The Weekend is Mine, all Mine!

Yay Friday! I hope your week went well.

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Recently, I had an attitude adjustment. Every blog about writing or by writers, eventually, touches on the topic of professionalism and treating writing as a job.

I am not going to dispute that wisdom. If you’re in it for the long haul and you want to be published (or stay published), then you have to realize that writing isn’t sitting around waiting to be struck by genius. There comes a time in every writer’s day, month, year (take your pick) when you have to do the deed. You know, sit at your computer and write stuff – whether you feel like it or not.

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Kind of like being an employee at a day job. I have a full time job. I also consider writing a job and when I am actively working on a story, I do it after the paid job.

Which brings me to the attitude adjustment. For the last few weeks, I’ve written my 2,000 – 3,000 words a day from Monday – Friday (after my day job ends) and I’ve taken the weekends off!

And by off, I mean, I don’t even turn my laptop on. For the last several years, my trusty laptop has been on 364 days of the year. The only day it got off was Christmas day because family comes over.

So far, it’s been therapeutic. I don’t feel all – “Ugh, I have to write today.” I admit, I’ve been getting a little grouchy about writing. Like it was a ball and chain. Until I realized that even with my day job, I take time off and I sure don’t feel guilty about it. Why should writing be different than any other profession?

Who wouldn't want to pet this cute cat??

That doesn’t mean I won’t write on the weekend. I will. But it’s also nice to know that I don’t have to feel guilty for taking a day trip with my family or grocery shopping so we can eat all week. Or read a book. Or just veg and pet my cat.

BTW- Mystic Hero is over the 55,000 words mark, well on it’s way to first draft completion in the next week or two. Yay!

See? It’s all about attitude. If you find yourself in a rut or so stressed out you can’t think straight it might be time for an adjustment!

Anyone else feel the need to take time away? How do you veg?

Stories that Stick

Please join me at the Scribes today as I share – Stories that Stick.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

There’s a Gremlin in my Book!

Happy Friday everyone! Be sure to check out my post over at the Scribes – Stagnant Brain Syndrome.

This week, I’ve been furiously re-reading my manuscript – The Undead Space Initiative so I can hand it in for final line edits.

And man, let me tell you, I swear there is a little gremlin sitting in my computer deleting words (that no one seems to notice are missing). The gremlin also likes to play with formatting and add extra spaces or delete space that should be there.

I know that all manuscripts have typos and missing words. It comes with the territory. Very frustrating, especially when you have a perfectionist personality like I do.

One way to combat the gremlin (besides the obvious thing – using spell checker liberally and often) is time away from the book. I haven’t read USI since last year. I’ve had time to forget what I wrote and see it with fresh eyes.

The other helpful tip: read in short, focused bursts. That way you won’t get sucked into the story and forget to check for those pesky errors. Any time I caught myself actually “reading”, I stopped and did something else.

Another suggestion: scatter the order of the pages. But, I converted the document to the publisher’s format and removed the page numbers. I had printed the entire book when I realized what I had done. Oops. Maybe next time!

Of course, time away has a downside – the urge to change everything. I nipped that in the bud when I realized I was letting The Doubt Monster mess with my head again. My editor at Pink Petal Books enjoyed the story and asked for minimal changes, so Doubty can go torment someone else.

You’ll have to forgive me today, if I answer comments later than normal. I’m having fun with my family and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

Tell me about your gremlins. Perhaps you have one that eats the socks in your dryer or likes to steal your favorite pen off the table. Or maybe something more interesting?

2,000 Words a Day!

My goal all week has been to write at least 2,000 words a day. I’m unofficially joining my fellow Scribes in the Double Dog Dare to complete our novels by August 12.

I’m pleased to say, that so far, I have exceeded the goal. Despite all kinds of distractions – like winning first place in Passionate Ink’s Stroke of Midnight Contest last night, I’ve still managed to stick to my goal.

In the spirit of completing my next book, all I have to say is:

Word count to date – 28,850

Not bad for starting last week. I’m not sure what the ultimate book length will be quite yet. I’d like to reach 100,000 words, but I’m not sure if the story will play out that long.

I think a little friendly “competition” is a fun way to reach a goal. If you have trouble staying motivated or completing a task, enlist some friends to keep you honest!

I’ll be posting about reading over at the Scribes’ Blog. Please stop by and visit. We love your comments!