Redesigning My Work Plan

Redesigning My Work Plan

First, just to get it out of the way, my WiP is now over 25,000 words. It hasn’t grown much since August, less than 12,000 words worth.

I’m still a pantser for the most part. I do character questionnaires as the characters pop into the story. I use the Bing map to lay out where my story is happening, again, as the need arises. Both are just a tactic I use so I don’t forget details and end up making new particulars that don’t fit.

The process is slow. Most of this is due to the passages with physical movement by the characters. I find them hardest for me to do. Thoughts, dialogue, and description are the easiest. It’s a good thing my preference in genre isn’t something like Action and Adventure. I’m relatively sure I wouldn’t have a chance in that, and I would have given up long ago.

During the summer I was hoping to get more done. I was telling everyone, including myself, that warm or cold weather didn’t matter. I still think it doesn’t, but looking at the difference between what I did in the summer vs. what I’ve accomplished just in the last three weeks, there’s obviously something about summer that puts me in a slump.

Could it be that my poor little brain cannot get off the school time routine? School starts in August for the U.S. students these days. Back in ancient times, when I was in school, the school year started in September. I was one of those kids who was chomping at the bit to get back to the classroom by the second week of August . Summer had become a big ugly bore for me. Still, I’m quite certain my motivation wasn’t really ready until September. I would walk into the classroom, sit in my assigned seat and willingly put my nose to the grindstone.

Since the latter part of that first week of September, I’ve had good writing spurts. I’m not up to good sessions yet, but it’s better than working like a snail.

Did I hear you whispering about NaNoWriMo? No, don’t expect me to do it. I have a distraction that’s unbelievably annoying. There would be too many days when I wouldn’t get enough done. Get rid of the distraction? I would if I could, but I can’t.

Still, there’s a lot I can do to boost my output. Most of what I need is psychological in nature. Whatever works, right?

I still don’t have a new desk top. I’ve come to the conclusion that it just isn’t going to happen. However, I spotted one at the Wal-Mart site that is within my budget because of birthday money I received. It isn’t super fancy giving me oodles of surface space. It isn’t even real wood, plaster board. It does have the CPU compartment where I want it. It does have a couple of drawers instead of one. And most important psychologically, it isn’t an orange tinted wood stain. It’s charcoal! I’ll still need the shelf for all of the cable equipment, but I do have a piece of wood that will suffice for that. Sure, doesn’t sound psychological, does it? But it is. This orangy finish is so ugly and disquiet.

My space isn’t the only thing that needs rejuvenate.

Some of the blog posts I’ve been reading talk about when writing should be and how much time a session should be. For the longest time, I thought my schedule was okay. I’d like to start at about six in the morning, but there’s that distraction. So I opted for 9:30 to 11:30am. Then another session at 2:00pm for another two hours or more. But then I started questioning the wisdom of all that advice. Is a two-hour stretch enough? How many breaks are right for me? How about all those who write at night?

Come to find out, if I can’t start early, I’m better off waiting until at least 11:00am to start writing on my WiP. The morning is filled with other things that are kind of an obsession with me. Make the bed. Put the morning dishes in the dishwasher and clean off the kitchen surfaces. Do the laundry. Clean bathrooms. Vacuum and dust. By rearranging my time to write, I will get more of the story down and will be more focused. I can write from 11am to 3pm without having my brain go off to something else. Even after that, if the motivation is still high, I could continue for another two hours.

Of course, because of when I’ll be writing, I’ll need food that can sit on my desk and won’t taste raunchy if it lays there a while. Additionally, it has to be filled with protein, and be a little light on salt. There’s only one dish I’m going to have trouble with. That’s my cottage cheese with fruit. It’s a mainstay for me.

Yes, I’ll take a break or two in that span, but no more than ten minutes.

I will be at leisure on the weekends. Working on my WiP without some sort of long break is bound to make me go bonkers. This doesn’t mean I won’t work on it at all, but there won’t be the strict schedule. Instead, I’ll be working more on my blog post, writing comments at other blogs, sending email to friends, and doing some reading. Sure I do these things every evening, but I’m tired then. I’m sure it shows in my writing.

