Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why aren't I more Prolific?

Prolific: causing abundant growth, generation, or reproduction

I have great plans. Write in the morning, write after work, go into my home office, aim for a page count, and on and on...

I heard a quote in a meeting; It's still a goal until you quit.
Good words.  My goal is to become a prolific writer.

Sometimes we have to reset the goal. Life changes, work changes, we change. Enough that maybe the old ideas of how we hope to get things done, don't really fit anymore.  In the past three years I've held four different positions at work. Each one another rung on the ladder so that's a good thing, but each change brought on more studying, more challenges to conquer. A learning journey. It's been fun and educational. I knew when I took the first job, it was below my skill level, but I liked the place and the people and knew I could figure the rest out as I learned about the business.

Then there's my writing. The stories that need editing and stories to tell. Sometimes I'd pull that word doc up and put a few paragraphs in, but then spend time rereading what I wrote last since it's been a while since I wrote it.  Going nowhere fast...

I have Stephen King's book, On Writing, on my nightstand. I sometimes reread parts of it for inspiration. One of the things that stands out about his whole writing journey is that he always wrote. Even when working in other places, he found a way and wrote. He set goals.

So, how to set goals when working a full time job, coming home with your brain fried, and head spinning? What do you?  Sadly, I turn to Facebook or Pinterest. Evil little time suckers.

After a while my mind screams; ENOUGH! LET'S GET IT DONE!

It's time to set new goals. Here's the plan;

Weekends; 20 pages. That's only 10 pages a day. How hard can that be? When I'm into a story, 10 pages are easy.  Aside from the occasional family thing or adoption days for my foster dog, weekends are pretty much open.

Weekdays; 10 pages for the whole week. (This goal is frightening) That would be 2 pages a day or about there.  Depending on what's going on at work, sometimes I wake up thinking about what I have to get done that day. My mind starts scheduling things, lining up the day as I sip coffee. After work? Facebook calls. When there's nothing exciting there, it's on to Pinterest!  Bad habits that need to go. Writing during the week is hardest.

Question? How do you clear your mind to write?
Foster Dog, Lexie. On the day she saved from a North Carolina kill shelter. 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Well, New Year, New Ad Experiment

So I do have a little t-shirt shop on Cafe Press called CrazyPanterT's. Surprisingly, the best seller is my Read a Banned Book shirt. Ok, maybe that wasn't a surprise. I like that shirt, too.

So, while on Facebook I see an ad for Shopify and investigate. Eh, as much bad reviews as good. Then I look into Big Commerce. And on their site it says they have an Amazon link. So I link on over to Amazon and look at the pitiful performance of my 3 and a half books. So, this little thing pops up for Advertise on Amazon. And so it goes....

It starts tonight so I'll update as it goes.

The ad I tried for No Apologies didn't even make it past the review stage. My guess was the cover had a nipple. Most romance writers know the nipple is not allowed to be exposed in certain ads/venues. (Yes, even man nipples) Walmart will not carry a book with even basic skin showing and nipples, so maybe I should have thought about that before I okay'ed the cover.

Submitted for review to the Amazon staff tonight; Soul Mates. By tomorrow I should either be rejected or accepted. There's a dog on the cover so I should be clear on the nipple issue.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Self Accountability & Your Art

Challenge for the New Year; Get things done.

What separates those who get things done from those who don't? Determination? Organization? Maybe a little of both?

Three ways to get things done;

  1. Go to work
  2. Stick to that schedule
  3. Eliminate excuses
Make writing a job you go to at a specific time. Its a "Life Work," something that feeds your soul and if often shuffled off to the get to later file. The difference between Life Work and what we do for a living could be passion. That drive that makes a person write even when it might not go anywhere. That drive that comes from somewhere deep inside. It's just what you do, who you are. 

Sticking to that writing schedule. When I was producing the most writing, I was writing from 5:30 to 7 a.m. before that real life job. Then the schedule changed, work changed, and I let my mind get bogged down with the outside stuff. The first thing that went was my writing schedule. I can only wonder...why did I lose it? 

Excuses are ugly. I heard that quote somewhere, probably back in my karate days. (long time ago!) Millions of excuses are available if we chose to take them. Avoiding that urge is the key to getting things done. 

For Christmas, someone gave me this little notebook. The front of it says, SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD so she did. I have lots of notebooks. I'm kind of addicted to them, so what do I do with this one? Then I thought, maybe I need to start tracking productivity. Write it down, make it happen? 

Things to include?
  1.  Writing time
  2. Art time
  3. Exercise time
What's your New Year's Challenge? 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Goliath is Billy Bob Thornton - Check it out!

