Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spinning Wheels

So I sent Kahlotus Disposal Site back to Amy last Thursday... my three months that turned to three and a half of solid editing (two revisions on Kahlotus and about 4 on Begonia Bribe) are finally OVER. I feel a huge sensation, like a full body sigh, to be done with that. And I am SO EXCITED to get writing again. Through my editing, I've had two projects that kept pestering me. Thankfully one is even the one I am SUPPOSED to write next (my third Gardening Cozy), plus the one I have been SO EXCITED to write since last February, Medium Wrong.


Perky, friendly Chrysanthemums
I should be in heaven, right? I am in WRITING mode again, ne?

And the first chapter and a half went fine, but there are all these moving parts to this one... there is an old ghost story at play. There is a murder mystery game. There are the old characters everybody knows. There are new characters that are a smarmy bunch of politicians... The plotting I've done so far is really fun, but I just can't seem to get my traction...

I would LOVE suggestions for switching back to the writing hat after so much uninterrupted editing. Last time I did that—December and January of last year—it took WAY too long to get back into writing mode.


What a great crystal ball image... my medium needs one.
My GOAL

I need to write 25K of Chrysanthemum Campaign by Nov 1. I've written about 4000 words... Yeah, that's almost 1800 words a day, but because ALL of that is BEGINNING, I think it is possible. If I could Just. Get. Going. I really want to get that far because I WANT to focus my WriMo time on Medium Wrong... but I really HAVE to have Chrysanthemum Campaign done by the end of December in order to give my editing rounds enough time to do them justice.



So let's just process a minute here... to write at a WriMo pace, there are some tricks I employ... and I think it is time to employ them.

1)   if a part isn't flowing, make some notes on what needs to go there, but SKIP IT. Go to a part that IS flowing.
2)   Don't stress... it can ALL be fixed.
3)   Get those snacks in order and remind your family you have no time for them. Erm.

This last is really going to be the hardest. Since my last WriMo, my hubby has taken up full time work, so I have dinner duty four days a week (former writing time) and I have taken up my Couch to Keg program (an hour out of writing time every day.) So I need to find some space to steal time from. I may have to blog shorter (yes, I see you dancing there—that's good news for you). I may even need to throw in a little silliness... *wolf whistles*

I need to focus on the weekends... this weekend I failed on that front—I got almost no writing done. I played (wine tasting with neighbors until all hours play)... I did some number puzzles... I did laundry—GADS, when will they invent self folding laundry!?

And then I had a meeting at school last night to cope with...

But I solemnly swear, from here until December 31, I will put my nose to my writing projects... I WILL do this!


Okay—your turn-What are your tricks to getting back into writing mode?

23 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Shutting out the world. I'm yet to master that one. Good luck! I know you enjoy it :o)

Al said...

Commute to work on the train!

Old Kitty said...

Oh Tart! I have no NAKED tricks for getting back into the writing mode! Maybe seeing a competition with a quirky prompt gets the ol juices flowing...!

WELL DONE you for finishing your edits!!! YAYYAYAYYAYAYAYY!

Take care
x

Jan Morrison said...

I'm not sure. I have half-finished projects that are beckoning to me from behind slitted eyes. They are the treat when revisions are done - but I like revising so... my first drafts are such dreck that I cannot say...if you're bored go to the next section. Make your posts shorter and don't write them until you have at least half your writing done for the day. Carry a mini recorder and record plot ideas into it during meetings and while making love to your husband. Get each kid to take responsibility (full not half-assed) for a meal a week.

Hart Johnson said...

Jessica-I can shut out the active world pretty easily, but I need a certain state of relaxation to write and somehow the editing has gotten me out of that habit...

Al-My commute is actually fairly effective--I walk it, but I walk and read, so it DOES that relaxaation thing.

Jenny-you know, I haven't done any of those for YEARS--in fact since my fan fiction days. I always feel like I should spend my time writing my novels!

Jan-I don't dislike editing anymore, but it is a different part of my brain. It is like trying to swim when you've been jogging--you are in shape on SOME level, but there are muscles you definitely haven't been using much. *snort* The recorder in bed will go over well BUWAHAHAHAHA.

GigglesandGuns said...

I live on a busy corner meaning that when folks go by and see life, they stop to visit. I moved my office to the far corner of the house. My office is bright and cheery and no one can tell I'm there.
People now tell me that I am never home. I don't correct them!

Love your tricks but if I put too many snacks there I'd never come out.

Christine Murray said...

Wish I had advice to give, but I find it hard to switch between the two. I'll be interested to see what responses others give though.

Jeanp said...

