20131218 ROW80 Check-in

Making Word Count Is Like Doing Crunches

By stockimages on freedigitalphots.net ID-100202589

By stockimages on freedigitalphots.net ID-100202589

Making word count is like doing crunches; it’s hard work, but it gets easier. At least that’s what I tell myself. The girl in the photo looks far too chipper and bears no resemblance to myself. I don’t smile like that until I make work count.

I’ve set a goal of writing 5,000 words a week since that will put me close to finishing in late spring, 2014. I aim for 1,000 per day because I know life will interfere at least a couple of times during those seven days.

Today’s interference comes from Daughter Three with probable strep throat and a trip to the doctor. College Girl goes to the dentist’s office tomorrow and the oral surgeon the next day. Saturday, there’s a wedding that will suck up half of the day. And don’t forget Christmas. The tree has lights on it and a cut-out star picture of Nicolas Cage. (Thank you, College Girl.)

5,000 a week is ambitious, but since it’s the first draft, I can write without listening to my inner editor. At least that’s what I tell myself. Sounds good, huh? Tell that to my inner editor; she’s screeching the entire time. I’m trying to drown her out with Pandora music.

Subconscious Writer v. Conscious Writer

ROW80LogocopyAnyway, the 1,000 words per day is hard for me. I know where the story is supposed to go, but getting the characters to do their part is more difficult. I told Daughter Three last night that it’s not the characters who are acting bad, it’s Subconscious Writer (SW) who keeps working on the story without telling Conscious Writer (CW) until it’s writing time.

SW interferes, whispers new lines to the characters, gives them unexpected attitudes, and otherwise messes with the script. Gah! Meanwhile, Conscious Writer–good girl that she is–is still trying to follow the original idea.

CW and SW can get along. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Sunday – Wednesday  PROGRESS:

  • Wednesday’s ROW80 check-in. DONE
  • Comment on other’s blogs. DONE
  • Draft Friday post for author blog by Wednesday. HALF DONE
  • Publish Part III on Christ’s Reflections. ALMOST READY
  • Draft a post for Christ’s Reflections blog for Monday. NOT DONE
  • Social media:
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present) YES
    • Twitter (3X/day) DONE
  • Critique for a member of my critique group on Monday. OOPS
  • Continue work on business plan. YES
  • Complete 2,500 words on WIP by Wednesday. 2,100 as of Noon, I should make it!

Thursday – Saturday GOALS:

  • Sunday’s ROW80 Check-in.
  • Comment on other’s blogs.
  • Complete the blog post for Friday and fire up another one for the following week.
  • Social media
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present)
    • Twitter (3X/day)
  • Continue work on business plan for my new editing business.
  • Complete 5,000 words on WIP by Saturday.

Does your Subconscious Writer interfere with your plans?

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20131215 ROW80 Check-in

A Day Late

In spite of a number of commitments outside the house, I made most of my goals with the exception that posting this status is a day late. I’ll take it!

Image courtesy of Supertrooper at FreeDigitalPhotos.netChristmas is almost here, and I haven’t started. This is typical behavior. To help me get in the mood, parts of my Friday Favorites post concentrated on Christmas-y things like the US Air Force Band Flash Mob at the Smithsonian a few days ago. Their performance was superb. Go see the post; I think you’ll enjoy it.

I also managed to post Searching the Scriptures in Vain – Part II on ChristsReflections.com. Part III is most of the way ready, too.

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But best of all, I made my 5,000 word count goal on the WIP by my Saturday deadline.

This is a major step forward for me. I’m keeping a spreadsheet, now, to help me track the real progress toward the finish line for my second book.

Having to post the count every day makes the progress or lack of progress real, and seeing the word count go up feels so good!

Thursday – Saturday PROGRESS:

  • Sunday’s ROW80 Check-in. DONE
  • Comment on other’s blogs. DONE
  • Complete the blog post for Friday and fire up another one for the following week. DONE  and not yet
  • Social media
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present) DONE
    • Twitter (3X/day) I did better on this.
  • Complete business plan for my new editing business. – NO PROGRESS for the last few days.
  • Complete 5,000 words on WIP. YES!!!

