Tag Archive | plan

July – Done!

That’s it.  Another month is over.  Or will be in 12 hours anyway.  So how’s this month been?  I’m a year older, which actually wasn’t bad.  I feel like I’ve not done much writing, but looking at my word count I really have.  I’ve not done any of my course though.  That’s bad.  I need to work on that.

I was about to do a round up of my goals for July, but I can’t possibly do that until the month has actually finished.  I may get an idea in my head and write a few thousand words this afternoon (I know, more unlikely than man landing on Mars this year!).

I spend some time last night starting to write ideas for ‘Holiday’ on cards.  I decided I need to get the ideas straight in my head for it, as I’ve got so many pieces of paper and word documents with ideas – I need them all in the same place.  I thought I’d use a card per idea, then when it’s all out, it will be easy to take a bit out, see what’s missing etc.  I’m going to have a story board above my bed.  I would love an office I could do it in there, but until I win the lottery or get a MASSIVE pay rise/new job I’ll have to stick with my room.  *sigh*

I finished that excerpt of the new Adele Parks novel, guess what?  I want to read the whole thing.  There’s not a burning desire, but a spark of desire that’s strong enough to make me £7 worse off in the next month or two.

I was looking for  a new book to start last night – not an easy job when half my seven foot bookcase is filled with unread books.  I stumbled on a Lee Child novel ‘Bad luck and trouble’ which sounds interesting.  Not my usual chick lit genre, but hopefully the kind of thriller that will make me question why I don’t read them more.  I’m a massive John Grisham fan and have a stack of his books I have to read (luckily my step mum is too and hands them down to me!) but until recently I’ve never read anything like this.  I’m glad I started.  So, I’ll start reading this novel and let you know how I get on.  I’ve heard very good things about him so am really looking forward to it.

I am determined to do a blog this weekend.  Determined to.  It will be Sunday as I’m really busy on Saturday, but I really want to get in the habit of writing A. during weekends and B. at home not just work.  Let’s see how I get on…

Inspiration returning

I’ve now been inspired enough to do some writing 2 days in a row without MAKING myself write.  Yes, that means that I did some writing on a Sunday – do do do!  I’m still in shock myself! Very proud of myself – lets hope it’s first in a long line of writing at weekends.

I really should write about how well I did with my goals for May, but I left my book at home that had all the details.  Damn.  I’ll do it tomorrow.

I’ll also do my June goals tomorrow – I think I need last month’s results to plan this month’s goals.

I’m really excited about Thursday and Friday – I’ve got them off to do some work on my course and to get my writing ideas in order (including ‘Holiday’).  The weather is so nice at the moment, and looks like it might be then too!  I’m going to take my laptop in the garden and do some work there.  Cannot wait!

I did another bit of writing using a random word generator today.  I love them.  It’s like I don’t need to think of the beginning of a story – it will do it for me.  My words today were ‘annual’, ‘party’, ‘flip’, ‘believed’, ‘crash’.  I wrote the beginning of a story where a girl was driving to her annual work party when the car in front of her crashed and flipped down a hill.  She’s going to not be able to see it when she goes looking for it, neither will the police – therefore no one believes her!  What story would you have written from these words?  It may go on somewhere else – who knows!

Editing, or lack of

I’ve just found a fatal flaw in my plan for writing lots and lots of words a month (I personally think 12,000 is a lot).  By trying to make this total, I spend all my time writing, whereas I think maybe I should spend some time editing.  I should be going back and reading things I have written a few days later to check the spelling, punctuation etc etc.  Also re reading and improving it.  I think next month’s word count will have to be reduced so I can edit too.

I decided I was just going to write today for 5 mins.  That 5 mins turned into about an hour and 900+ words.  I’m quite happy about that.  Quite a good start to a story.  Or middle bit to a story. 

My writing course tutor said (about assignment 1) that my observation skills were very good.  But when writing I feel like I don’t do enough to describe things – rooms, people, actions.  So, my plan for next week is to start improving this.  I’m going to go to a coffee shop/park/somewhere and write down as many details about what I see as possible.  The first thing I did for the writing course was to describe a person and scene I’d been at.  I choose the tube cause I’m there twice a day and was reasonably happy with the results.  That however was three months ago so next week I’ll go somewhere else and do it again. 

I quite like the idea of going to a coffee shop and writing down everything I see  (mainly about the room, but also the staff and customers), then challenging myself to go back a few days later and find more details than I had found before.  Then a few days later, each time trying to get more and more detail.  I stole this idea off the writer I was just writing about who does that.  In my scene she was going back to a coffee shop to find more detail than the previous time she’d been there.

