Zoom Zoom

I've learned over the course of the last year or so a thing or two about what motivates me.  I'm convinced I'm a great ball of rolling momentum the second I get started.  Push me down the hill and I will zoom away gathering ideas, completing tasks, creating my brains out.  If I am stopped by anything; a tree, a small child, a barfing dog - it takes me a while to get back on track.  The internet, to my surprise, is not a momentum killer for me.  Sure, it takes me away from what I was working on at that moment, but most of the time I return to my work recharged with a different idea of direction.

I don't recommend this path for everyone, just as I've had to disregard fantastic advice to others about working in quiet places.  The trick has always been to find what works for you.  It's not a bad idea at all though to experiment with ideas and try a few on just to see what you get.  Even the crazy ones that couldn't possibly work. 

Things that distracted me on the internet:

~  Massive distraction this morning.  Even my cup of tea is only half consumed.  Watched the brand spanking new Boeing 787 Dreamliner take off from Paine Field right here in Everett, Washington.  It's supposed to be landing after several hours of testing, likely at Boeing Field just to the south.  What a beautiful thing to witness.  My youngest daughter sat on my lap waving as it left the runway.
 
~  Spent lots of time on Chaotic Shiny creating characters for a novel I'm starting over.  I may salvage some of the previous work but it was one of my first attempts.  Even the plot is redone. 

Non-internet distractions:

~  The day is still early and I have a mound of laundry needing to be washed for the two outfits I am restricting my family to bringing on our trip East.  Those two outfits are headed for serious negotiations with the teenager.

Accomplishments:

~  Finished rough draft of short story and revised major plot points for starting over again novel.  Sticking to my promise not to look at newly drafted Wishful Thinking until I am settled in my coach 737-800 Alaska Air seat.  Then I can white knuckle the paper until we are cruising.
Brrr.  I'd like my typical wet western Washington weather back now please.  I promise to not complain about nine inches of rainfall in one month again if you, weather maker, promise not to blanket us with temps in the teens again this year.  Deal?

I'd been procrastinating putting the outside summer things away. *Looks up from December calendar*  So far this winter, we've gotten off lucky with few howling winds so I really didn't think much about it.  Funny how that works when things are flying around your backyard threatening your rather large window panes.

My youngest daughter's water play table was one of the items not yet stored and it was full of water from prior rainy days.  Temps in the teens means frozen water in the table.  That motivated me to get out there and dump the thing.  I took off a sheet of ice about half an inch thick and threw it to the ground.  It broke into a handful of pieces in the grass and I thought nothing of it.

Four days later...those pieces of ice are still sitting on top of the grass where they broke.  They haven't changed in size at all and we've even been sunny.  It's cold.  Real cold.  So cold, my family back East calls me to taunt me with their balmy 40 degree weather. 

So, I'd like our balmy 40 degree weather back.  I might even feel a twinge of guilt when I'm looking up hotels in Coronado in February to get away from the rain. 

Things that distracted me on the internet:

~  Done with holiday shopping.  I keep finding fantastic deals that I ultimately resist but keep sucking my time away as I browse and agonize.  
~  Add ons for World of Warcraft needed updating today and I've been dissatisfied with my current unit frames.  (I know, it's like a different language if you aren't familiar).  Suffice to say, I got sucked into the vortex of updating mods.

Non-internet distractions:

~  Beat Dragon Age as an elf mage.  Got as happy an ending as possible with that character.  Now working on a human noble just to be Queen at the end.  After that, I'm so going good mage gone very very bad.  Very bad.

Accomplishments:

~ About 20% to go until I declare the first draft of Wishful Thinking finished.  I'm still on goal to finish in December.
Happy December! That's what my middle daughter greeted me with this morning. I think she's just happy to be counting down the days to the biggest loot of the year, but I'm fairly cynical.

I successfully avoided both Black Friday and the new, more dangerous, Cyber Monday this year. Black Friday is never a worry on my rainy horizon; it would take an unbelievable deal to get me anywhere near a store the day after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is a whole 'nother issue.

