Tag Archive | procrastination

Trying to Get Better

I love it when I check out my stats and stuff for the day and I see that people found my blog by searching for ‘Newtowritinggirl’. He he. Someone’s searched for ME. I don’t think it’s ever happened three times in one day before today. Awesome.

Whenever I go home (as in home to the parents), I always moan at my Mum for not going to bed early enough to get the sleep she needs. I realised today that I’m guilty of the same. I planned to go to the gym after work today, but once I’d been to the library to take a book back (at the other end of London) I couldn’t be bothered cause I was so tired. Of course it’s probably also adjusting from ‘working’ on reception to actually working. I’m not complaining – it’s nice.

Since I decided to do a YA novel for NaNo (12 days and counting), I’ve been reading YA books. I totally loved Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, but since then I’ve read one and a half that I didn’t love so much. The difference is amazing, when you consider the MC in all three are 16/17. BIF is what I’d consider an adult book, but with younger MCs – the writing was grown up etc. The other two, I presume are for younger teens – the writing is more basic, and ‘cooler’ (with loads of slang etc). I actually can’t stand the book I’m reading now – I think I’m going to give up with it (something I very rarely do). It’s quite hard to read cause every second word is some ‘cool’ word that teens would use (it’s not the pic on my ‘currently reading’ image, that particular one was pretty ok).

I’ve got a couple of cousins who are 17 and 19 and have been thinking of asking them what they and/or their friends are reading/have read recently. I don’t think the library helped me with it, cause there was just a ‘teenage’ section, it didn’t split young teens from older teens. I guess from the covers of the books I should have worked it out. I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but I always do. Most of the time I’m right to pick up the books I like, but then I guess I don’t know if the ones I haven’t read cause I didn’t like the cover were any good or not.

I don’t want to be too negative, but I really don’t think I’m going to get the plan of my NaNo novel ready to send off as my next writing course assignment in the next couple of days. They say all assignments will be returned within 10 days, so I know I’ve got to send it tomorrow or Thursday to guarantee it back by 31st. Maybe I’ll do that instead of writing for NovelPI for the next few days. Would that count I wonder? Maybe I’ll sit at my desk for lunch the next couple of days instead of going out! That would work pretty well! If I can force myself to do that.

I’ve just had a little search for Lauren Oliver. I thought I’d see if she’s got any other books out (she doesn’t – but has a new one out next year, that’s so going on my I WANT IT NOW list). I actually don’t have a I WANT IT NOW LIST (I think it deserves capitals), but I think I’m going to start one. Item 1: Lauren Oliver – Delirium. Funny, from just one book, I’m desperate to read her next one. I love it when I find an author like that.

Anyway, I’m digressing. I also found Lauren Oliver’s blog. I’ve really not got too much time to look at it too much, but from what I’ve read I think it’s going to be a very useful resource for me as a writer. Go have a look!  

Ok, now I’m really off to write. After I clean the bathroom. NO, write. But it needs cleaning. Agh! This is why I never get anything done – I spend too much time debating what I should be doing (or stress I’m not doing something else!).

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Books: Editing and Reading

I read through the second draft of chapter one of Italian Infatuation yesterday. It’s ok. There’s a couple of bits I really like, but then there’s some that suck. Badly. But that’s fine, I’ve got two days to edit it.!!

The thing that worries me, is that I don’t really have time to take time away from it then go back with fresh eyes. I wish I’d heard about the competition longer ago, although there’s always the fact I work better with a fast approaching deadline, so would I have started it even if I knew about it a while ago?

That aspect of my personality really annoys me. It’s like I can only do something if I know I have to do it – soon. I think that’s why NaNo worked so well for me last year, I had such a small time frame to write the novel in, that I couldn’t procrastinate, or put it off till later.

I finished one of the books I was reading over the weekend. The writing really annoyed me because there were a few sections where it got the name of the person it was referring to wrong. Seriously! At first I thought it was me getting it wrong, but I checked back and it was definitely the book that was wrong. It drove me mad. I almost wanted to stop reading it because of it, but, by that point I’d really got into the story, so HAD to finish it. I don’t think I’ll be reading another one of her books though.

So, with that book finished, it was time to start another. Well actually I had a debate with myself over this. On one hand, I have two books I’m desperate to read (Foursome by Jane Fallon and Husbands by Adele Parks), but on the other hand, if I’m  not reading a book, I’m much more likely to spend time editing Italian Infatuation. With this in mind, I chose Foursome to be my next book and put in my bag when I left the house this morning. I told myself that I’d think more about whether to read it now or start on Wednesday – after I’ve subbed by chapter.

I bet you can see where this is going. I sat down on the tube and had a look at it. Just a quick look to remind me what it’s about. Then I opened it, you know, just to look at page one. Actually no! It was to see which year it was published (this year). THEN I looked at page one. And the rest as they say, is history.

