Jul 13, 2017

Goal Setting Like You're An Annoying GPS

I’ve mentioned it here before (and often) that I am a goal glutton. I love scheduling and planning and setting myself RIDICULOUS benchmarks.

And while I’ve managed to hit a few of those “shoot for the moon” plans, I’ll admit that more often than not, I get side tracked. Something in my schedule makes it impossible to complete the plan. A book suddenly blossoms with a plot thread I didn’t see coming and I have to spend a day noting the ways this change will cascade back through what I’ve already written.


Color-coded by task

That’s when my brain does it….



RECALCULATING



Because no matter where I am in a plan when I realize all hope is futile, I know how unproductive it is to reach for a goal that is truly unattainable. If I can’t even reach the benchmarks, why am I worried about it.

So I adjust. I fix my plan so that it makes sense with the new information and I go on until I hit another snag and then….



RECALCULATING



I spent yesterday recalculating. And because I’m an overachiever… this time, I made a realistic plan and one I’ve labeled “Overdrive” because it takes what my realist thinks I can do by October 2nd, and condenses that timeline down to potentially finish September 7th.

This is for two projects, and the O2 end-date includes a week of another that isn’t shown.


In the condensed timeline, I’ve given myself a “prep day” between major tasks. Partially to let my brain reset between them, and partially because that much work squeezed into a smaller window of time requires some well structured pre-planning.
 
 
Am I the only one who likes throwing myself toward the mostly-impossible ?



Jul 5, 2017

IWSG: Lessons

 
What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?
 
The thing I’ve learned is: learning to let go of your words is often the best thing you can do.
 
Back when I wrote my first novel, I was fiercely protective of every line, paragraph and scene. These were things that had come out of my head and my heart and they weren’t going to be tossed aside like trash. I clung to them, even when they hurt the story.
 
Learning to let that go has been so helpful.
 
I cut 20,000 words between drafts 3 & 4 of the book I’m working on now, and it is so much better for it. I have to go back in and rewrite scenes and fix a plot line that was restructured, and that’s a little frustrating, but cutting those words was the right thing to do for the book, no matter how much I enjoyed the previous incarnation.
 
In other news:
 
I’m over on the Go Forth & Nerd Podcast today, talking about writing, inspirations, nerdy things, and feminism.
https://mrbray.com/goforthandnerd/2017/7/4/go-forth-nerd-ep-61-sci-fi-western-interview-with-ab-keuser
 
Books and blog posts have the bonus of being edited before they make their way to you, so this is your fair warning that I tend to ramble.
 
Jesse’s great, his podcasts are great, and I’m so happy to have been able to contribute.
Hop over there and check it out. (He’s got a ton of great content even if you don’t want to listen to me yap.

 
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This post has been a part of the monthly IWSG blog-hop. Bounce over there, check it out and sign up if you’re ready to share you neuroses with the world.

Jul 3, 2017

June Numbers

Words: 135,285-wds in 26 days

(Avg: 5203/day)

12 Projects + Admin

 
The beginning of this month looked like it might have a big potential for getting me that focus I so often find myself looking for, but alas, I didn’t quite get there.

What I sacrificed in focus I made up for in productivity though… 


This was my best month in recorded history. Though, I still think February of 2013 was most impressive because 133k in 17 days is still just flabbergasting to me.

On top of that, I surpassed my total word count for 2014this month (woo!).
 
But!

What we’ve done is only a metric of what we still can do. And so, I sally forth to see what word count possibilities July holds.

 

(Hint: it’ll probably be lower, since I’ve got two revisions rolling through here shortly.)

Jun 13, 2017

Injection Burn Winner

(Guess who scheduled this in the wee hours and then forgot to push publish... that's right, me!)


The Winner of Injection burn by Jason M. Hough is....

#6 - Angela Spugnardi!
 
So, Angela, hit me up and get me your address so I can mail this guy off to you.
 
 
EDIT (6/29/17):
 
So, Angela never got back to me and I drew a new winner.
 
#1: Nathan G
 
Happy reading everyone!
 
 
 
 

Jun 7, 2017

IWSG: Quitting


Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

 
I write a lot. If you keep up with my monthly count posts (the only thing I seem to do consistently over here) you’ll have noticed that I’m averaging about 75,000-words a month so far this year. It’s just what I do.
 
But in 2015, I was almost forced to quit.
 
I didn’t run out of ideas.
I didn’t have a drastic change in my schedule.
I didn’t get frustrated and decide to throw in the towel….
 
I had two grand mal seizures.
 
But the seizures weren’t actually the problem. If you’ve ever looked in to anticonvulsants, you’ll have seen they have an AMAZING list of unfortunate side effects. The one I’m on presently had the potential of an allergic reaction that might have made all my skin fall off and, you know... killed me.
 
My first medication was the problem.
 
So there’s a fun little drug called Keppra. It’s apparently the oldest anticonvulsant medication on the market. It’s had the most testing. It’s what the emergency room will hand you if you show up after a seizure. It also made me functionally schizophrenic.
 
It’s really hard to deal with fictional universe when you’re not 100% certain if the one you thought was real actually is.
 
But I fought through it. 2015 was my worst writing year. Then I got a decent doctor, I got on meds that didn’t play mad-scientist with my brain chemistry, and here we are.
 
Don’t forget to hop over here and enter my giveaway for a signed copy of Jason M. Hough’s Injection Burn.
 
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This post has been a part of the monthly IWSG blog-hop. Bounce over there, check it out and sign up if you’re ready to share you neuroses with the world.