I won’t be visiting as many blogs during the week, waiting to do most of that on Saturday and Sunday. This will afford me time to expand my character questionnaires so they don’t have any chance of being less than three dimensional. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

§

Will this new plan work? I think it will, although it remained to be proven.

Have you revamped your work plan lately?

“Being in the mood to write, like being in the mood to make love, is a luxury that isn’t necessary in a long-term relationship. Just as the first caress can lead to a change of heart, the first sentence, however tentative and awkward, can lead to a desire to go just a little further.” ― Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life

 

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13 Replies to “Redesigning My Work Plan”

  1. I think it will work very well! It’s good to make plans with resting intervals and with achievable goals. Setting up a number of words per day has never been my thing. I prefer setting up number of hours and trying to come up with the best during that time. At the end what really matters is quality writing and not quantity 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Carla. That’s another reason why I’m not doing the NaNo thing in November. They want 50,000 words by the 30th, which means 1063 words per day. Sure, I have days when I reach 2000, but I also have lots of day when 700 words is a stretch. I’m certain I’d feel like a total failer if I subjected myself to the challenge. Nevertheless, I do cheer on the ones who take it on.

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      1. I did the NaNoWriMo two years ago and was a wonderful experience. I think it works when you’re stuck with your WiP and you really want to finish it. Of course a first draft is very far from being a book. It’s also very helpful when you have problems setting up a routine. It was really helpful for me, but I won’t do it this year. Maybe, next year, when I start a new manuscript, a new book. Right now, I still have to focus on editing the current one.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I long ago switched most of my blogs to weekly notifications. I get those Monday and spend much of Monday morning visiting efriends. That seems to work well for me, avoiding all the distractions during the week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uhmm… Monday may be a better day. I do my laundry on Monday, so I’m jumping up to change loads often during the morning hours. Still, I have that distraction that is here most of the weekend, which doesn’t interfere with write comments–a lot anyway. Monday may be a worthwhile alternative to one of the weekend days. I’ll have to mull it over for a while. :/

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  3. Glynis, I sense much more success than you seem to acknowledge for yourself. I’ve never counted words, but quality. I hardly pay attention to the clock except for dealing with other obligations. It’s great to see how others accomplish their goals but I never use someone else’s strategy for my own. 12,000 words this summer? You doubled your output – excellent! You are too hard on yourself. I’ve never cared for translating creativity into a math analogy.

    BTW, NaNoWriMo is not for me either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great to see you out and about in the blogosphere, Shari.

      It was just yesterday that I started to have misgivings about my writing schedule. It would have worked out so fantastically if life would stay pretty much the same everyday. Of course, the second that starts happening, a monkey wrench is thrown in to screw things up. I, basically, have eight and a half hours to write if I take into consideration that I have a house to clean, phone calls to make [mom and son] on a regular basis, emails to send out [brother and stepsister], a little exercise time, cat hairballs to clean up, laundry to do, and dinners to make–oh, and those pesky doctor and dental appointments to keep. There is nothing in this lineup that takes all day.

      I should probably forget the clock watching like you do. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the way you are being thoughtful about your process and your work schedule, considering what you do and what might work better, refining your workspace so you feel more comfortable in it, working your way toward what will work best for you. I think you are wise to find your own way rather than relying on the advice of others. And I have the feeling you will get where you need to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, although I wrote this post just a week ago, I’m already re-evaluation the schedule. I’ve come to the conclusion, for how long I can’t tell, that I’m one of those who is extremely fickle. My current surmise is that I would get more done if I just wrote whenever I’m aware of how the story can move along. And if more time goes by that I believe is needed for this, I need to force my butt in the chair and drag the words out of me. I came to this decision because of several calls I received in two days. All were necessary. No one was one of those calls telling me about my credit or starting off with “Hello Senior!”. The calls were disruptive, of course. Yet, it couldn’t be helped. It’s bound to get worse as the holiday season approached.

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      1. When I started writing, I tried to adhere to an imposed schedule and felt frustrated for the reason you mention: calls important to me, then necessary appointments, the need to work in my garden or house on special projects, etc. Now I write when I have an idea or am excited about finishing a piece I’ve started and can find the time. It has lowered my frustration. Of course, the columns and posts I write are much shorter than what you’re working on! In time, I’m sure you’ll figure out what works for you.

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