Planning and More Procrastination

This is going to be extremely random.  So many thoughts chasing themselves around in my head like the Black Friday shoppers looking for that “great deal.”  I only mention the shoppers because I imagine that’s what it feels like.  So many deals, elusive or otherwise, and you hope to capture one before it slips through your still-greasy-with-turkey-juice fingers.  That’s what writing is like for me.  An idea presents itself and if I don’t grab it right then…poof! Gone, faster than it appeared.

And I say I imagine that’s what it feels like because I wouldn’t know about the actual shopping.  The closest I’ve come to that special kind of crazy is accidentally going into Walmart this past Thursday evening to get a few groceries that we needed and seeing a line of people, yellow tape sectioning off certain areas, a police officer ready for the crazy to commence, and employees standing around with what I could only call dread on their faces.  We normally wouldn’t have been in there, but funds (or lack of) and timing sometimes present themselves in odd and inconvenient ways, so we got in and out fast with our groceries.  I say no thanks to Black Friday shopping.  My mom and oldest brother used to do the 4am Black Friday shopping.  I never went with.  I don’t know if they still do it.  I don’t ask because I don’t even want to know.  That’s how much I hate the idea. If I was going to participate in anything like this, I’d do the Small Business Saturday thing, but I haven’t done that either.

NaNoWriMo is winding down, the last week looming like an insurmountable mountain, or for some people maybe it’s like riding a bicycle downhill, gaining momentum toward the finish line where they’ll celebrate and shout all the way to the top of that mountain.  Whichever group you fall into, I hope you’ve had fun, and keep writing.  Me?  I’m in the insurmountable mountain club.  I started out strong, and then switched to another idea that I liked better, and now both have petered out.  I still like the second idea better.  It’s one I seem to return to every time NaNoWriMo rolls around, but haven’t been able to finish.  The premise is the same, but the story is always new because I’m no Nano rebel.  Should I stop messing with it because I can’t seem to finish?  I don’t think so.  Not yet, anyway.  I’ll know when or if I should can it altogether. I’ll probably continue working on it once November is over.  The goal is missed, which is the whole point of writing 50k words in 30 days, but that’s okay.  If I can find the motivation to open the document again, I’ll chip at it a little bit at a time.

I’ve been writing some poetry and that feels good.  If I can knock out a poem, I feel like the day wasn’t completely wasted.  It’s the sense of accomplishment, of having completed something instead of having a whole novel ahead of me, months of writing, researching, editing.  I need to look at that in smaller parts rather than as a whole because it gets overwhelming, even as long as I’ve been writing.

A few months ago, I discovered Life Planners by Erin Condren.  I needed something to help me get better organized and stop procrastinating.  I fell in love with the idea of these planners and all of the different designs.  I found out that a local store carries the planners and supplies, and because I’m totally impatient, I wanted a planner in my hands that day instead of waiting on an order to come in.  I bought the watercolor design that has ‘be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire’ on the front cover. Perfect, right?  Well, I think I’ve had more fun decorating the monthly and weekly layouts than sticking to actual goals.  Self realization moment:  not much is going to help in the way of planners until I get serious about what’s important to me.  You know, the whole you can lead a horse to water thing…

I might post pictures of the planner and some of the page layouts at some point.  They’re totally fun.

