Tag Archives: Christmas

Being fair

Too much communications ?!?!

Too much communications ?!?! (Photo credit: occhiovivo)

 

Today I’m posing a question that I’d like people’s thoughts on: Can you work on two projects at once and be fair to both of them?

I’ve always been a one-story-at-a-time kind of girl. I have never been able to devote enough attention to two different projects at once and do them both justice. One will be going fine, but the other will be neglected (and in all likelihood complain about it loudly). I’m also the sort who insists on finishing one story before starting on the next one, because otherwise I’d have a whole stable of unfinished tales out there. Now, JRR Tolkein I am not, so having a collection like that doesn’t really inspire me.

What I’ve been doing this year is working on novel #2, which has a working title of Caffeinated. (This will probably change a number of times during the writing process, but I quite like having working titles even if they do swap around every other week. It beats the situation I found myself in a few years back when I was ready to post a novel online and discovered I didn’t have a title, so I just called it the first thing that came into my head. I didn’t like what I came up with then and I like it even less now, but it seems to have caught on so I am loathe to change it.) I gave myself permission to start work on Caffeinated because novel #1 had a completed first draft. That, and I only came up with the premise just before Christmas and it was all new and exciting in my mind.

Trouble is, I’m falling into old habits. I had set aside this year to edit my first novel, the one whose first draft I completed in November. But I’ve been working on novel #2, and as such novel #1 has fallen by the wayside. I haven’t even opened it this year, let alone started editing. And while I told myself it was becuase I was waiting for a book I’d ordered about structure to arrive from the UK, it arrived last week and I still haven’t done anything about it. Yep, I’m finding myself unable to work on two different projects at once again.

I’m a little torn as to what to do about this. Should I quash my instincts and make a concerted effort to work on both at once? Or should I make a deal with myself, alternating with one story one week (or month) and the other story the next? Or should I work really hard to get a draft for novel #2 done by, say, August, and then edit novel #1 after a good nine months’ break?

What works for you?

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The day of the missing post

 

Hi all! I’m afraid that there’s no guest post or book review or anything today – not because I didn’t have any lined up, but because I’m not well and just can’t spend the required amount of time at the computer putting it all together without feeling ridiculously sick. So sorry about that but it does happen, sometimes. :(

While I’m here I’ll also say that next week will be my final posts for the year. I’ll take a break over Christmas and will start posting again on January 7.

Have a nice weekend, everyone! Cheers :)

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Working with distractions

distractions and arguments

distractions and arguments (Photo credit: Will Lion)

Who, me? Distracted? Never! Oh, look, a bird ….

We’ve all been there, surrounded by distractions when we’re trying to work. It doesn’t even matter what the work is, it’s just impossible to concentrate on it. Well, that’s me at the moment.

Of course, it’s largely self-inflicted, which I suspect is the same for a lot of people. For me, it’s the start of the international cricket season in the southern hemisphere. I have a real weakness for sport, which I alluded to when the Olympic Games were on, and it’s impossible for me to sit in a room with a television or a radio without keeping an ear on the score. Heck, even if there is no television or radio, that’s what the internet is for, right? I’m far more likely to be distracted by a sporting event than I am by Facebook or Twitter, and while the white noise that is the commentary doesn’t necessarily take too much of my attention, if something happens in the game then I’m going to turn around and watch it. During the winter it’s not such an issue, as a football match is over in a couple of hours, but Test cricket goes for five days. Hence, the distractions.

Of course, that’s not the only thing that’s keeping my mind from my work. The kids are getting excited about Christmas and much of our spare time is taken up making sure that all the shopping has been done. (Thank goodness for internet shopping, let me tell you. I’ve never bought so much at 9 o’clock at night.) Plus of course there are the usual school commitments, weekend sporting commitments and the like, and of course the sanity-saving gatherings with friends. Writing time? What writing time? It’s a good thing I’ve only committed to 500 words a day.

The good news, for me at least, is that I’m keeping to my schedule. 500 words a day hasn’t proven too onerous, even with everything else going on. I may be distracted but I’m managing to stay on target, so with any luck this manuscript will be done before I know it. I started reading it from the start the other day and didn’t want to stop, so I figure that’s a good thing. Now I just need these final bits to be done – fingers crossed by the end of the month – and that all-important first hurdle will have been overcome.

So tell me, is it just me, or is this just a generally distracting time of year? I’m trying to work out how I did the last two NaNos in November and won both, with all that’s going on. Of course, not everyone will have the same distractions as I do, but I’m sure that everyone has something that keeps them from being more productive, no matter what they’re trying to achieve. Sure, it comes down to priorities, but that’s something we all have to juggle all the time. It just seems, to me at least, that at the moment there are more competing priorities than usual.

No? Just me then? Oh well. I shall just keep juggling them like I always do and plod away with my 500 words. And to everyone else out there who is struggling to find time for everything, don’t worry. It’s just that time of year, and you’re not alone. :)

 

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NaNoWri-NO

 

Image: NaNoWriMo.org

 

That’s right. I’m not doing it.

This year, for the first time in three years, I’ve made the decision not to do NaNoWriMo.

It has nothing to do with dissatisfaction with the NaNo people or process. I’ve done it two Novembers in a row and won each time, though I admit I failed dismally at Camp NaNo this July. The thing is, though, that with my current story, I don’t have 50,o00 words left to write. Sure, I could write something else, but my priority at the moment is really to get this first draft finished. I’m already three months overdue and, with my new deadline being Christmas, I just want to get it over with.

I toyed with the idea of trying to finish it by the end of October and doing something completely different in November with NaNo. Unfortunately, I’ve been unwell and a number of other things have been coming back to bite me, and the time (and, frankly, inclination) just haven’t been there. I’m working my way through these final scenes and I’m getting there, but it’s a long, drawn out process. Perhaps if I was one of those people who writes in order it would be different, because I’d be building up to the dramatic end of the story, but I’m a non-linear writer and the end has been written since, well, two NaNos ago. No, what I’m doing now is doing a couple of sub-plots and some filler scenes that lead onto the next bit of drama. No wonder it’s taking me forever.

As such, I’m giving NaNo a miss this year. Instead, I’ll use November to (hopefully) kill off these last 15,000 or so words that need writing, and get this draft done once and for all. My character biographies are helping dramatically, I might add; that little writing exercise is clearly one that works really well for me. (Actually, there seem to be a lot of similarities between my writing habits and those of the lecturer in this course I’m doing, which is incredibly helpful.)  Then, once my draft is done I’ll take some time off over Christmas and attack it with the red editor’s pen in the new year, refreshed and, with any luck, able to look at it with a new set of eyes.

Then next November I’ll do NaNo again, with the next story. At least, that’s the plan as it stands now. Wish me luck! :)

 

 

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