I discovered Goliath when I was surfing around Amazon prime. The first episode started with a bang,,,,then slowed a bit. Then WHAM!
This series is so full of twists and turns I warn you not to take your eyes for the screen.

Kudos to the casting director for gathering a cast full of believable and engaging characters. Especially Billy Bob Thornton. I think this role came down from Heaven for him because he really shines. (Not that I wasn't a fan before, in fact, he's the reason I tuned in to begin with.) William Hurt is also awesome.

Today I watched 9 episodes. I think my butt is glued to my couch... but it was worth it.

Billy Bob, plays Billy McBride, a burnt out  lawyer who gets a wrongful death case thrust upon him. It wakes up this once powerful lawyer and he's back with a bang. What Billy doesn't know is that the conspiracy behind the death of his client's father, reaches the darkest regions of corporate America. Does Goliath take on the giant and win? You gotta watch and find out.

If you like edge-of-your-seat drama, extreme plot twists and action; tune in and watch Goliath! 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Writing & Story Notes

I keep notes on my story all over the place. First I think; I'll keep them in this notebook. Then I have no idea where I put that notebook. I'll keep them on this legal pad. Someone took my legal pad to use for something else. A scrap of paper here, a little scribble there.... gone! Lost! Whaaaaa!

So, here's my plan..

I'm going to paint the entire wall over my desk with chalkboard paint. That way I'll have a whole wall of notes. I can track more than one story at a time. Maybe throw in a few inspirational quotes or pictures.

Where I work there is a big blackboard at the vestibule. Every holiday I do a chalk mural of Santa stuff, the Easter bunny, or whatever work related thing that's coming up. I was working on this last week and suddenly thought....I could use a blackboard!

Of course I have to do the whole needs to be epic. It needs space, lots of big space. Maybe when I have a mental block I can just get up and draw pictures?
Okay, maybe that's not a great idea.

Here's to those lost notes and brilliant ideas we never wrote down....let's write them on the wall!

Write on, my friends, write on....

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

That Moment in Your Head

I was walking through a parking garage in Atlantic City this morning and I had an idea. An exciting idea! I thought, yes, I have to write that story. The premise, the outline was there, in my head, all of it.  I had my hands full and couldn't write it down or put notes in my phone, but it was so outstanding, of course I'd remember it, right?

Then I got busy, went about my day, drove back up to work (2 hour ride) and then finished my regular work day. Came home...ordered pizza and then remembered...what?

ARRGGgGGH! It's gone! That great idea I had in that parking garage in AC is out of my head. Frustration! When I had that idea, I thought; this is great! I'll never forget it, it's unforgettable!

So, now I'm just writing down random words on a page, hoping to trigger something.

             She knew something
             She discovered a secret
             Blood there was something about blood?
             Investigates until she discovers ...what was that?

These random scribbles aren't releasing anything from the dark chambers of my mind. How could this just slip away when it felt so memorable?
This ever happen to you? Any tricks on how to call back those lost ideas????

Sunday, December 04, 2016

A Holiday Writing Plan

With NANOWRIMO behind me (no where near the 50,000 words -guess my heart wasn't in it) I need a plan to keep writing over the holidays.

First priority is my WIP. I mean the WIP before the NANO-WIP.  The one that's lying in piles all over my desk. The one where I really wanted to be working on instead of NANO. For this I'm going to set up a few things.

Timeline; I've set this aside for over a month now so I really want to see a timeline of events so I don't change the facts mid story. My secret wish here is to paint one wall in my office like a chalk board so I can have a giant wall of notes. Wouldn't that be great? Everything on the wall at a quick glance. Or maybe I could use that white board paint. Then once it's wiped, it just looks like a white wall. Hmmm...might visit Lowe's today. (See what happens when my husband leaves me alone for a day? Mwahahaha!)

Space heater; My office is in in the back of the house and it gets chilly. Maybe I'll get that shrink wrap for the windows, too. Hello winter in the Northeast! Sometimes I think about going back to work and would rather stay by the wood stove in the family room. Of course, it's harder to work there.

Fact sheet; I guess this goes with the timeline wall. The story is a little complicated so I want to keep the little things straight. I hate when I read a book and things like descriptions, places, etc change half way through the story. I always flip back to double check and think, "How could the writer have missed that?" Well I know how the writer could miss it. Writing a book can take months, years in some cases (Harry Potter) and it morphs and grows as it's being worked on so there's always room for change.

Okay, that's my plan. Are you ready for this crazy holiday season? Any special plans for your WIP?