pile yet…  However, it is less massive!)

But, I think all of us writers have that problem with any kind of reading material.  We want to read it all, but we only have so much time.  I guess I won’t be getting to my regular book pile as soon as I thought I was (and that pile is scarier)!

Speaking of time…
I am trying to find time every day to work on my writing.  That was step one in a new writing schedule.  I wanted to put it on a rotating system.  Like edit to a stopping point (like scene break or chapter end), switch to submitting (send out 3 things), write something (like a blog post or whatnot), and repeat the process for a while finishing a long list of projects I have going.  Thing is, the deadline for SUMMER is much closer than I give it credit for.  So, I can’t stop working on SUMMER to do other things (at all).  So, I guess I’ll be waiting until after SUMMER is out to rework my goals.

Speaking of goals…
Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– [DONE on 4/26/18]
Edit SUMMER– I am working on this.  Right now I am on my first stage of edits, which is reading for what’s missing (senses/themes/keywords) and intended edits.  I am 25% done with this at this very moment.   
Send out SUMMER– [On Hold]  
Saturday Submission (1/week)– 1/1.  Did it.  

Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– [Bulk portion accomplished 4/17/18] This is now back because now that I am done WATCHMEN, I need to catch up on the DOOMSDAY CLOCK series.  I’ll be reading the 4 issues along with my pull (I hope).
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– I finished the following trades this week: WATCHMEN, I HATE FAIRYLAND volume 3, GIANT DAYS volume 1, and ARCHIE volume 4.  I started WE ARE ROBIN volume 1.

Blogging
Every Tuesday– Trying to finish this before I have to get my kids from school. (And I did!)

The Plan For This Week
#1- Next check-in I want to be doing my second stage of edits (actually editing/rewriting) for SUMMER (25-50% in).
#2- My focus is back to catching up on single issues again, so DOOMSDAY CLOCK.  If I have time, I’ll pick up WE ARE ROBIN in the evenings.
#3- Submit something this Saturday, even though I will be at work at 10AM to get my sale buying on.

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#ROW80: It’s like exercise…

littleROW80Last week was rough for me.  I worked over double the number of hours that I normally do.  To survive it all, I cut (acceptable) corners on housework, relied on my family for help, and drank lots of rum.  The whole experience really shined a light on something I often say, but I often forget.  If I want it done, to the best of my ability and with little fighting myself, I need to do it in the morning.  Not first thing,  I am barely functioning until about two hours after I wake, but after breakfast and before ten.

For example… Exercise.  I do not have the will to run after I’ve cleaned my house and had lunch.  (I am incidentally writing this at such a time and the thought of running… Nope.)  I can do a couple of chores before that (Tuesdays I usually clean my chicken coop before running), but I had to get to it early.

And, yes, last week I cut (acceptable) corners, when needed, on exercising too.  But I did something every day (minimum of a 1-mile walk).

Looking back on it, I was amazed I did that.  See, I wasn’t always the most consistent when it came to exercising.  In fact, there was a time my writing was more consistent than my exercising.  My how times have changed!  So, I was talking with a friend on Monday about that.  And this isn’t where I say, “To solve my writing consistency problem I just need to schedule it in the mornings!” Because the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn’t just early morning scheduling.  Another big part of it was the every day.  I’d say every day might be the biggest part.

So, that’s what’s been on my mind.  That’s a change that may come about within the ROWnd (if things fall into place).  Just not this very moment.  Right now, I need to pick up the pieces from last week.  Maybe next week?  Let’s see what happens.

Now that I have waxed poetic about my consistency problems, it’s time to see if I am consistently making my goals.  (Not the smoothest transition, but it had to be done!)

Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– 1,100/1,000 still in progress (1 scene to go).  I managed to do the same exact amount as last week, which was kind of on purpose because SUMMER is now officially the minimum submission length. I found time to write this Wednesday evening, which was very hard for me (see the above about mornings).  I hope to get this finished this week (actually I need to get it finished and get to edits already).
Edit SUMMER– [On Hold]
Send out SUMMER– [On Hold]  
Saturday Submission (1/week)– 1/1.  Funny story, I was actually originally asked to work Saturday, but I ended up getting the day off.  This was the only writing goal I had faith in doing.  I mean, yeah I did it, but I did it while lazily drinking coffee and filling in my planner, rather than in the rush I expected to be in.

Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– ALL CAUGHT UP! [announced 4/17] Goal Note: I almost fell behind on this again, but last night I caught my butt back up!
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– I had hoped to read two issues in my WATCHMEN trade and two more in I HATE FAIRYLAND VOL 3.  However, I only read one in each.  As the week dragged on, I used my car time to decompress as I either had to go back to the office after dropping the kids home or get ready for my comic shop job.  It was stressful.
GRAND TOTAL OF ISSUES READ THIS WEEK: 7

Blogging
Every Tuesday– Yup.

The Plan For This Week
#1- Write that last scene and finish the first of my SUMMER goals.
#2- Resume reading WATCHMEN and I HATE FAIRYLAND.  With luck, finish both this week,
#3- Submit something this Saturday.
#4- Make a battle plan for transition to every day.  Mondays and Saturdays are concerning.  Sundays too, but I am considering a day off like with exercise.  With so much to consider that is why I need a plan!

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#ROW80 – Murky Middle

littleROW80Here we are still near the beginning of the ROWnd and I want to talk about middles… Sheesh!

There’s this point in my writing that I call the murky middle.  It isn’t because I don’t know the plot (I’m a plotter, not a pantser).  It’s because the goal (finishing the writing project) seems sooooo far off and the newness of it all wore away long ago.  It feels totally impossible and I can’t remember how I finished anything before it and I doubt myself and wonder why I even bother trying to finish it because [insert long list of negative thoughts here].  Oh, is it murky, dark, and not good there!

Right now, that happens to be where I am at.  Except, the murky middle that I’m currently fighting has nothing to do with writing.  I am experiencing murky middle with life.  Namely changes I am trying to make.

I am trying very hard to live in order of priorities.  I spent 2017 focusing on getting #1 (Family) and #2 (Self-Care) under control.  Once I reached a certain degree of success, late fall of 2017, I added Priority #3 (My Hopes/Dreams/Aspiration, which translates to Writing) and continued refining #1 and #2.

And… I’m still refining all three of these (nowhere ready for more).  Small steps, because slow and steady is the only way I can manage to create habits.  If I rush, I end up failing and failure leads negativity that I don’t need.

But, I am not patient.  I want to start in on #4 (My Spirituality) and I feel terrible for not being able to address #5 (Friends).  So I am very much in the middle and I felt that emotion of being in the middle of writing a book, but regarding life.

Thankfully, I can report that I think I might be coming out of it.  Just like with writing, I’m ignoring the big picture for now.  Instead, I’m focusing on small goals right in front of me.  For writing that’s finishing that day’s word goal.  For life, it is meeting the little goals I set for myself (like writing this blog on Tuesdays or going to the bank on Wednesdays).  I only look at today (for now).  And I know, eventually, all these today goals will build up and make something bigger…  For writing that’s a book.  In life’s case, a better, happier me.

So, onto how the Priority #3 goals going.  Also known as my ROW80 check-in.

Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– Last week, I didn’t write.  Instead, I edited the piece in places I needed to in order to get it the right shape so I can write later this week.  I swear that was part of the plan!  I have 2,200 words to reach minimum length for submission and I have three scenes to write.
Edit SUMMER– [On Hold]
Send out SUMMER– [On Hold]  
Saturday Submission (1/week)– 1/1.

Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– 11/7.  My daughter had one in her room that I needed to read.  Once I read that and fingers crossed I don’t fall behind this week… I should be done this goal come next week. (So long as I don’t fall behind again)
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– [On Hold]

Blogging
Every Tuesday– Here I am.

Now, onto more small steps.  By this time next week I hope to have the following done:
#1- Write 1k in SUMMER
#2- Send out 1 submission
#3- All single issue comics read & read at least 1 issue in my WATCHMEN trade

See ya next week!

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