This past week, I signed up for a writing webinar that dealt with carving out time to write in our busy lives.  I’m not sure I learned anything that I didn’t already know.  By the end of the webinar, I think I was more frustrated than inspired, though that was no fault of the host.  It’s just hearing how other people manage to write x number of books, while raising x number of kids, working a full time job, and having other obligations somehow settles in my brain as I’m not good enough and I’ll never finish what I start because life gets in the way.  Hiccups happen, life happens, it just takes me so long to bounce back, refocus and try to carry on.  I shouldn’t compare myself to others, I know that.  Everyone’s situation is different, everyone is different.  It’s harder right now because my time really isn’t my own.  I know, it sounds like an excuse but it’s true.  I just need to figure out how to make what little time I have for myself work for me.  If it means getting up an hour earlier, I guess that’s what I have to do.   For me, the highlight of the webinar was a point about scheduling writing appointments.  I liked that idea!  The trick to that is figuring out just when I won’t be interrupted.  6am – 8 am?  2pm – 5pm? Huh. Look at that.  I think I just set aside some time for me to write.  There’s a huge gap between 8am and 2pm because this is the time when Life happens around here.  Most days this makes me completely exhausted and I have nothing left to give once I finally get some quiet time.  But, we’ll see how I do with those two times for a while.  If it works, but I still need to schedule more sessions, I can do that from 11pm-12pm.  I’m feeling better about this already.

And just so you know how slow I am at writing, this post alone took me from afternoon ’til now (almost 7pm) to write.  Distractions abound!

 

 

The birds!

birds-11-5-16

Is this nuts or what?  I couldn’t believe the amount of birds we saw while running around last weekend.

On the writing front, I’m so far behind with my NaNoWriMo project it’s not even funny.  Is it ever funny when what we’d rather be doing always seems to take a back seat to everything and everyone else?  I have submitted things to magazines though, and I’m making progress toward submitting more things.

I also found an interesting challenge on Wattpad where you pledge to write 10k words in 30 days and tag your story with #justwriteit.  I took the pledge, and, needless to say, I’m behind on that, too.  I will keep pressing forward, slowly, but surely.

 

 

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo – Day 3

nov-calendar-page

Sleeping dog, sleeping person in recliner, empty ice cream carton (we, thankfully, don’t have any mice, but isn’t he the cutest?) – this may be what my November looks like as far as writing goes.   I know our two dogs would love nothing better than for me to just sleep with them instead of tapping away at my laptop.  And believe me, it’s tempting.  I’ve always thought that if I could be any animal it would be a cat because they sleep like 17 hours a day, or a bear because they hibernate all winter.  Alas, things still need to get done.

We’re into day 3 of NaNoWriMo, and I think I’m finally getting a feel for my characters and where I’m going with them.  The process has been slow as most of my writing tends to be.  The good thing?  I’ve already overcome the hard part, which is simply opening the document.  I know, that should be easy, but it isn’t.  Not for me, anyway.  I’ll find every reason not to until I run out of hours, and before I know it, I’ve goofed off an entire day.  I’m getting better at showing up though.

The above illustration is  from this month’s page in my Gary Patterson calendar.  Love, love, love, his work.

 

NaNoWriMo

November, you snuck up on me.  I was perfectly content with October, the changing leaves, the crooked, and sometimes eerie smiles of jack-o’-lanterns, pumpkin flavored everything.  The only good thing about November, other than all the yummy food at Thanksgiving, is NaNoWriMo.  If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s a month-long writing challenge where you write 50k words of a novel in whatever genre you choose.  I’ve participated far more years than I’ve completed a novel, but I think this year will be different.  It has to be different.  I feel it.

While I’m not looking forward to the approaching colder temps, however mild Texas winters can be, I can take comfort in bundling up in warm blankets and cranking out 2k words a day for the next 30 days.

I went over to the lovely NaNoWriMo website today, soaked up all of the nuggets of inspiration in my inbox, and looked at what I’d entered when I ‘launched’ my novel two weeks ago.  Apparently, I had an idea for a children’s book.  When I saw the title, I remembered  thinking what a great idea it was, but between a million and one distractions, I’d forgotten about it.  I know, write this stuff down!  So, day 1: I have a title for a children’s book, a general idea of what it’s about, and two other ideas floating around in my head, one for a middle grade novel and the other YA.  It’s almost midnight.  I shall write some words, probably really awful words that will be deleted later, but I still have time to get my 2k words in.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?  I’m nyndreams.  Feel free to friend me on there.