stephaniecain
12 September 2011 @ 01:26 pm
I've been making a lot of those lately. "It's a three-day weekend, I don't want to work on the revision." "I have a migraine. I don't want to work on the revision." "I worked on plotting and world-building for a different project, I don't want to work on the revision too." "I spent all day doing housework, I don't have enough energy for a revision day."

Seems like I've been making a lot in my personal life too. "I'm sorry I suck so much at keeping in touch." "I just haven't felt like being online."

The truth is, I don't feel like I have enough energy for everything life throws at me as well as everything I want out of life. Since it's impossible to ignore the need to work & pay bills, impossible to ignore a migraine that feels like a spike through your left eye, and impossible to ignore kittens who are running roughshod over your head? I end up letting personal stuff fall to the wayside. I don't answer emails quickly enough. I forget to call my best friend. I stay up too late one night and drag around at half-energy the next.

I've been simplifying and cutting some things out of my life lately. I intentionally let go of a friendship that meant a lot to me, but simply became too emotionally vampiric for me to continue. Even the friends I do value have gotten short shrift lately, and I'm sorry about that.

Of course, I also have had some victories. I think I've done pretty well at raising two kittens at once, which wouldn't have seemed like such a victory this time last year, but definitely is. I've gotten a third of the way through my novel revision, despite the new migraines that started in June. I've read over fifty books this year.

We're slipping into autumn, which is always a reflective season for me. Something about the combines throwing up clouds of chaff in a bean field, the golden light, the breezy cooling of the weather, makes me take stock of my life and yearn to give in to my wanderlust. Knowing my birthday is a month away makes me wonder where I'll be and what I'll be doing on my birthday next year.

Just a little bit of lunch-time introspection...
 
 
Current Mood: contemplative
 
 
stephaniecain
01 January 2011 @ 06:10 pm
I'm a reader of Procrastinating Writers blog and Write It Sideways blog. For the month of January, both bloggers are producing a "Better Writing Habits" newsletter, and I'm subscribed to that. So I'm going to try to post my responses here each day. We'll see how that goes! ;)

What are your worst writing habits of 2010?
Today’s Challenge: Identify your worst writing habit to be overcome, and devise a game plan stating exactly what you will do to break that habit in 2011.


My worst writing habit to be overcome is easily my habit of procrastinating. So my game plan:
  • Stop choosing Warcraft or Criminal Minds fanfiction over writing original things. Not that either things are bad, and I want to continue participating in the CM fandom as well as leveling my Dwarven Hunter and a couple of favorite alts on Warcraft. But I need to do those things after I've done my writing for the day.
  • Write 200 words each day. Rain or shine, sick or healthy, busy or lazy, it doesn't matter. 200 words is a minimum.
  • Stop reading so many blogs about writing and just write. I need to choose quality over quantity when it comes to the writing blogs I follow (and really, any of the blogs I follow). I need to keep current on what's going on in the writing industry, but too often I feel like a writer because I read the blogs, when I really should feel like a writer when I write.
 
 
stephaniecain
01 January 2011 @ 05:59 pm
So I generally eschew New Year's Resolutions (and I've recently become a fan of [livejournal.com profile] slightlyjillian's method of taking stock and making resolutions on your birthday). But I also think there's a lot of value in having a writing plan for the year, and October (when my birthday is) seems like a weird time to create that. So here I am on January 1 thinking about my writing plan for the coming year.

My job is going away in just over a year. The Fortune 100 company where I work is going through a business reorganization that is going to eliminate about 90% of the jobs in my department (Finance) here in Indianapolis. The work will still be done, but it's going to be done at a shared business services center in Texas near our corporate headquarters. At the moment I'm not planning to move with my job (though that might be an option). Fortunately, the company gave us a lot of warning about this; we've known for about a year already that our jobs were going. So I've had time to think about what I want to do.

What I'd like to do is start making money off my writing so that when I start looking for a new job, I can look at 30-hours-a-week or less. I have a novel-length manuscript close to being submission-worthy, so my first goal for 2011 is to finish polishing that sucker and get it out there. I'm giving myself at least until August to concentrate on my writing and not worry about finding a new job.

2011 in detail behind the cut )

Overall goals are to sell 4 short stories this year and find an agent for my novels.

[livejournal.com profile] astraea36 and I have a bargain going that for every hour she spends at the gym each week, I'll spend that amount of time writing the following week. She wants to get in shape and I want to get some writing done, plus she's my alpha-reader, so we both benefit. Aside from her nagging, which I hope will happen often, you're all invited to poke at me and help keep me accountable.
 