The whole of my morning and lunch breaks were spent reading it – I’m now on page 73 and worried how I’m going to edit this damn chapter ’cause the books so good. As I kind of thought it would be – I totally LOVED Getting Rid of Matthew.

Foursome is written 1st person which, like I’ve said  before, I love cause you really get to know the character, how she thinks and what makes her tick; but also discover things the same time as her so it’s like you’re going through the action yourself.

I found really interesting is that it took me until about page 30 to realise it’s in the present tense. The reason that’s interesting to me is I was reading a book ages ago (can’t for the life of me remember which one) and I struggled with it being present – sometimes things sounded a little stiff, or unnatural. So, here’s a lesson to me: If I’m writing in the present tense (Holiday) it has to be good, and flow naturally.

So me being naughty and starting the book has been useful. You know, for a project I’m not actually working on at the moment. Grrrrr!

This morning instead of editing, I went through my inbox and deleted about 10k emails. I’ll be using the same email address for my new job, so wanted to clear out some rubbish I’ve had for over a year. Obviously this took time. And HAD to be done when I’ve got a deadline looming!

I’ve also made a list of the things I really need to do. Funny how I find so much to do when I should be doing something else!

If I’m like this now, I’m going to be a nightmare if/when/if/when I get a publishing contract. 🙂

Ok. Project edit – draft three here we come…

Queen of Procrastination?

At the moment I think I can beat anyone to that title.

I am at home on a Saturday night (as I’m working both weekend days and waitressing tends to tire me out so much I don’t want to do anything else), so really should be taking this opportunity to edit this chapter for the Mills & Boon New Voices competition. You know, the one whose DEADLINE is WEDNESDAY. I’ve been sat at my computer for 2 1/2 hours and guess how much I’ve done? Well, the fact that the paper copy I started editing on Thursday is still in my bedroom and I’m in the lounge should speak for itself.

Not all of what I’m doing is a waste of time, although I agree the games on Facebook and Twittering about silly adverts probably are! I’ve been reading through this week’s Fiction Friday stories. There are some really good ones this week. And I’ve found a couple of author’s blogs I’ve had to add to my Google Reader (like I have enough time to read the ones I’ve got already!).

I’ve also started stressing about how I’m going to find time to write, read all the Fiction Friday stories and other people’s (daily) blogs when I start a ‘real’ (by real I mean busy) job. How do people manage it? I know it’s just a case of managing  my time better. Finishing in the evenings an hour earlier than I used to will make a big difference. I’d often feel that once I finish work, get home, (maybe go to the gym,) cook and eat, that I’ve got no time, or am too exhausted to do anything. It’s only an hour, but it will mean that I’ll have all that finished my 8 rather than 9. At 8 I’ll feel like there’s some of the evening left – so will feel like writing (I hope).

I think what I really need to do is stop watching TV. When I get home from work, I go into the lounge, chat to my housemate (who’s always got the TV on), sit down and am lost in the cr*p of whatever she’s watching. I never really care what’s on (I always let her decide what we watch – that’s how little I care). Then I go to bed. If I can take away the sitting down stage, but go straight to my room, then I should be able to get into writing and catching up with blogs.

It’s just a matter of time management. Something I don’t even try to hide that I’m bad at.

At some point in the next few months my living arrangement have to change (housemate’s selling up, and something more fun too, but more of that further down the line) so hopefully I can use that as an advantage too.

One of the blogs I discovered today is Agatha82‘s. One of her recent blogs was about joining a writer’s group. Yep, that’s raising its ugly head again. How long ago was it I said I’d look into that? And how little have I done. Hopefully the move to a new job, with an earlier finish time will inspire me to do this. I really feel like it’s something I should do.

OK. Enough procrastinating. I must go edit this chapter. I’ve cut a massive section off the beginning, which means that one of my favourite bits can be in the first chapter – in fact, be the end of the first chapter. My problem is that it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. I would’ve liked it to. But it doesn’t, and I don’t think I can get it to. I guess that’s not a bad thing, I’d just love to leave the reader desperately wanting more. Oh well, lets hope the characters will be enough to get people wanting more!

Just quickly before I go and do my ironing edit the chapter, I’ll share a big problem I’ve got with the novel. My MC’s name is wrong. I thought it was a great name for her – mid 30s, quite sensible, workaholic. BUT, I’ve just realised, that’s not her (through her actions I’ve realised that) it’s just the role she’s been playing since her husband left her for someone else. The name doesn’t suit her. 53,000 words later I realise that. Seriously! I’m toying with Mel. Melanie. But not sure. Oh no, I’ve got four days to work it out.

Right. Now for the bathroom cleaning and washing editing!