Sunday – Wednesday  GOALS:

  • Wednesday’s ROW80 check-in.
  • Comment on other’s blogs.
  • Draft Friday post for author blog by Wednesday.
  • Publish Part III on Christ’s Reflections.
  • Draft a post for Christ’s Reflections blog for Monday, 12/23.
  • Social media:
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present)
    • Twitter (3X/day)
  • Critique for a member of my critique group on Monday.
  • Continue work on business plan.
  • Complete 2,500 words on WIP by Wednesday.

Is this our last or almost last ROW80 check-in? I’ve lost count. How are you doing on your goals?

20131211 ROW80 Check-in

December 11 – Happy International Mountain Day! Mountain

It’s that time of year again–International Mountain Day, a day when the United Nations General Assembly urges us to: “…to organize events at all levels [their words, not mine] …to highlight [really?] the importance of sustainable mountain development.” According to the U.N., “…mountains have gained an increasingly high profile….” Again, really?

Who writes this stuff? ROW80Logocopy Did the writer really mean to imply that mountains are growing taller? My tax dollars are hard at work, bankrolling the U.N. copywriters.

Blogging Like Crazy

I finished  Searching the Scriptures in Vain – Part 2 And I posted a promised author interview for Tom Blubaugh on my momsread.com blog. Sometimes, I think I keep that blog around just to experiment with HTML.  It looks nice, if I do say so myself. The author interview post has multiple column arrangements, and it looks like a magazine spread.

Sunday – Wednesday  PROGRESS:

  • Wednesday’s ROW80 check-in. DONE
  • Comment on other’s blogs. DONE
  • Draft Friday post for author blog by Wednesday. DONE
  • Publish Part II on Christ’s Reflections. DONE
  • Draft a post for Christ’s Reflections blog for Monday, 12/16. IN PROGRESS
  • Social media:
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present) YES
    • Twitter (3X/day) ALMOST
  • Critique for a member of my critique group on Monday. NOT YET
  • Continue work on business plan. YES
  • Complete 500 word/day on WIP. That’s 1500 words by Wednesday. HALF DONE

Thursday – Saturday GOALS:

  • Sunday’s ROW80 Check-in.
  • Comment on other’s blogs.
  • Complete the blog post for Friday and fire up another one for the following week.
  • Social media
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present)
    • Twitter (3X/day)
  • Continue work on business plan.
  • Complete 5,000 words on WIP by Saturday night, 12/14. I’m going to aim big even though I know my college girl is coming home for break in a couple of days.

How did you spend International Mountain Day?

20131208 ROW80 Check-in

Business Plan Blues

In addition to changing my email providers, as I discussed in my last post, I’m rewriting my business plans to reflect my decision to self-publish. Eventually.

I discuss my reading list for anyone who’s interested in making this decision from themselves in my post: Business Plan Blues. I’d appreciate your feedback in comments on my author blog.

I’ve been fulfilling other obligations this week, trying to clear the decks so I can simply write. Needless to say, my word count stayed at zero. So that goal wasn’t met. 😦

ROW80Logocopy

I did publish a few blog posts. Generally speaking, blogging is easier than writing fiction. I’ve got to make sure that I don’t let it take the place of getting the hard work.

More Hard Work

Writing blog posts is easier, except when I write posts for my Christ’s Reflections blog. I always feel compelled to dig deep to produce my absolute best and to be absolutely clear in the concepts I’m trying to communicate because I believe it’s for a higher purpose. Every post represents hours of research and more than a few hours of heart searching. Then, there’s the artwork. I don’t like to slouch on that, either.

