A Wild and Woolly Third Quarter

It’s been a wild and woolly third quarter. Emotionally and professionally, life challenged me. It was also a three-month period of growth and of promise for the future. If you’re a long time reader of this blog you know that I set Intentions not goals (though that’s mostly semantics). You’ll also recall that I divide my things to do into four buckets: Making, Managing, Marketing, and Home. And I analyze each month and quarter in terms of hits and misses. Making In the making or creating bucket, I edited thirty-two chapters of If I Should Die. That includes a baker’s dozen NEW chapters. I made another trip to Subtropolis to refresh sensory details and learned that I’d mistakenly put a does-not-exist cool detail into the manuscript. Then I had to figure out how to take that cool detail out and keep the story intact. And I did. *Smile* September was the first month I posted three times a week in the past eight months. But my blog posts received a lot of attention and some comments from you all. Your comments are the best part of blogging. Managing The managing bucket has been more difficult for me to accomplish during this time. […]

Progress is Invisible Unless You Track It

Making progress is invisible unless you track it. Especially when you’re a slow writer or working on a long-term project, you need to track your progress. Evaluating your progress is essential to learning how to improve your processes. And making my monthly reports to you keeps me on task. How To Track Progress My way involves a calendar journal and spreadsheets. Breaking a task, like writing a novel, down into its smallest parts helps keep the creator from being overwhelmed. Focusing only on the small parts can make the creator feel as if they work and work without making progress.  The way I combat the disillusionment of I’m-not-getting-anything-done, is to track my time, word counts, and project “steps.” You can use your calendar, a tally sheet, or a day planner. Anything that helps you keep track of what you’ve accomplished and what you need to do next will work. The Write Practice has a basic post about tracking progress for writers. Intentions vs. Goals I use intentions rather than goals. Intentions allow business to give way to life and life to give way to business. I also use three broad baskets to describe what I do: Making (anything creative), Managing […]

A Never Give Up-Never Surrender Attitude

It’s the end of June and time to evaluate progress for the first half of 2021. These have been among the top five most difficult months of my life. I’ve always had a never give up-never surrender attitude. That has kept me moving forward, though at a much slower pace than normal. Intentions Instead of goals or resolutions, I use intentions. You can miss a goal. You probably break most resolutions. But an intention is a focus. When life gets in the way of your plan, take care of that event or disturbance intending to return to your primary plan. Every morning begins with a renewed intention. Making I started working on the second draft of the last half of the book at the end of January. As of today, day 188 of the year 2021, I’ve averaged 2.6 house per day for 125 days working on If I Should Die. The number of words produced are slightly less than half the number I produced the first half of last year. The last half of my first draft is always full of plot holes and snags and snarls. In five months, I’ve rearranged chapters and plugged holes, untangled snarls, and […]