Deadlines and Stationery

In My Writing on September 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Hello there!

Apologies for my absence, my blogging friends. I’ve had a busy week. My office has moved, so I’ve been super busy at work. I’m also still getting used to the new office. It’s nice, but it is in a different part of the city (although very close to the old office) but I’ve had to find a new route into work. It’s a bit refreshing as it feels like I’ve got a new job. A change of scenery is a good thing.

I was also away for the weekend.

All of this means that I haven’t really had much time to read. Quelle horreur! Therefore I have no books to talk to you about.

I have, however, managed to make some time to write. It’s difficult because I have to get up earlier to get to the new office, which means that getting up half an hour earlier means that I would have to get up an hour earlier if I want to write. I’m not a morning person so please be assured that this feat of will-power and self-discipline is just not possible. I’ve promised myself that I will absolutely make time in the evenings for my writing. So far, so good. (Except tonight because I’m writing this post. Look, people. I’m not a machine!)

In the spirit of encouraging myself to work harder and make more time for my writing, I’ve decided that I need some goals. Obviously, that means that I’ve had to pay a visit to the stationery shop.

Is that not obvious? Hmmmm… It will be once you get a look at this baby:

Writing Diary


Yes, I bought a new diary. It’s a weekly diary which allows me to make weekly goals and each day I write an entry about what I wrote that day. I’m not going to show you a picture of that just yet because I just got it yesterday and I don’t want you to be underwhelmed.

Anyway, on to my writing. I’ve been rewriting my Chapter 1 for ages. I wasn’t very happy with the ending of it so I’ve written alternate endings in order to see what will work the best. I think that I’ve got it now. It will still need a bit of editing as I’m really trying to hone my style. I also tend to scrimp on description so I’m working on that as well. It would seem that people aren’t able to see the things in my head unless I put them ALL on paper.

My protagonist is a young girl and my husband pointed out that a kid that age wouldn’t phrase things the way that I do. Apparently, I like big words and my writing tends to be a bit formal. He made quite a few interesting and helpful points that I’m trying to incorporate into my work. I think that I’m just about ready to move on to Chapter 2 now.

At some point I’m going to read my work out loud. I always feel pretty silly doing it at first, but it’s really helpful, especially with dialogue. Reading it out loud is the best way to make sure it flows.

I’m quite excited about my story and would like to work on it more that I do. (Darn that full time job!) I’ll have to content myself with chipping away at it a bit at a time. I’ll be interested to see how well I can stick to my deadlines. I’m going to do my best!

What about you? Do you set deadlines? Do you edit as you go or do you write now and edit later?

  1. I am going to plant myself firmly upon that proverbial fence ๐Ÿ˜‰ Do I set deadlines for my writing? Usually, yes. I try to compose new blog posts at least twice a week. However, I have been pestered by the “b” word (block) lately and I refuse to force a subject onto paper. In the mean time, I am doing a lot of stream of consciousness writing until my mojo returns ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I try to post on my blog twice a week too. It usually works out, but sometimes I miss it. None of us are perfect though! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I like your stream of consciousness idea. I haven’t really suffered from writer’s block yet, but I’ll keep it in mind for when I do. It’s sure to happen some time.

      Good luck and I hope you get back to it soon!

  2. Pretty new diary! ๐Ÿ™‚ Are you going to be doing NaNoWriMo & continuing to write your book for that? I edit as I go…and sometimes much later, after I’ve had time/space away from what I’ve written. Lol!

    • Thank you! I participated in NaNo in 2010 and have decided not to do it again. It was really good for gaining the discipline to write every day but I found it a nightmare to actually go back and edit the mess that I wrote. I don’t want to repeat that experience. I need outlines and a firm writing structure to produce anything good.

      Are you going to do NaNo?

      • I’m not sure! I had this grand idea to outline during October, then crank it out in November…probably not going to happen. Lol. If I end up doing it, I’ll probably edit each chapter — there’s no way I’d want to edit a whole book at once, either!

      • Well good luck! I remember it being a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I’m glad that I did it, even if I don’t want to do it again.

  3. A new office! A new commute! A NEW CHAPTER!

    I’ve been thinking about emailing you, but got wrapped up in an issue with my protagonist which was a non-issue. Figures.

    I’ve been using this for motivation: You don’t even have to watch him be awkward (until 1:30 if you do) because I’ll explain it.

    You have a year’s calendar, and you make a goal amount of time to work on something you need to work on every day, and then make that goal. Every day. When you do, you can mark an x over that, and the goal of this goal making is to NOT BREAK THE CHAIN. I fell off the horse while in London, but have been picking up my broken characters since then, although last weekend was a bust for me as well, for other reasons.

    Here a sprightly designer has made a calendar for just such a purpose:

    I’ll ‘redundate’ you with an email.

    • This is an interesting idea. I’m realistic in knowing that I won’t write every day, however. I think that I’m pretty much doing the same thing, but with notes. I’ll feel guilty if I see too many blank spaces. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have some emails to catch up on now, so we should get back into the habit of chatting about our work. I must admit that when I get busy/stressed, the computer is the first thing to go. I sort of retreat into my burrow and then people get neglected; it’s not pretty. The life of an introvert!

      I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve done with your characters, though, so we’ll definitely have to catch up. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Well, Charlie from the example has one for exercising three times a week, I have no idea how he keeps track of that calendar, since it looks exactly like his other two which he does every day.

        No worries about the lack of emails–I’ll not redundate you then, I’ll just wait for you to get to mine, I’ve sent a few over the last month or so. You have a life, so I’ll be patient. Cheers. I look forward to catching up.

      • Oh, I wasn’t trying to discourage you from sending emails. I’ll be trying to catch up this weekend. I just didn’t want you to think that you’re the only person that I’ve been neglecting. ๐Ÿ˜€ We’ve got so much to talk about. It’s a shame you don’t live closer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I try to just write write write, and go back and edit after I finish a full draft, but of course that doesn’t always happen. I have a grunt job so while I’m at work I’m constantly mulling over the story, both what I’ve already written and what I mean to write, so when I come home after work I often spend an hour or two incorporating those edits and ideas into the manuscript.

    But focusing on writing a full draft is really helpful, I think. It pushes you forward. You have to understand that once you write ‘The End’, it doesn’t automatically get published; you have all the time in the world to go back, rewrite, tweak, reconceptualize, and otherwise pull up the story by the roots and shake it until it conforms to your vision. In order to have that full vision, though, you kind of want to have a whole manuscript.

    My two cents, anyhow.

    • The problem I have with writing down a full first draft (because I tried this with my first novel, which is unpublished) is that I tend to write alternate versions of situations to see what I like best. So, it became difficult to go back and change all of the other parts as well, specifically, to remember what would need changing. So this time, I thought that I would be really organised and have an outline and go from there. I’ve outlined a few chapters and have started writing them and I’ve found it easier to change things because I can note it on my outline accordingly.

      Basically, I’m a noob and I’m trying to find the best way of doing it for me as all writers seem to have a different process.

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