Barbara Barrett

Romance at Work

Thoughts from the Treadmill: Turn the Page

My latest romance novel, Driven to Matrimony, will be released worldwide on January 15. Stay tuned for updated buy links.

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Happy New Year! While I’ve been confined indoors over the holidays due to very brutal winter weather outside, I’ve had time to think about the year ahead and what I want to accomplish. It is definitely going to be a year of changes. My husband will retire later this month. Our current home is on the market, and as soon as it sells, we will be moving into our new home, which is smaller and more compact with state-of-the-art built-in technology. There’s a new grandchild on the way. And Driven to Matrimony will be released worldwide on January 15.

Those changes on the horizon I already know about. It’s also time to “turn the page” on my writing career and move on to new aspirations. In essence, these are my 2014 goals or resolutions; I don’t know the difference.

Underlying everything else I do as a writer this year is my determination to be more productive, not necessarily spending more time on the laptop, but using my time more effectively to complete projects faster. I also want to be smarter about the way I complete them. I consider my writing style a hybrid of both plotting and creating by the seat of my pants. Typically, I lay out the basic points in a story (set-up, inciting incident, first turning point, second turning point, black moment, resolution and wrap-up) and then go from there. Once I finish the first draft, I put what I’ve got so far into a table by chapter broken down by scene to analyze what I’ve got. I also try to use Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict approach to laying out the story framework. This requires discipline – to make it as specific as possible from the start as well as continue to review and revise it as the story evolves.

Those steps constitute a great start, but it’s time to add a few more steps which, if tackled as I go, will save a lot of time later. The first additional step is to do a better job documenting the story facts: names and descriptions of all the characters, time line, dates, and any other pertinent information that may seem easy to remember now but will completely allude my memory bank in a year. To get started, I’m going to build a table for each current writing project.

Last year, as you may recall from prior posts, I took an online course on Scrivener taught by Gwen Hernandez. It’s time to start employing what I learned, but I think that will work best with a brand new project, and currently I’m revising a third draft of one project and am three-fourths finished with a first draft. So a brand new project is at least another month off.

I also need to do a better job organizing and filing promo documents. I just spent the better part of the day tracking down my most recent bio, excerpts from my new book, Driven to Matrimony, blurbs, contact info and buy links. They’re all over the place instead of in one easy-to-locate spot.  That tracking down time could have been better spent writing. So an hour invested putting this all together today, will hopefully save several hours in a few weeks or months trying to remember where to find something.

I’m sure there many more time-saving techniques are out there just waiting for me to find them. But for now, the above initiatives are more than enough to master.

DriventoMatrimony_7901_750AndHeCooksToo_7346_75076fbc-thesleepoverclause

Driven to Matrimony                 http://amzn.to/1aowiJ2

The Sleepover Clause               Amazon ebook, Amazon POD

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

iBookstore

Kobo

And He Cooks Too                The Wild Rose Press, TWRP POD

Amazon Kindle, Amazon POD

Barnes and Noble Nook

iTunes

iBookstore POD

Kobo

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