Saturday, June 6, 2009

Motivation 101

Today I need motivation. But what is motivation – I decided to find out. One definition I found was:-

Motivation: is the internal condition that activates behavior and gives it direction; and energizes and directs goal-oriented behavior.

Okay – so what are my goals? Simple – I’m here to write 50k in 30day.

But why?

Because I have a book to finish and get into my publisher? No – the real reason is because I AM a writer and it’s what I do. Just like all of you taking part in the 50k in 30 days.

So I decided to break down my goals from, longest term goal to shortest term goal.

1. I need to finish my ms.
2. I need to write 35k in the next 24 days
3. I need to write 2500 words today
4. I just need to write the next word.

And do you know what – if I keep writing the next word – then soon it will be 2500 words in a day and 35k in the next 24 and I WILL finish that ms.

So just write the next word – and you will soon meet your goals.

Motivation 1 Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, June 5, 2009

Don't Panic

Five days down it's time to stop and take stock of your progress. Are you on track? Ahead of schedule? Or falling so far behind you think you might as well give up now?

Don't Panic! With the long weekend looming there is plenty of time for you to climb over, dig under or just muscle past your writers block and get your hands securely on your muse.

At this point it won't take much to whip your word count along. You can do it!

Join in some sprints. Download the report card from the group site. Take the phone off the hook. Put hubby in front of the footy, or get him to take the kids to the park. Invest in Cadbury's and caffeine.

Make some time for YOU. And before you know it, the words will be flowing.

And because I want to help as much as I can, here's a little more inspiration to get those words coming:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Writing away from home.

Yes, that's me and my CP at Nora's Turn The Page Bookshop. We couldn't resist getting our picture taken with Nora. LOL
Being away from home can put a serious crimp in your writing. Over the last month I've had some up and down times but I can't complain too much, I did finish my next short story and send it to my editor. In fact one weekend I went away to a lovely little town called Seaside with my CP. The weather wasn't the best beach weather but the bar made up for that. So picture this, it's a rainy long weekend and the place is full of holiday-makers so where are they gonna go? To the bar of course. There's me and Devon with out laptops perched on bar top, drinks beside us and our fingers merrily tapping away. In one afternoon I got over 5k written with the bar so packed it was standing room only. I have no idea how we were able to zone out like we did but both of us got more work done in that one day than we did on any other.

Working with my CP's face to face has been fun, I might not have gotta anywhere near the amount of writing done as I do when I'm on my own but it's been good to see how others deal with the isolated writers life. I must admit that I'm more than a little excited to be nearing the end of my trip, Mr. Muse and I are more than ready to get home and start writing. I've spent the first few days of the June editing but that's done now so I'll be getting back to my other wip.

I'm at the Lori Foster Get Together this weekend and I can't see myself fitting in much writing time but I'm prepared to have my word count low this year. I'm aiming to get the first of two 30k novellas finished before June 30, it sits at 5k now. With any luck things will go well and I'll get most of the second one done by the end of the month but as I said I'm not pushing myself. I've learned so much by attending the conferences and spending time with fellow writers that having a less productive time isn't worrying me.

I'm looking forward to getting back in the loop and finishing the challenge from home. This time next week I'll be in my chair, at my desk, tapping that keyboard for all I'm worth.

May the Word Gods smile upon you!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Taking care of yourself during the challenge...

There's something very exciting about setting goals and challenging yourself to achieve something in such a short time. There's also nothing better than having a group of people to take the challenge with - people who understand and sympathise with you, and who motivate you (not Commando style, don't worry!) when it gets difficult.

But one thing we need to do is take the time to look after ourselves during this challenge. We need to be responsible about our health during the challenge because it can be intense sometimes. Working at a frantic pace for regular periods and having the pressure to gets results can be pretty stressful. Just thinking about it makes my heart rate rise!

We need to remember to take breaks regularly if we've been sitting down for long periods, eat right as it can effect how our brain works, and exercise. I know many of us are time poor, so it needn't be going to the gym or bench pressing enough to make Arnie look like a weakling. Rather, taking a walk to clear a foggy brain, or even a session of high-energy vacuuming can get us out of the chair and off the couch (or wherever it is you sit and write).

I know many of you work (I'm a full time mummy), so it's good to have a distraction to get your mind off the writing. I can imagine you're itching to get writing - the characters won't shut up, and need to have their stories told, but make sure you don't push yourself too hard.

During RWA Bootcamp, Dana gave us great tips and stretches to perform after certain time. Maybe set a clock for every 30 minutes where you stop, do some stretching or get up for a cuppa. Whatever you decide to do, take a break to rest your eyes, wrists, sore bottom etc.

Oh, and a while back I found this great article about exercising at your desk, and blogged about it. It may be of some use to you, but if it isn't, the concept it a nice one!