I’ve recently realised that although my idea for ‘holiday’ is brilliant (so I think), I don’t have enough sub plots going on, I have the main story and that’s all.  I need to spend some time thinking about what else could be happening.  I think this might come when I do the full character analysis’.  I hope.  I did think that maybe they would just come up as I wrote, but I really want to do this properly and have a plan before I start.  Or before I get much further anyway.

Poet?

I’m a poet and I don’t know-it.  I’m not really.  I’ve been running away from poetry since school when I was forced to do it.  I thought I didn’t like it.  But, someone sent me a link to a Haiku competition going on in London (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/may/18/poetry-twitter).  Haiku for those who, like me, don’t know is a simple Japanese poem.  Just three lines long with the syllable structure 5/7/5.  I thought I’d give it a go (what else would I do at work?) and am quite pleased with my little poem. 

I find it quite hard to get my head around these.  They’re so short that before you can even start to get into it, it’s over.  Someone also said it’s hard to be deep and meaningful in such a short piece of writing which I agree with.  I also find syllables hard to get my head around sometimes, especially -ed words.  Luckily, I found a website dedicated to just this (http://www.howmanysyllables.com/).  Genus. 

If anyone reading this could please let me know how to set up the links I’m posting as a one word link as I’ve seen other people do, I would be eternally grateful.  I’m sure it’s quite easy, but I don’t have time to look today and keep forgetting, so please please let me know.

I started reading Mercy by Jodie Picoult again on the tube this morning.  I had started it about six months ago, but just didn’t find the time to continue.  She’s one of those authors that I think I’m not that keen on, and don’t immediately get drawn into the novels, but if I persist I really love.  I’m going to spend more of my travel time reading.  My goals for the last two months have been to read one novel a month.  One novel is not enough.  I need to read read read.  My writing course tutor said that too.  That was a couple of months ago when I was reading more than I am now.

I’m trying to take a couple of days holiday in June to try and finish this assisgnment for the course.  I always say I’ll do it at the weekend, but the weekend comes and other things come up so I never get round to it.  I hope by taking these days off I will have no distractions from other people around (they’ll all be at work) so I’ll concentrate!

Also in these two days I’m going to organise my writing.  At the moment I just write whatever into an email, then send it to myself then file it in a ‘writing’ folder.  I need more than this.  I feel like I need to get my ideas straight (especially ‘Holiday’, but all my writing bits I’m doing).

I love it when a plan comes together (I really mean starts, I just wanted to say that!).

Making progress

I’ve just realised we’re half way through the 5th month of the year, and I’ve read I think 1 maybe 2 books all year.  That is terrible.  If to become a writer you have to read read read, looks like I’m not going to get there.  I blame the writing course.  I also blame my job for the hours for not giving me time to read.  I did have a long list of silly things I blame, but I didn’t think it was really funny enough to take up the space.  I MUST READ MORE.  That’s the long and short of it. 

The problem is, if I start reading a book, whenever I do that I’m going to feel guilty about not doing the course.  I need to prioritise.  Or find more hours in the day?

I sat down at my desk this morning and decided I’d do some work on ‘Holiday’.  I opened word and started typing.  Wow.  I had so many ideas.  I planned on writing a brief on the main characters, which I did start, but I got so many other ideas while I was there I’ve now got about 5 different sections on the document with different ideas of things that can go here or there.

I keep getting ideas, but then evolving them so changing them, but then really like the 1st idea.  How do I decide on which one to use?  I am terrible at making decisions when it comes to cutting things out.  Take the 1st assignment for my writing course.  It started as a review of the Science Museum Lates, the first draft was 500 or so words over – not too good when it should have been about 500 total.  But I wanted to keep it all in rather than cut bits, so what did I do?  Start another review of somewhere else, keep in the word count and use that instead.  Another thing I need to learn!

When taking a break from ‘Holiday’ I found a blog on here with a ’10 minute writing’ prompt (http://thesunlitdesk.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/free-writing-exercise-2/).  I did that and am quite impressed with what came out.  I do love these writing for small lenght of time things.  It worries me it’s because I don’t have to finish them and  I think I’m pretty scared of finishing things.  The main thing I need to concentrate on is that I’m writing.  That’s the most important thing at the moment.  🙂

Nearing month end…

Only a couple of days left until the end of the month.  This poses a couple of questions.

