Sunday, June 12, 2016

To Write or Not To, Right?

The quotes on my Friday post this week dealt with how you can take a break from writing but not from being a writer, and to be a successful writer you need to make it a priority. I questioned whether the two statements went together or not, and I think that they do.

There’s something hard-wired into a writer’s brain that keeps us writing no matter what. Even when we take a break from our writing we still think like writers, still see like writers. So in that respect, we never really take a break from writing. Which is a good thing, really, because to succeed as a writer you have to write no matter what.

Most people don’t make writing a high enough priority. These are the people who are doomed to fail. They intend to write, but end making excuses about all the other things they need to do instead. Turn that around. Make writing an excuse not to do other things.

It’s actually helpful to establish a regular time each day to write. Find the best time of day for you to write. It’s a combination of when you are most alert and when you have free time. Pick that time and write. Shut off distractions. Don’t answer the phone, don’t come to the door. For as little or as much time as you are writing, do only that.

While it’s important to write every day, don't let yourself become obsessed, especially if you’re the kind of person who tends to throw themselves into new projects only have their interest wane after a few weeks. Write for your hour or two and then continue with your daily routine. Remember that you're in it for the long haul. Your mind needs time to replenish itself so don’t be afraid to take the occasional break.

Wordage Report

Blog Posts (not counting this one)
3,245 words total
At first glance the words for the blog posts are way down, but if you take away the words for the extra post that was included in the last report, then they’re about the same. But one thing I’m happy about with the posts, I got them written earlier, so I didn’t have the “up until 2 or 3 a.m.” issues I had the week before.

Goodreads Reviews
2,148 words total
After some debate I decided to include this because it's new words, even if they're brief book reviews, and it can be time consuming. I've been trying to catch up on updating my Goodreads account, and as I writer myself I think it's only fair that I leave at least a brief review of the books I enjoy. Which is pretty much all of them - if I don't like a book, I'm not going to wast my time reading it.

New Ideas
0 words total
Not a one. My mind’s been a bit of a dust bowl lately. Sometimes the ideas come faster than I can write them down, sometimes ... no so much. But that’s okay, I’ve got ideas a-plenty in my files in case I want to start something new. Which I really don’t.

37 pages total
I had a break-through with An Elemental Earth last week, resolving a plot problem that was crucial to the next book in the series. But while I finished the first pass on Earth, it’s far from being done. There are a few places where some information is repeated and I have to decide where the best place is to include this information. You wouldn’t think it would be such a big deal, it’s the same two people passing the information along, but it is. At least to me.

New Words
349 total
And these were added to Earth. Of course there were a bunch of words deleted too, but I didn’t think to keep track of them. And it most cases it wasn’t so much deleting words as rearranging them.

No new words for Wandering Wizards. My characters are currently stuck in one of the Elven Realms, and so am I. I know how to get them out of there, I just don’t know what to do with them after that. There’s a couple of different paths the story can take from this point, and I really have no clue which path to take. Which is why I focused on the edits for Elemental Earth instead. ;-)

New Category
It occurred to me yesterday that I spent way too much time last week trying to decide what to work on. I have limited time for my writing and while usually most of it is spent on blog posts, there were a couple of evenings last week where I was sitting, staring at the computer screen, trying to decide which WIP needed the most attention. And ... I’d end up on social media or the MSN gaming site. So I figure it would behoove me decide ahead of time what I should be working on.

This Week’s Goals:
New words on Wandering Wizards
New words on Dreamer (the story I started a couple of weeks ago)
Finish first round of edits on Elemental Earth

Not unreasonable goals, especially seeing as I’ll have a bit of extra time this week. My daughter is going away on a course and I’ll be working extended hours babysitting. But the up side of this is the three-hour nap time, during which I should be able to get all kinds of writing done. That is, unless the granddaughter exhausts me to the point that I’ll need to take a nap too. ;-)

Just for a change, this week’s excerpt is from An Elemental Earth:

Chloe had left clean towels in the bathroom and he helped himself to a shower. When he was finished, he opened the door to find a tiny, grey-haired woman with an extremely large weapon pointed at him. She was dressed in a long, faded grey skirt and a bright red blouse, with a white apron over top. Without being told to, he raised his hands.
“And who might you be?” the woman demanded.
Her voice was high and sharp, and he was hard pressed not to smile. She was so tiny his wind could easily pick her right up and carry her away. “My name’s Zephryn, ma’am.”
“You’d be that pilot they’re searching for, I’d guess.”
“I guess so.” There didn’t seem to be any point in lying.
“Hmph!” The old woman tucked her weapon away in a pocket under her apron. “I might’ve guessed Chloe and her mother would be right in the thick of things. Have you had yer breakfast yet?”
“Ma’am?” Zephryn figured it was safe enough to lower his hands.
“Don’t ‘ma’am’ me, son. The name’s Granny.” She turned and led the way to the kitchen.
Too bemused to do anything else, Zephryn followed in her wake and was told to park himself in one of the kitchen chairs. Granny was obviously familiar with the place because it wasn’t long before he had a steaming plate in front of him.
“You don’t talk much. I like that in a man.”
He opened his mouth to speak and she waved a large spoon at him. “Eat first. Then you can ask questions.”
Zephryn was starting to believe that he’d hit his head worse than he thought in the crash and was dreaming all this - Chloe, her mother, this whole thing. It was all just some pain induced hallucination. But he didn’t believe an hallucination could cook this well. Breakfast was delicious and he quickly cleaned his plate.
“I like a man with an appetite too,” Granny said. “My Wilmott had a good appetite, rest his soul. Now there was a man that was pleasure to cook for.” She sat down in the chair opposite his, hands folded neatly on the table. “Fire away, son.”
“I beg your pardon?”
She frowned. “I didn’t take you for addled in the head. Your questions. Ask away. You must have a million of them.”

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