Happy writing, everyone,

:-) Mon

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get Your Running Shoes On!

So how the heck are you going to sustain this writing experience for the entire month? Do you have your good running shoes on for nightly sprints or are you just sticking with your thongs and shuffling along at your own pace?

I find that having someone else to account to for my writing goals helps me focus on actually achieving my daily target. There are times though when I really wish I could stick somebodies whip somewhere the sun doesn't shine. This normally happens when I'm behind in my writing, or when I worry too much over what is happening in my story line.
Chris Baty from NanoWriMo suggests that you shouldn't worry about spelling or whether something sucks right as you're writing it. You can always edit later. But the main thing to do is get the story down on paper/screen as soon as you can.
I tend to try to edit as I go, but last year I put this to the side and just wrote my fingers off. 50,000 words in 9 days. I just sprinted as fast as I could and didn't freak out about whether or not someone was sounding like a cardboard cut out ordering cornflakes in my dialogue. The words got down on screen. On the first edit I took out 15,000 words and wrote 20,000 more. That manuscript has been requested by New York agents and Australian ones. I'm still working on it, but it showed me that I could just write, sprint in fact and have the words flow faster than I could get them down.
Don't worry if you think the story sucks, just get it written. As the adage says "You can't work with a blank page."
See you at the sprinting track!

Monday, June 1, 2009

And So It Begins

So here we are day one of the 50ks in 30 Days challenge. How are you feeling? Are you excited? Are you scared? The fear of the unknown. Will I reach my goal? Will my characters play nice and spoon feed me the information I need to get the words on paper? I LOVE IT!

Yes, well we all know I’m more than a little crazy. LOL. My day started with a whimper. I woke up sick and I mean really sick, vomiting (I know too much information) the works. My head was pounding, but I’m not sure if it was because I was unwell or because I have two couples fighting over whose story is going to be written first. Lord, save me from them. So I’ve manage to do some bartering, mornings for one evenings for the other and in between editing. Plus novels to read and reviews to write as well as critiques to fit in around it all.

So far this morning I’ve added 1,728 words to ‘Surrender’, I’m going for lunch now (dry biscuits & water sounds inviting doesn’t it? NOT), then I’m editing.

Remember, that no matter how big your goal, you are doing this for you. Not to write more than someone else, but to satisfy you. There is no point setting a target that you know is unreachable, the only thing that will do is bring you down. The purpose of this exercise is to get you to write something, anything each day and go to bed at night happy with what you have achieved.

Each Sunday, we’ll ask you to post your total word count for the challenge to that date. You can post them here on the blog or on the loop, I know some people have trouble accessing the blog to comment from time to time. What ever is easiest for you. Monday mornings you’ll wake to see your word counters updated with your progress.

If you have any questions at any time just ask, someone will have answer, if not we’ll pretend we do. LOL. Don’t forget the sprints each night in the RWA chat rooms. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to boost your word count.

So how was your first day?

Happy writing.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sprinting with Dr Wicked

Hang on, how did it get to be the day before the 50ks in 30 days challenge starts?

How did it get to be the 31st May?

Where have the last five months of the year gone?


So now many of you are gathered around the starting blocks, discussing strategies, plotting or not, stretching those writing muscles, warming up, getting accustomed to the sound of the whip in the chat room (now that sounds kinky!), and learning how sprinting works...

Let me introduce you to Dr Wicked and his writing lab.

I love Dr Wicked. I have been using his website to write since I stumbled across it in the Nanowrimo forums last November and it has helped me write more than 130k. And I will continue to use the website for my first drafts until I can purchase the desktop application which he is developing now (and will hopefully be available before Nanowrimo).

It's simple: you enter your word goal, and your time goal and then you type directly into the word window. It counts the time down as you go, and your word count as it goes up. If you stop typing, the screen will start flashing at you starting at a pinkish hue and gradually turning red. And then it will make a horrible noise (random) until you hit those keys again. It's a form of aversion therapy to stop you from NOT writing. But when you reach your word goal or your time goal, trumpets sound!

I quote from a Dr Wicked interview:
"At the very least, what it can do is grab your inner Critic by the neck, shut him up and hold him at arm's length so that your Creator can get some actual work done."

We know that writing this fast is all about locking the inner critic up, staying a few sentences in front of her so she doesn't even have time to comment.

I am hooked on Dr Wicked. For me there is no turning back. For that half hour, Dr Wicked keeps me focused on the task at hand. The actual writing. No looking at emails, no surfing the net. Just write.

Try it out. See what you think.

It's not for everyone but it's certainly for me.

And lets all have a fantastic writing month!

And don't forget at the end of it all, there is a fabulous certificate of achievement:

See you on the sprinting track...