The second month of the calendar year is coming to a close. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Have you been making progress or have they died on the vine? I revisited my first blog post of 2014 to reacquaint myself with what I planned to do this year. My spouse has now retired and is busy finishing the basement of our new home. Our latest grandchild, a girl, arrived two weeks ago. I finished the rough draft of the manuscript I’ve been working on since last summer, the sequel to The Sleepover Clause, tentatively titled The Travel Clause, and I signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press to publish Saved by the Salsa.
I also indicated I wanted to work smarter with my writing this year and produce more. On the positive side, I’m making progress. I’ve begun listing the physical descriptions, personal characteristics and relationships of my characters. Not finished, but a good start. I anticipated some of the information I’d need to provide my publisher once my contract was signed; in the future, I will need to get started sooner, but this was a good beginning.
I also drafted a rough outline of the third-part of my “Sullivan’s Creek” series, created a brand for it and began the outline of a Christmas novella.
On the negative, or should I say not-quite-as-positive, side, I haven’t made as much of a dent in the writing I want to do this year. I can rationalize my lack of progress by pointing out how I stuck with my work-in-progress to finish the rough draft even though I didn’t have a clear idea how I wanted it to end (that’s what revisions are for), and this dogged day-by-day, line-by-line dedication took more time than it should have. Some of my time has also been taken up with edits (which get priority over all other writing) and reading several books for a writing contest. The only good thing about these rationalizations is they pinpoint how I invested my time elsewhere so I can plan for similar eventualities down the road.
But here’s the thing about resolutions, at least as far as I’m concerned: just because you haven’t realized them yet doesn’t mean you scrap them. Instead, you hunker down and keep working on them in the months ahead, only you get smarter at it.
The Coach Me is helping the Writer Me work through a course correction, what I need to do differently. Create a weekly to-do list. Nothing fancy or detailed. Maybe three or four items per week. Not necessarily to be completed but to be worked on. Then keep tabs of daily progress. There’s something very motivational about crossing items off a list. One of those items to be chiseled away at is doing a better job documenting and anticipating promotional needs. I mentioned that in January but didn’t tackle it yet. I’m also on the lookout for more tips from fellow authors and others about how they’ve become more productive.
As part of this effort, starting in March I plan to go to a monthly rather than weekly blog post on the second Monday of the month. I hope you’ll keep reading.
Driven to Matrimony
And He Cooks Too