I believe my biggest defense to this new shopping lure is that I had no idea it existed. I didn't see any hype until a day or two before and I was so busy furiously writing down the new climax and resolution to my wip, I missed the signs. I have to give a giant shout out of thanks to Absolute Write and the NaNoWriMo site for keeping me sufficiently distracted. My bank account thanks you as well.

Things that distracted me on the internet:

~ Checking on my writing buddies and cheering when they crossed the 50k mark. Go awesome valley go!

~ Following the sad case of the shooting deaths of four police officers in the Tacoma area. May their families find peace in the coming months.

Non-internet distractions:

~ Holiday decorations are up. Not playing with the wind this year - everything is inside where we can enjoy it and not stress about searching for the head of whatever decoration went flying.

Accomplishments:

~ New scenes for Wishful Thinking outlined. One written. Back on track for 75 - 80K first draft. Will be done in December and ready to revise for 2010. Have to start writing down goals.
2009 NaNoWriMo is completed. Technically, I was done on the 19th but see non-internet distractions below.

I haven't read my 50k+ words yet. There are still many more to set down before I'm ready to look over the whole thing but I'm feeling pretty good about this one. It will need some work when the whole draft is finished. Surprisingly, I'm not dreading the next stage. I'm looking forward to it - that's when the novel might start to resemble something readable. That's going to be one fantastic day.

It's turkey day here today. Not going to get too much work done even though we are celebrating with our small, immediate family. Still making a whole turkey and all the tasty trimmings. The pie is done. If nothing else, we will have pie and that is what makes Thanksgiving.

Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ Catching up with blogs. Never slows down.
~ Reading writer sites and agent sites. Following the publishing chaos as it unfolds and hopefully shakes out into something we can recognize.

Non-internet distractions:

~ Dragon Age: Origins was released on Xbox360 early November. I held out until I wrote at least 50K words. Then I took a week off. Recharged and ready to crank out the end.

Accomplishments:

~ 50,236 words for my novel. Last scenes outlined and ready to go. If I'm not stuffed later, I'll crank out another 2k today.
My character walked off the page again the other day and I've been letting her have her way. I like the direction she's headed in though; it may even be better than what I'd planned for her. Still, had a moment of wtf is she doing when the deviation popped in my head.

Now halfway through November and so far NaNo has taught me that I really have no excuses not to sit down and write 2k words a day. None. Zip. 4 sittings of 500 words will get it done and I can get 500 words in nearly 15 minutes of pure focused writing. 15 minutes. They won't be the prettiest words I can find, and I still have a problem with not describing the scenery in my head but all of that is fixable.

The muse tap must have been turned on full this month because not only can I get a pretty cool sequel out of the novel I'm working on, but I came across another plot idea that would incorporate a previous wip perfectly. I think 2010 is going to be one busy year.

Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ 800 unread blog posts. I managed to knock out about 100 of the more interesting ones over the last couple of days. Some very interesting things happening in the publishing world that I am keeping an eye on.

~ Official NaNoWriMo website. It's compulsive to check your position in word count more than 3 times a day. I think I've done it at least 10 times most days.

Non-internet distractions:

~ Went in for round two of braces. Wore them for too many years as a teenager and enjoyed straight teeth for a while. Unfortunately, they chose not to stay that way and now I'm back in wires and brackets to fix them. They hurt. A lot.

Accomplishments:

~ Little over 36k as of today. Will make 50k easily and revised to between 75 and 80k before going in for edit. Nearly halfway to goal.
I am flying right along now. Last year at 20k, I hit the wall of middle pretty hard. The wall of middle is the part where the beginning of a story is done, shaped, left behind and the rest of what happens looms in front of you. Now, I'm not totally enthused about beginnings except for planning them but I did think they were easier to write than the middle and even the end.

Most of my stories don't even have a finished end.