I loved the photo I found for Searching the Scriptures in Vain – Part 1. See what you think:

Thursday – Saturday PROGRESS:

  • Sunday’s ROW80 Check-in. DONE
  • Comment on other’s blogs. DONE
  • Complete the blog post for Friday and fire up another one for the following week. DONE and DONE Friday Favorites #9 (Spiders!!)
  • Social media
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present) DONE
    • Twitter (3X/day) I did better on this.
  • Complete business plan for my new editing business. (I made significant progress, but the process is more involved than I thought at first.)
  • Complete 2,000 words on WIP. NOPE

Sunday – Wednesday  GOALS:

  • Wednesday’s ROW80 check-in.
  • Comment on other’s blogs.
  • Draft Friday post for author blog by Wednesday.
  • Publish Part II on Christ’s Reflections.
  • Draft a post for Christ’s Reflections blog for Monday, 12/16.
  • Social media:
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present)
    • Twitter (3X/day)
  • Critique for a member of my critique group on Monday.
  • Continue work on business plan.
  • Complete 500 word/day on WIP. That’s 1500 words by Wednesday. I know I can do that in a couple of hours, but somehow, they don’t want to flow right now.

What do you put in your business plans as an author?

20131204 ROW80 Check-in

Time for a Do Over

 

Last week, I got serious about converting from Yahoo mail to Gmail, Google’s email solution. It’s not that I haven’t been motivated to make the switch before, but changing providers comes with built-in pain. And I’ve been busy. You may have noticed that I skipped a couple of ROW80 check-ins. Shhh. We’ll keep that between us.

The recent, ill-advised “improvements” to the Yahoo email interface lowered its usability and raised the number of errors I receive (ALL THE TIME), so I decided to fire Yahoo as my primary email provider. Congratulations Marissa Mayer! Your surprise redesign lost your company another paying customer.

Part of my reluctance to make the switch was the necessity of learning a new interface. For this, I turned to Anson Alexander’s YouTube tutorials. If you want to follow along, start here: Gmail Tutorial 2013 – Introduction & User Interface (Part 1)

Another reason I dragged my feet about transitioning to Gmail was that my original Google User ID was one of those cute ID’s new users feel compelled to create, like smartgrrrl2019. That’s not really what I chose, but you get the idea.

A clever user ID works as a joke between friends, but as a professional ID, it’s less than ideal. So I decided to change my ID. Not fun. If you’re in the same boat, here’s a good start on: How to Migrate Your Google Account to a New One.

Switching from Yahoo mail to gmail was made ten times harder by adding a gmail to gmail switch to the equation. That’s a perfect example of scope creep! But I decided to get the matter settled once for all. Please don’t ask me questions about this process; I stumbled and bumbled my way through too many hours of trial and error to give an accurate account of what I did to make it work.

ROW80LogocopyNow for the other part of the transition—getting the word out that my contact information has changed. I anticipate that part to drag on for the better part of a year. Still worth it.

I’ve been agreeably surprised by Gmail. Leaving Yahoo folders behind and embracing labels and filters has the potential to keep my Inbox at zero most of the time.

Also, sending attachments in Gmail works so much better than in the current rendition of Yahoo email, and since sending attachments is a critical part of a what I do, that alone makes the switch worth the trouble. 

What do you think about email programs?

Sunday – Wednesday  PROGRESS:

  • Wednesday’s ROW80 check-in. DONE
  • Comment on other’s blogs. DONE
  • Draft Friday post for author blog by Wednesday. IN PROGRESS
  • Draft a post for Christ’s Reflections blog for Monday, 12/06. IN PROGRESS
  • Social media:
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present) YES
    • Twitter (3X/day) NOT AS MUCH.
  • Critique for a member of my critique group on Monday. I did three chapters. 

Thursday – Saturday GOALS:

  • Sunday’s ROW80 Check-in.
  • Comment on other’s blogs.
  • Complete the blog post for Friday and fire up another one for the following week.
  • Social media
    • Facebook (reconnect with people from my past and my present)
    • Twitter (3X/day)
  • Complete business plan for my new editing business.
  • Complete 2,000 words on WIP.

How are you doing on your ROW80 goals?