Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bite Sized Chunks

I started off the morning sort of dreading today. Labor Day was this past Monday and so the past week in the deli was hell. I would come home exhausted, and would typically just collapse.

So. Many. Naps!!!!!

I swear, I slept through about half of the week when I wasn't at work....

Which meant not only did I not do any writing this week, but my inability to even remember yesterday means that any brainstorming I may have done over the week is completely gone. Can't recollect anything.

And then I woke up this morning, realizing I yet again had nothing to show for my week. I was ashamed to post one more "Excuses" update. "Oh man, guys, I didn't do anything, but I have this valid reason so that I don't feel like a loser!"

Yeah, because THAT truly shows dedication to a craft I wish to make in to a profession.

This guilt of letting another week slip by me actually kicked my butt in to gear. So I started my morning by FINALLY working on one of my in-queue snippets. Still not sure if it will end up in the official X-Future: Snippets, but it's at least some sort of writing.

It's the farewell conversation between Lia and Sasha. It's more for my own character-building knowledge than anything else. Better understand what Lia was up to over the summer time skip. Might even get back in to her head enough to work on the Lia In NYC snippet I need to legit write for the board.

Ironically, I wrote in Sasha's POV while trying to get in to Lia's head. Sasha isn't even my character! So the story is getting sent off to 2-feathers-and-a-stone to see if I kept the girl properly in character for this scene. Once I get approval on the snippet I may officially post it for you fine people to check out.

In the meantime, rejoice with me in the fact that I'm not as much of a bum as I thought! I can force myself to write! YAY!

Accountability and guilt does wonders for my motivation.

On a less formal note, Spink started role playing this past week. I couldn't find an organic reason for one of my girls to come across where she was, but Phfylburt sure as heck did. And it was fantastic! So her character Donna hid away in the laundry room, only for Hubby to have Deadpool find her. That interaction was fantastic as well.

After slacking off for a while, this morning I finally got Lia in on the action. Not nearly as fantastic as Deadpool or Nodya, but at least the girl is doing something. Sad to say, this was the first RPing I had her do since June!!! So stupid!

So, yay for finally having some roleplaying!

Hubby also set up a scene for Willow as well. She, Chayse, and another player who recently rejoined the board all stumbled upon a news report about the couple of students that went missing over the summer. Soooooo, there's that....

It also helps light a fire under me to write up what actually happened to those two. I've kind of been dragging my feet about it because the events are so epic I'm not entirely sure how I want it to officially go down. I sort of want to collab on it, but past events have proven that is sort of a bad idea. Either the other party is super excited and I drop the ball, or I'm super excited and the other party disappears from the internet.

Guess I just need to pull the trigger on that project.

In other Role Playing news, I'm back in moderately-regular contact with Neghya. We talked for a while last night about our respective online roleplaying groups. She added me to her Facebook-based group - I still need to try to catch up on that, but it's a bit of a daunting task with the FB formatting - and I in turn sent her X-Future: The Second Generation Begins as well as the link to X-Future. That way she can decide if she wanted to set up a "reading account" in order to see how things work there. She seems to love the concept behind X-Future, but sadly her two favorite characters - Beast and Storm - are already "taken". So I'm not too sure I can actually convince her to join. Still, if I can get her to read it, there will be one more person I can talk to about the board. That might get me excited enough to work on the next chapter of TSGB.

In fact, I was online specifically to work on said next chapter when Neghya and I started chatting last night. It's going to be a while before the chapter is ready for posting since I still have to sift through hundreds of posts, but at least I'm finally in motion again, right?

I focus too much on the end result sometimes. Then I see all the steps needed to get there and I become overwhelmed. I need to remember planning my wedding, and how I took things in bite-sized chunks in order to build up to such a major party/gathering. I was able to do so much with only my mom, sister, bestie, and fiance to really help me out. And even then I took the brunt of the work right up until a mental break down about 3 months before the wedding. That's when Mom called me a moron for not delegating more, and I truly let the others help me.