1.  Where the hell is 2009 going?  We’re now 1/3 of the way through it.  Wow.  When I was younger people used to tell me that time started going faster the older you get.  That is so true.  I dread to think how quickly it will go when I’m 50!  Or 70?

2.  How did I get on with my goals for April?  Pretty well. 

Today’s post makes 14 this month – my target.  If I can squeeze in a few more I can go way over my target. 

Last week I reached my total for words written.  I’m really impressed with that.  I thought 6,000 would be a hard target to reach, seeing as I’ve not done any proper serious writing for years.  I found it quite easy though.  It helped that I tried the writing for 5 minutes every hour while at work.  Although I only managed to do this about once, it kept writing in the forefront of my mind.  Therefore when I had some spare time, I started writing. 

I finished reading This Charming Man by Marian Keyes and wrote my review of it (https://newtowritinggirl.wordpress.com/what-im-reading/this-charming-man-by-marian-keyes/)

I read the next three modules of the writing course.  I’ve not made notes which is something I’d like to do, but not top of my priorities.

Assignment two.  Ah.  Um.  No.  I’ve started to review a magazine.  Yeah, not getting on too well with this.  Need to give myself a kick to get me going on this.  I have been thinking about it quite a lot.  I have done some research into the kind of magazines I think I could write for.  Step up on this next month (and the last couple of days of this month).  I do carry  the magazine I’m currently reviewing round with me.  Does that count as a step in the right direction?

Writing down dreams/day dreams. I’m not too sure how I’ve done with this.  I’ve written a few down on scraps of paper lying around as I’ve thought of them.  Or sent myself emails with the details or even saved them as drafts on here.  I’ve not as yet put them in order so I have no idea how many I’ve written down.  I’m getting semi good at it.  I probably write them down every 3 or 4 days.  Better than nothing!

All in all I’m quite happy with my progress, especially as I only really had half the month to action them.  I presume that means I have to double my plan for next month?  Or more than double it to push myself?  My priority must be my next assignment.

Worrying day today?

I managed to do some writing yesterday, even though I wasn’t feeling at all inspired.  I sat down and decided I’d just write.  Just whatever came into my head.  I started reading a ‘How to write a novel’ book once, and one of the suggestions was whenever you get the chance, just write.  So I just wrote. It turned into a 600 word scene that will be in Holiday.  Wow.  Was not expecting that.

That’s now the 3rd time I’ve been writing something that I thought would just be a random idea and it’s turned out to be a scene for the book.

I’m quite happy about this.  I’m getting lots of ideas.   But I’m not really sure the way I’m going about it is right.  Although in writing is there a right and wrong or should you just do whatever works for you?  I was thinking as I’ve never got further than 6,000 words with anything, the problem might be that I didn’t have a plan.  I didn’t know where the idea was going, what was going to happen etc. 

Holiday has a plan.  I know where it’s going so what I’m doing now is filling in the spaces.  If the story’s A to Z, I’m making up B, C, D… as I go along.  I guess I just need to do it.  If it works it works, if it doesn’t I’ll try something else.

My other little worry is that although I’ve written these scenes, they haven’t had an ending.  I’ve got to the end of my allotted time writing, or my available time writing and then left them.  It’s worrying me that I can’t finish them.  Should I be concentrating on finishing one scene?  Or am I right to capture any idea as it comes along at this stage and develop them later?  I guess again, I need to try this and if it works, great, if not I’ll try something else.

I’m not sure where my original idea notes for Holiday are.  But I really need them.  I’m sure I had given the main characters names and a few basic details so I want to go on them, not change them (although his name did come to me yesterday, I’m not sure if it was what I decided on before).  It was a couple of years ago, so who knows where it might be.  I feel I should start paying more attention to them now I’m writing more about them.  I want to know their likes and dislikes, their hopes and fears etc.  I feel like I’m beginning to sound like a writer.  Ooh, exciting. 

Totally separate note, I’ve changed my dashboard colours to blue.  I love it!  Except the second line from the top which seems to be some weird blue/grey colour.  Oh dear, a colour is making me happy!  That’s probably enough for today then!

Where’s the inspiration gone?

I’ve just done a word count for the last week and a half (since I made my plan for the rest of April to write 6,000 words), and am happy to say I’ve reached it.  Yes with another 9 days to write I have already reached my total.  I’m really proud of myself. 

 

I’m now a little worried that I’m going to not bother writing any more this month.  You know the feeling, I’ve done all I have to, I’ll give it a miss today.  That one day turns into two, which turns into a week etc.  Today I’m feeling like I can’t be bothered to write anything, I hope that’s just because I’m tired, not because I’ve lost inspiration.