This year, my new mindset has allowed me to cruise right along, ignoring the fact that I am in the middle of the story. To me there is no middle, there is just unwritten words that need to be put down in a coherent order. Now, I haven't allowed myself to go back and read anything I've written from Nov. 1 until today. If I did, I might realize that I suck and then I'd give up. I do know that I am a minimalist in my description and settings. Right now my characters basically move and function in white space. The good news about that is it's easily fixed.

Keeping on going. Have to hit 24,594 today.

Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ The NaNoWriMo site went down for some maintenance today. My refresh button got a work out waiting for it to come back up. I wrote words, I wanted to put the count in!

~ Had a great idea to send my character to Alexandria, Egypt in a flashback. Somewhere around the time of the French Revolution. Pretty much exactly when the Siege of Alexandria happened. Wikipedia to the rescue and it makes a great scene.

Non-internet distractions:

~ Picked up a new keyboard today. Nothing ergonomic, can't stand those. This one has lots and lots of buttons. One touch mail, one touch mute, and some customizable favorites buttons for programs I use all the time. I played. It had to be done.

Accomplishments:

~ 23,092 written. Amazing that I am going into week number 2 and am nearly halfway through on my way to 50k. I've promised myself some fun distractions when I get there. Very excited.
I think I've figured out my groove. 8,068 words so far (aiming for 80k) and just flying through.

The not-so-secrets of my success are:

~ Allowing myself to write crap. First and foremost (see, this is the kind of sentence opener that wouldn't be allowed to stay in the final edit), do not go back and fix anything. The only time I will go back is if my sentence is really, truly gibberish. My brain still thinks faster than my hands can type and it's worse when I am playing beat the clock. Instead of OCDing about my manuscript though, I'm finding the permission to write crap is freeing. It's certainly working.

~ 15 min. word wars. 30 minutes, unless I am alone, is just too long for me to write in. On most days of my life I'm lucky to have 10 minutes without someone speaking to me, calling me, or messaging me so 15 minutes is as much as I can handle. Whatever. It's working. I'm averaging about 28 words per minute.




Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ My mother in law arrives today for a muchly anticipated week long visit and I, of course, had to track her flight. If anyone's interested, Flight Aware.com has the best tracking that I've seen. All free.

~ Election Day. Had to check the status of returns. None posted. Was a pretty quick distraction.

Non-internet distractions:

~ See above mother in law visit meant I was sweeping and mopping the floors. Gets it done for hopefully most of the month too. My house looks fantastic. This is good because I'm hoping that it can withstand the near total neglect I plan to give it until 11/30.

Accomplishments:

~ 8,068 words so far. 10% done. Doing very well. Have about 300 more words for tonight to reach just over my quota for the day.
Day 1 of NaNoWriMo is going well. Started at exactly midnight and only managed to crank out 450 words in one hour before going to bed. Woke up feeling very refreshed; thank you extra hour and that glorious sun shining through my window at 7:45 am. Cranked out another 720 while everyone in the house wanted my attention. That's going to be interesting to edit later on. 322 words during a 15 min war - come on, can totally do better.

Setting up for an hour of wars broken into 15 min chunks, break, then another hour. Trying to hit 3000 today and give myself some wiggle room.



Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ Nothing! I cleared anything time sensitive on my facebook. Take that Cafe World - not sucking me in until I'm good and ready to get back to you.
~

Non-internet distractions:

~ I did need to load up the house with groceries, especially the kind that can be cooked in under 15 minutes. This will, hopefully but not likely, keep the fam from bugging me for food.

~ I also learned that hard plastic cosmetic containers can shatter just as badly as glass does. Bronzer all over the floor and then I needed to pick up a new one. Scored a new lipstick though so it was all good in the end.

Accomplishments:

~ 1502 words at 9:08pm PDT. Still have another 2 - 3 hours left in me.