Tami - I promise not to be a bad influence! However - with the holidays coming, please put your nose to the grind now so we'll have some time for cocktails as the holidays draw closer. As of now - it's running then home to write!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Yes, I've had to jump in after lots of editing (doing it now.) Wish I had a good tip for it...I just start writing (poorly) and continue writing (poorly!) for about 3-4 days. The writing is much better by the end of the week and I usually have to throw out the stuff at the beginning! Good luck!

Hart Johnson said...

Mary-there you go! I wish my office had a door so I couldn't get called for every household 'emergency' (usually along the lines of 'mom, you didn't put the laundry away!')

Christine-there are definitely some ideas here!

Jean-now THAT one might work--planning a reward of a festive holiday season!!!

Elizabeth-I'm not sure what I'm forcing out is BAD, but it is certainly SLOW. The writing comes slower and it takes longer to sort of turn off my day to start. good luck to you, too!

Southpaw said...

I wish I had some tricks, but I'm still evolving. ;)

Michael Offutt said...

Sounds like tips from the pros to me. Hart, I noted that you said in your story that there are some horror elements and I wanted to ask you...are you watching FX's new series "American Horror Story"? It has ghosts in it. If so...what do you think? I might squee a little if you say you're watching it. :))

Raquel Byrnes said...

Oh my goodness have you been busy! Third gardening cozy already? Wow! Good luck on finding your 'zone' and getting down to writing. That is, after all, the best part of it. :)
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Writing novels is like taking a test at school. You do the questions you know first, then tackle the others. Having a known ending can help you chart your course through the troubled parts.

I have a habit of writing two books at the same time. When I bog down in one, I return to the other, finding that in my absence my unconscious mind has sorted out the former problems.

Also always leave the writing table when you know what will happen next. Never run the engine of your muse dry. Leaving with the next scene in your mind lets your unconscious mind work on it while you sleep.

Hey, it works for me. And Ernest Hemingway. Or it did for him! Thanks for visiting my blog and caring to comment, Roland

Hart Johnson said...

Holly-you'll pick 'em up! (erm... me too, I hope)

Michael-I'd say paranormal, not horror (the edgier parts of my stuff are human--mental illness, abuse) but I totally appreciate the show recommendation! I'll see if I can find it online, as that is where I see most of my TV.

Raquel, it flies, doesn't it? Seems so strange to say that... on my 3rd. Stranger still, since none are OUT. The writing IS the best part... I just need to GET to it!!!

Roland-hey, good way to look at it! That is really how I do my WriMos--you have to when you are on a time crunch. I tend to write when I have time, though--so leaving when I'm eager doesn't always work. I also worry about my memory... But maybe that would help me be in a hurry to get started each day, so it may be worth a shot!

Helena said...

You are so busy! But yes, life interferes all the time with writing, which drives me nuts. Then there's the frustration of puttering along with a story and then suddenly I can't even think of the next sentence or paragraph. Words fail me all the time, damn it! Stopping for a wine party can only help...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You can do it, Hart! Don't make me come up to Ann Arbor and go all Ninja on you.

Johanna Garth said...

The only thing I do is tell myself to write just one sentence, and then another until I hit my word goal.

Two other things of importance I need to mention. 1. Thank you so much for the blogger shout out. I just saw it last night and now I know who's behind my sudden rash of new followers!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

2. I'm halfway through Very Bad Men. Even though it's not the kind of book I would ordinarily pick up I'm really enjoying it so thanks again for all your enthusiasm about Harry Dolan. Amazingly talented was a perfect description.

KarenG said...

Excellent tips from an expert on prolific, productive writing. So you are doing November as well as June? I think I will to. You always inspire me to go to greater lengths. I like your comment about the weekends. Weekends and early mornings or late nights are my best catch-up times.

Will Burke said...

One artist friend will listen to the same CD throughout a whole painting; is there any music that will trigger your writing-self?

Crystal Pistol said...

That IS a great crystal ball image. I'd love to get my hands on that future telling contraption! :)

Trisha said...

Last time I was writing anything full time was in June, when I was doing BuNoWriMo. But then, I have been writing a short story a week all year, so I guess I'm in the habit at least. But I too look forward to being free (during November) to write.

I don't know if I have any advice...because my advice is usually to just write. Even if it's crap, just write! I don't know if that helps you at all though.

Hart Johnson said...

Karen-YAY! Glad you are going to write again!!!

Will-I can't write with music, but I certainly can add some music in my off-writing time that might inspire. (I have a teeny tiny attention span)

Crystal-I see their likes at Art Fair here--may have to invest!

Trisha-a short a week is a great pace, so you are on track! I sometimes wish I could write shorts... erm... not enought to learn to do it, mind you... but...