 

Honestly today I feel like I can’t come up with any ideas.  Luckily for me, I’ve got a couple of plans written, so I just need to write the words to make it a story.

 

I went for a walk at lunchtime yesterday in the sun.  I had an idea that I may in the near future go sit in a park and do some writing there.  My favorite place is in the sun (on a beach would be better!) so I’m sure that will give me some inspiration!  Maybe I’ll do that Friday.  It seems like a nice way to end the week (fingers crossed for warm weather please).

 

I bought a notebook today.  I’ve sectioned it up so there’s a section each for writing ideas (ideas, plans, stories), dreams & daydreams, word count and To Do list.  I’m going to carry it round with me all the time, and just write in it.  I’m quite excited. 

 

Right, off to write (maybe about Mr Wright, ha ha!)

Quick, quick

I’ve been meaning to write a blog all day (it’s not like I’m busy and can’t find the time!) and yet I leave it until the last 15 minutes of my day (work day that is) to start it.  But I’ve written a plan for it.  Is that excessive?  Writing a plan for a blog?  I’ve heard of writing a plan for a book, for a story or even for a day/month.  But for a blog?  To be honest there’s not really anything interesting on it.  Must get on with it though.

I’ve spent my spare time over the last 24 hours reading through my magazine to analyse it.  I am shocked.  In a 170 page magazine there are only 17 full page or longer articles.  1 per 10 pages (I always knew maths was my strong point!).  Wow.  That’s 9 pages of adverts and mini stories (pages made up of small articles – maybe there’s a technical word for this).  Really that’s not many. 

I had just been shocked at the small amount.  Writing this has made me think that with only that few articles in each month’s magazine (presuming every month is the same) there must be some very very strong competition to get published.  I think this is something I need to NOT think about too much.  I don’t want to start getting bogged down with ‘How the hell will I ever get published?’ thoughts.  Above all I’m doing this course because I really enjoy writing – anything I get from it is simply a bonus!!

I planned to go out at lunchtime to buy a notebook.  I need something I carry round 24/7 to put ideas in.  The seem to be coming through at an alarming rate.  It’s great.  I’d also put dreams in it.  And other (non writing stuff).  I just need to get one.  Tomorrow.

These thoughts that are coming through at an alarming rate – I’ve actually done something with them.  This morning I had two random ideas that I thought would maybe make good short stories or something, but when I started writing them down, realised they would fit really well into Holiday.  Holiday, I have decided, is what I’m going to call the book I’m writing – a working title that is.  Will maybe confuse when I tag ‘Holiday’ that I mean holiday, but that’s something I’ll have to live with. 

Writing’s gone really well today – I’ve tried that write for 5 minutes every hour.  For 5 hours I actually remembered to do it, and managed over 800 words.  If I carry on at this rate Holiday will be written in no time at all.   Not to sound negative but IF is the important word there.

New way of thinking

Yesterday I wrote the basic plot for the whole of the holiday novel.  I need to do it more detailed with scenes etc, and need to make a few decisions on things that will happen, but the basic plan is there.  I’m hoping that this new way of thinking (planning ahead of time) will mean I’ll get a little further than the 6,000 words I wrote for the last one. 

I told someone the plot yesterday, and they thought it sounded good.  Woo hoo.  Just hope I can make it good on paper.  I’m still feeling very positive (even though I have the worst cold – no man flu – ever, and it’s raining).  It is helping that I’m doing well for my word count this month.  Also that I get time to write when I’m at work is brilliant – if I didn’t have time, god knows where I’d fit time in.

I’m nearly through all the modules I have to read before I can start on my next assignment for the writing course.  I’m going to try to read that at lunch time so I can maybe make a start on it over the weekend.  I have a rough idea what it is.  When I first (accidentally) started reading about it, it scared the life out of me, but now I feel much more positive and like I will be able to do it.  I think it is analysing a magazine I regularly read and think I would one day like to try to sell articles for.  We’ll see though. 

This plan for April really seems to be helping.  I’ve managed to cross a few things off it already, which is inspiring me to do more to cross off more.  It also means I have something to blog about again.  It was hard to make an interesting blog when there was nothing to write about.  Now I have something I’m excited about I feel like my blog is interesting again (if only to me).

I guess that’s all for now (really want to add ‘folks’ to that in some kind of thing like that rabbit that says it.  Oh dear!).  I’ll try to blog over the weekend – I really should get in the habit of doing that – my track record is terrible for it!