My point is that while I may not really have others to delegate to when it comes to my writing, I really need to start thinking the same way. Yes, it's a daunting task that seems too big and too overwhelming to tackle while looking at the big picture. That's what usually paralyzes me. That concept of time needed to accomplish such a massive undertaking. However, if I can change my POV to think in smaller bites, I may be able to conquer anything!

Ali Luke uses this concept a lot in her advice. Sure, the idea of writing a full novel in a year seems out of reach, but when you break it down to x-number of words per season, per month, per week, per weekend, or even per day, it seems achievable. Ali even figured out how to finish a roughly 81,000 word draft every 3 months; basically one a season. With Rachel Aaron's ability to write 10,000 words a day, she's capable of writing a full draft in a week or two, and then rework said draft multiple times before actually cranking out the finished product roughly every season or so. Hell, her editor probably works slower than she does. Then you have the idea of NaNo. Fifty-thousand word novel in just one month? However, even without Aaron's insane writing speed/availability, it's still achievable by a lot of people.

It's all about breaking it down.

50,000 words. Seems daunting and impossible for one month. Roughly 1666 words a day? Still a bit much, but definitely more do-able as long as you don't slack off. 81,000 every three months? Not as mind-boggling as NaNo's task, but still a bit overwhelming. Break that down to about 27,000 a month or - as Ali put it - about 900 a day? That seems manageable - at least for her - even with a toddler.

Now let's take someone like me who isn't as ambitious quite yet. What if I want to give myself the full year to write a 90,000 word novel? That's only 7500 words a month, 1875 words per week, or about 268 words a day. Heck, if we just divide 90,000 by 365 - to avoid the messiness of some months having more or less days, or the ones that have five weeks instead of four - that's even less! A simple 247 words per day will get me MORE than a 90,000 word manuscript within a year's time.

Heck, this blog post up to this point is roughly 1300 words and it only kept me 2hrs to write; which also includes taking time-outs for breakfast breaks, potty breaks, researching, and chatting with both celestialTyrant and my sister.

Not even 250 words a day!? That's essentially me just taking a daily half-hour time-out in order to write SOMETHING that would further my manuscript. THAT'S IT! If I'm inspired - or at least have the next part properly plotted out - I could write my daily amount in just ten minutes! Even if there is some sort of holiday or family gathering that prevents me from taking that 30minute writing break, I can easily bump up the next day's writing to a simple 500 words. If I get in to a good enough writing flow I could get the entire week's worth of writing done in one long session!

The only thing holding me back is motivation to try!

Still not sure how to beat that hurdle, but I'm working on it.

Which I guess is the best thing about this blog. I'm openly working on probably one of the hardest roadblocks in writing. I'm just laying my struggle out for the world to work through with me. I'm pointing out all the tactics I'm trying, and explaining whether or not they work and why. I'm figuring it all out publicly. So that maybe you - or some future writer who has yet to find my blog - can feel like someone else has your struggle. That you're not alone. That you're not a failure for having this problem. And maybe you'll try out new methods of conquering this beast with me. Maybe something won't work for me and I'll have to move on to the next trick, but something in that gauntlet of things I try will show you a method that is your golden key to motivation.

I have such insanely high hopes for this blog, don't I?

Regardless, I guess my latest task is to try to think of writing the NaNo way year long: one day's word count at a time. Simple, small bites. Who cares if it's bad? As long as it's completed. It can be edited later.

Well, okay, maybe THAT is my biggest fault. I get too excited about my projects and post them In Progress, and so each section has to be PERFECT before I can move on since I can't go back and edit later; it's already out for the world to see.

Me thinks I need to first master patience - not posting things until they're complete - and the art of sketching out full plotlines so writing each chapter moves faster and smoother....

I just gave myself so much homework, didn't I? Good thing the school year started again this week. And I WAS commenting on how I miss college...

No comments:

Post a Comment