 
Current Mood: determined
Current Music: Mountains of Thunder - Wrath of the Lich King Soundtrack
 
 
stephaniecain
30 March 2010 @ 11:07 pm
In the interest of pure honesty, I have only managed 500 words once since making my new goals five days ago. Part of me feels like a failure and part of me has decided that I'm going on vacation in three days and bugger those goals.

I find myself frustrated. The common theme in my life is sitting at work wishing I was writing, then coming home and finding something like Warcraft or a well-written book or randomly linked studies about non-believers who are working in the pastoral field (while I was looking for a way to hide those Twitter posts on my LJ friends-list...you know how you do a Goggle search and click a likely result and then see someone talking about something non-related and then--ooooh, shiny!)

Anyway.

I suppose the good part is that I'm sitting down and hand-writing the words I do write. The bad part is that once I sit at the computer I seem to have trouble staying focused. I'm clearly going to have to start using Q10 more often, even though I'm stupidly in love with Calibri font ever since installing Office 2007. (Yes, I'm a typeface nerd, sue me.) I'll remind myself that I love the little clickety-clacking of the typewriter keys, and the satisfying ka-chinggggg when I hit the carriage return. Honestly at this point if I still had that old Royal Sahara electric typewriter, I would shut my computer off and make myself crank out a few pages on that.

Of course, what I've discovered is that as soon as I set a goal like that, Life Happens. I spent the weekend painting and cleaning at my grandmother's old house to try to get it ready to sell. My best friend's dad is in the hospital. Another friend is possibly facing hospitalization. Another friend needs me to give her cat insulin shots on a fairly regular basis because she's dating someone a couple of hours away.

And in the time I have left, I get selfish and whiny. I don't want to write. I want to relax! I want to read or play a game. I don't want to THINK.

I'm going to tell myself that a good vacation will help me out. Vacations always get me writing.

Check this space two weeks from now. *G*
 
 
Current Mood: frustrated
 
 
stephaniecain
18 September 2009 @ 11:16 pm
Why is it that whenever I am at my day job, I get all excited to work on the novel…and that excitement seems to be killed by the hour-long commute at the end of the day?

I sometimes write at lunch, but the conditions around my coworkers aren’t conducive for that often. I’m not a morning person, so getting up at 5:30 to be at work is hard enough…not to mention if I started writing at 4 am every day, I would end up calling off from work an awful lot because I wouldn’t want to stop writing.

I need to evaluate my schedule and figure out how to preserve my writing motivation through the end of the day.
 
 
Current Mood: depressed
 
 
stephaniecain
29 August 2009 @ 07:50 pm
*cue hysterical laughter*

Sometimes it seems like I'll do anything to avoid writing, whether subconsciously or not. For the past few weeks I've been on a crusade against dust kitties and unused junk in the house. A couple of weeks ago I got a new Dirt Devil vacuum and have been cleaning with a vengeance ever since. I've discovered that with the new HEPA filters in vacuums, I can clean without stirring up too many allergies. So I've turned the Room of Doom (aka Merlin's room) into something that is once more usable and mostly tidy. I've rearranged my desk to make it easier to keep organized and to streamline my work-flow. I've finally taken the Harry Potter books out of my primary bookshelf and replaced them with criminology books and non-fiction accounts of the FBI's behavioral analysis program.

But have I done any actual writing?

Well, of course not.

I haven't even made any in-roads on revising the novel that I want to submit 50 pages of for the Writers Digest Editors' Intensive in October. I haven't even looked at it.

I have managed to make a scene-by-scene chart of the book I'm co-writing with [livejournal.com profile] buggybrowneyes, but since she's still rereading it so we can finish it in September (yes, JD, you saw that right, finished by the time you get here, no excuses!) that's about all I can do on that.

So why isn't Shaper getting revised in the meantime?

*sigh* I have no idea. I LOVE writing. I love the process. I love discovering what the characters are going to do next. I usually even enjoy revising. But maybe since I'm revising the first novel that was written with an outline and a plan, I'm having trouble for some reason. Holly Lisle's One-Pass Manuscript Revision isn't working for me. It's too much to keep in my head all at once. I think I need to do a character-and-plot revision, then go back through for a spelling-grammar-and-word-choice revision. Two-Pass Manuscript Revision?

I promised [livejournal.com profile] astraea36 that I would get to work on it this weekend. Okay, back at the beginning of the year I promised her I would have it done by our trip to Vegas. But she forgave me for missing that deadline. I'm not sure how many more deadlines she should forgive, though. I need someone to be strict with me, and at the moment I'm failing at being strict with myself.

Instead, today I leveled my rogue twice in Warcraft. Yeah, that's productive. *sigh*
 
 
Current Mood: annoyed