Author Watch: Happy New Year Edition (#IWSG)

IWSG They say “the devil is in the details”, and so it is. It is also, I’ve found, in the planning.

I’m not much of one for New Year’s Resolutions, at least not in an of themselves. Resolutions are one thing; breaking down a resolution into milestones and stepping stones to those milestones is something else entirely.

This last year I’ve had the challenge of a mild health issue creeping up on me, ambushing my good intentions and upsetting my equilibrium. I’ve had to drastically change my eating habits (no doubt a good thing, regardless), which has taught me a little something about discipline, especially with the pizza staring at me in the face. Mocking me, as it were.

So as I sit down to consider my Production Schedule for the year, I also have to leave room for any minor upsets that come up. My writing goal is still 1,ooo words/a day, drafting-wise, but I also need to take better care of myself. Exercise. More sleep. Refilling the mental well. It’s been push, push, push, these last few months, and I need to return to balance. Only then can I write in tip-top condition. I’m in need of a major overhaul and consistent tune-ups, aka Preventative Maintenance. I am a sports car on a winding road–watch how I roar. 🙂

This year my Production Schedule still consists of four novellas and a novel, but first I need to sweep up last year’s words. I’m very close to a rough draft on Big Dang Projeckt, I have a final polish to give Keepers #3, and revisions on Waking Muse #1 to go. So January will be dedicated to cleanup on aisle 2013.  All the while I’ll be working on R&D for Keepers #4.

In order to accomplish this I can run a beat sheet for the day’s writing during my lunch hour at work so when I sit down to write I know exactly what I need to accomplish beyond a word count. This way I’m wasting as little time as possible staring a the Dread Cursor of Doom. Once the daily words are in, I can take a short break, then turn my attention to Development and Revisions.

I also want to find the time to write more Flash Fiction, and do First Chapter Critiques on the Online Writers Workshop, but I’ll have to take advantage of those moments as and when they present themselves. I’ve decided I’m going to go back to my Word Pool, wherein any words I write above 1,000 got into a pool, and any words I miss are taken out of said pool. As soon as I have 1,000 accumulated in said pool, I get a day off from drafting. This has worked well for me in the past, so Word Pool here I come.

So, to sum up: more words, more exercise, more sleep. Balance and Discipline.

How about you guys–what do you want to accomplish in 2014?




5 thoughts on “Author Watch: Happy New Year Edition (#IWSG)

  1. nancyrae4 says:

    I like the way you step toward your goals. Instead of making huge promises that are so looming they spook you from the start, you put them in a doable format.

    For me, in 2014 I’m working to regain my strength from the back luck mess which resulted in a scary surgery. This is a day-to-day challenge, but I will do it. And, the really important stuff is completing my second novel:) I want to have first draft done in four to five months and limit revision to a couple more moths. Everything done in one year. This novel is much shorter than my first, and I feel confident I can meet this goal.

    Congrats on acknowledging your health issues!. It’s amazing how much better your mind works when your body is happy.

    1. catemorgan says:

      You’re not joking about the health stuff, Nancy–this snuck up on me a little over a year ago, and I’m still adjusting. But I’m feeling much, much better these days, so I’m hoping things have settled down again and I can go another long stretch without a flare-up. Good luck with your own goals this year! 🙂

    1. catemorgan says:

      That whole lunch hour thing is definitely the sign of a desperate, sleep-deprived author–I usually like to keep my writing life and “real life” separate. But matters seem to be settling down again, so hopefully things will return to normal shortly. It’s always good to hear from you, David!

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