23 May 2012

Time, Writing, & Possibility

When I signed up for the writing workshop, I knew that I would be busy. After all I had iCal'd all the events that this May hosted: the climaxes of most of my volunteer activities; the end of school for a Preschooler, a 3rd grader, and a 5th grader with its various music programs and parties; an Irish Dance competition for our 3rd grader; and my husband's various business trips. I thought I could fit in a small writing workshop

Wrong. While I kept up with all the family activities up to now, not a single word was written over the weekend.

What did I learn? Two key things ...

  1. Schedule my time wisely, taking on projects and activities that support the family and myself without much sleep sacrifice. (How many times do I "counsel" my husband about that? Gonna hear from him about that for a while. Ouch.)
  2. Develop my own writing schedule with challenging goals that don't kill me. (10 pages a day is killer, what made me think I'd get 20 with everything going on?)

Barbara O'Neal, I love all her books, posted about respecting your natural rhythm. After my harried May, her post provided me food for thought. And with summer break coming up, I'll be figuring out how to balance house stuff, kids, and writing that doesn't leave me like a meltdown waiting to happen but leaves me and the family empowered. The complete opposite of this month.

Coincidentally, as if coincidences really happened, over the weekend I met up with an old friend that I'd taken a personal development course with a few years ago. We got to talking and she reminded me that "... but, it won't ..." closes doors, whereas " ... and I could ..." leaves possibility waiting to happen. (Thanks, Pam!) Like a rose bud, particularly one called Pink Promise.

So my plan going forward... 
  1. Participate in the remaining three weeks of the writing workshop, writing what and when I can, gleaning tips and tricks to draft and revise fast. 
  2. Remember this month as a learning experience to manage my time wisely.
  3. Develop a summer schedule for writing and fun.
  4. Make possibility happen.
Now, off to make snack happen for the little ones.

09 May 2012

A Revision Aversion Toast

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I HATE the revision process.

As a "new" and unpublished writer, I'm still learning what works and what doesn't. With alpha and beta readers, I'm getting a handle on the what works on that aspect of the writing process, but revising and what works for me? Let's just say I'm as motivated to sit and revise as I am to scrub powder cleaner in toilets with my bare hands. With motivation that low, no wonder it's taken me over a year to not finish even one revision.

I can only complain so much. Right? Right. So, I'm finally doing something about it. Beside moan and grit my teeth when I sit down to revise.

I signed up for Fast Draft, Revision Hell, an online writing workshop with Candace Havens. Her short description of the class ... "Fast Draft uses tools and psychology so that you can write a first draft in only two weeks. A rough draft. Revision Hell teaches you how to take that draft and turn it into something golden in an equally fast way."

While drafting hasn't been an issue for me as I usually draft during NaNoWriMo, I'll be glad to pick up tips and tricks in that area. It's the Revision Hell side of things that I'm interested in. I'm under no illusions that I'll finish a revision in two weeks with family and summer right around the corner, but wouldn't that be heaven? However anything is better than my current rate.

In the workshop chat loop, introductions have begun; one author lives in Australia while most of us are scattered throughout the US, there are a few published authors as well. Work starts in earnest on 14 May, right near the culmination of our school year and some of my volunteer activities, so I'll be busy.

Until then, I will be developing a protagonist with a deep need, an antagonist that stands in her way, and hopefully, a way for the protagonsit to achieve what she needs. My planning worksheets are all printed and primed.

So, here's a toast, or a couple, to finally doing something to address my revision aversion. Let's hope this works!