EDITED to add: Finished the evening at 2780 words. It's past midnight so no more 15 min chunks for me. If I can get my 15 minutes up to 500 words per, I will be a happy girl.
Today, after finally uploading the rest of the scenes to my writing software, I went back to analyze the plot and subplots for a work in progress I've been on for a while. This wip started as a short story that really wasn't a short story and has fleshed its way to a bona fide YA novel. I've had the critical nagging voice, I've dubbed - well - Ned (for no particular reason), pestering me about some plot points in the middle of the novel. Since my re-analyzed NaNoWriMo novel passes muster for today, I gave my wip a look. I'm glad I did.

This time around I separated, in outline form, the main plot from the subplots in detail and showed no mercy to anything dangling outside the lines, or as a nice to have. I know plenty of writers don't like to do this until they have the scene written out all the way but I just can't bring myself to do it. It has to mostly work from the beginning. The result feels tighter to me. On a previous wip (shelved for now), I knew the plot wasn't working for me when I dreaded writing a couple scenes that bored me. A scene that bores me while writing is guaranteed to do the same to a reader and is worthless. Live and learn....and learn, and learn, and....

The best thing about all my analyzing and reanalyzing (I'm an INTJ, what can I say, the compulsion is irresistible), is that I am confident in two stories that are going somewhere. Less than three days to go until NaNo. I'm ready.

Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ Pumpkin carving stencils. Time to carve the pumpkins tomorrow and I'm torn between Ariel, the mermaid Disney princess, or Thomas the Tank Engine. Hmmm... wonder if I can have Ariel riding in Thomas the Tank Engine....

~ Twitter. It's an compulsive's nightmare. I finally turned off the notifications because every other second I was looking up at the right corner of my screen waiting for the shiny to appear. Started following Hugh Grant (I hope that's him anyway) today because, duh, he's Hugh Grant and perfection in the male form.

Non-internet distractions:

~ Last soccer practice of the season; too cold and more importantly, too dark. With PDT turning back into PST, our night comes at 4:51pm. Fun times. Only 3 more games to go for 2009.

Accomplishments:

~ Plot analysis, scene upload, laptop software installed and kinda verified - looking at you Windows.
Only a handful of days left until NaNoWriMo kicks off and I am pretty psyched about this year. I've already adjusted my word count meter to 80k instead of 50k which means I need to write 2,667 words per day. Thanksgiving is catered again this year so I can reheat/minimally prep and not have to worry about cooking/cleaning. Small benefit, I suppose, of not being near family to start off the holiday season.

My plot is done, my subplots are nicely threaded, and I have a good feel as to how each scene is supposed to go. November is going to be a good month.


Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ Everything. :) Absolute Write had me spinning off on a tangent whilst (love this word) I perused the mass of links for urban/contemporary fantasy writers.
~ MSN. Couple too many good articles up this morning. I think I looked at the whole Wonderwall today.
~ Zynga keeps beta'ing nifty games for Facebook users. This morning brought up a theme park adventure game. I fully blame the Sims for all these very cool simulation games we are bombarded with now.

Non-internet distractions:

~ I have company in a week. There is one room on my first floor that I keep the doors closed and the curtains drawn so I don't have to look at the clutter bomb that dropped. Today, I had to make the dent. Bonus - I finally dragged the DVD chest back to the family room where it belongs.

Accomplishments:

~ Nada on the writing front up until now. Tonight I will finish typing my scenes into WriteItNow and put a copy on my laptop.
"Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life." – Lawrence Kasdan

This.

I will say that I am terrible at backing up my hard drive. I know that I should do it more often than I do and one day I will be sobbing on the floor in frustration when I have to recreate documents lost to a failure. I do have a couple DVDs backed up in September but I operate on an - as remember - basis. Gmail's been getting my bits and pieces of story lately. Still, I really just need to get better at execution. My homework, in addition to writing, will be to throw a RW CD in the drive and just set it off for my writing folder every night.


Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ #writing on twitter. TweetDeck goes off every 2 - 3 seconds and it's a great big shiny that sends me off in a hundred different directions. It also gave me the above quote which is just fab.
~ Amazon Fresh. Being in the Seattle area has its perks and inexpensive grocery delivery is about as good as it gets. Since the husband is unmotivated to pick up the grocery shopping duties again (and frankly, blows the budget every.time.), I kneel at the feet of the person who made this happen.

Non-internet distractions:

~ Confession: I am a world of warcraft player and I just finished my year long quest for a sweet looking purple drake to fly around on (super fast I might add). With that achievement out of the way, I can focus on others that I put on the back burner and that's what I've been doing. Instead of scene outlining. Bad. But fun.

Accomplishments:

~ Re-entered character bios for the NaNo novel coming up. Not only do I need to remember to back up, hitting the save button before a power failure happens is wise.
Today I'm writing a query letter for a novel that is still outlining. It makes more sense to do that now before I get 60,000 words in and realize my plot fell apart back around the 40k mark. While I don't consider anything written down a waste, I do like to make it count when I can. Being perpetually distracted doesn't help much. Yesterday was a completely non-productive writing day and I need to make up for it. Looking to go well beyond the 50k mark next month so that writing the end of the first draft doesn't become yet another unfinished project.

Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ Clothes shopping. At least three sales notifications hit my inbox before 9am this morning
~ Leveling up Cafe World on Facebook. My neighbor passed my score and now I have to work double time to close the gap.

Non-internet distractions:

~ Yesterday I got the first hints of the cold that plagued my husband and kids. I'm not quite as bad as they were but it's still distracting.
~ Power failure. This should have made me more productive by shutting down the internet distractions. Alas, my Blackberry is unaffected by power failures and chugged right along.

Accomplishments:

~ I'm not even going to count the partial query letter. Moving along.
Today I was glad to be writing the old fashioned way (pen and paper) because my APC kept clicking and the lights wavered several times. There is still quite a bit of wind out there banging on my shutters; still possible to lose power yet. Spent most of my time this afternoon contemplating motivation. In order to identify with the characters I read about, I need to believe that s/he might really be motivated by - fill in the blank - . I've already discarded some fun motives to the unbelievable factor. Was fun thinking them up though.


Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ Looking for the text of the health care bill that made it through the Senate Finance Committee.
~ Facebook/Twitter
~ Looking for/downloading apps for my iPod Touch again. The aSleep app was a must get.

Non-internet distractions:

~ Husband still home sick. Not as bad today.
~ Moved my computer closer to the window to try and grab what passes for daylight heading into winter. This puts the howling of the wind right in my ear and it's even more distracting than a blank tab in a browser.

Accomplishments:

~ 3 scenes fully outlined and ready to go into WriteItNow.
Gearing up for NaNoWriMo again this year. I had so much fun last year I couldn't imagine not going for another round. This meant that I needed to take a break from WIP novel to plot and outline a new novel. As if that's a hardship or something... I'm planning on going for more than 50k words if possible. I'd love to have the whole first draft done.


Things that distracted me on the internet today:

~ My iTouch arrived and I had to load all the fun apps that I didn't know existed. (I'm a Blackberry user still resisting the iPhone).
~ Facebook. I'm trying to reduce my checking to break times. If I need a drink, grab a 5 minute check. These farms don't take care of themselves, you know.

Non-internet distractions:

~ My husband is home sick. He isn't all that distracting just laying in the recliner sleeping but I did have to make him soup.

Accomplishments:

~ 2 scenes completely outlined and ready to go into WriteItNow.
Everyone starts from somewhere. Some people like beginnings. Not me. There is more pressure to start then there is to continue. I don't mind continuing so much as I do trying to figure out where I should enter. Sometimes I come in too early or, even worse, too late. Being the last one to arrive at a party is embarrassing, too much attention from people trying to find something interesting to talk about. It's good to come in at the middle, just a little after the forerunners who blaze through, leaving promise for others in their wake.


There was an error in this gadget