Friday, May 31, 2013

May 2013 Wrap-Up

The good thing about setting low goals is you can meet them!

Actually, sarcasm aside, that is an important part of goal-setting. According to the (admittedly rather annoying) SMART acronym, goals should be Attainable. Which was what I tried to do for May, since I knew it was going to be a busy month.

And it was! I spent about half the month out to sea, and the other half I had the normal multitude of demands on my time. So I am not too disappointed in myself for what I got done this month. I more than met my goals, and since the majority of it was accomplished in the last week of the month, I feel like I have a good momentum going into June.

For May, I ended up putting down 6930 new words (almost 2 whole chapters!) with 19 non-writing days.

June is also a busy month for me. I will be underway for 2 weeks, and those weeks include a training team visit and our annual ORSE inspection. But since I was able to get stuff done despite scheduling issues in May, I want to up the ante a little for June. I think 250 words a day and no more than 18 non-writing days is a SMART goal!

Percentage of wordcount goal met: 111.8%
Percentage of writing days goal met: 105.3%

Friday, May 24, 2013

Boring to Write Means Boring to Read

I've been mired in the depths of a bad bout of writer's block for the past few weeks.

I've talked about the dreaded writer's block before, and whether it's real or an excuse or just another word for depression isn't what I want to discuss today.

Before, I have always viewed writer's block from the perspective of what is going on with me. Lately, though, I have been grappling with the idea of what writer's block says about what I am writing. "If you're having so much trouble writing this scene, self," I told myself, "maybe it is because it's a crappy, pointless scene. Maybe something that is a struggle to write will also be a struggle to read." I've even included a few lines in my editing notes for the next draft about where I had the hardest time writing.

This was a worrying thought. It leads to a plunging downward spiral. "Okay, self, just skip to the interesting part!" I say, but I don't like to write like that. Skipping parts just makes me anxious about going back and filling them in, and I think it damages the flow of the story. (Although since I am a meticulous outliner, you'd think it would be easy to write out of order!) Besides, the few times I have tried the skipping technique, it wasn't any easier when I re-visited. It's just postponing the pain.

But as I struggled to get some words down tonight, I put that thought to rest. Sometimes it's just hard to write. Sometimes the stuff I write isn't riveting. But those don't always have to go hand in hand. Even if they did--that's what second drafts are for! So down with the self-doubt. Writer's block doesn't make me a bad writer, it just makes me a slow one!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 2013 Wrap-Up

I was so full of excuses about how busy March was (and they were real!), but I have nothing to explain April. Okay, work was a little crazy. But mostly I was just "not in the mood," which makes me so mad at myself. If I ever want to be a "real writer," I can't let it depend on something as capricious as my moods. Twelve years since I wrote my first manuscript and have I learned anything?


April started out promising. I wrote 6 of the first 7 days, hitting way above my goal for wordcount, and then it all fell away. Seriously. After that first week, I only wrote one other day. Which means I had 23 non-writing days and only a total of 3921 words. Still, that was another chapter. Getting closer!

May is going to be crazy with underway and everything, so I am not going to put too much pressure on myself. I've revised my daily wordcount goal down to 200 and my writing days up to 20 non-writing days. And anything more than that will just be a happy bonus!

Percentage of wordcount goal met: 42.2%
Percentage of writing days goal met: 60.9%