Figuring Things Out

That’s pretty much what everyone is doing right now, with what’s going on in the world. I have been fortunate so far, as I still have a job, and it was already work-from-home, so that part has been figured out for a long time as well. So I’ll leave commentary on that to others. One of my commenters last week noted that she’d spent too much time reading news about the pandemic, and I got caught up in that, too. I dialed it back a little this week, which helped.

Most of my figuring-out had to do with my writing. I already have a good routine for work, and had been settling into one for taking care of the house (a.k.a. cleaning), since we moved away from the friend who cleaned for us. But I never developed a good routine for writing.

One thing I noticed recently is that I tend to put off the writing until the very end of the day, after I’ve done everything else that needed to be done (and taken necessary breaks). I suspect this mostly comes from the fact that writing is fun (or it should be), and like many, I grew up with the mindset to “do your homework first, then you can go play.” The problem was, by the time I got to the writing, I was tired and didn’t feel like it (or care enough to push through). Something needed to change.

My husband wound up going out of town for a job last week, so it was the perfect time to develop a new routine: doing my writing right after dinner, and giving it enough importance to be okay with it. Even if I spent 1/2 hour to an hour on the writing, that would still leave me with time to relax and spend with my husband afterward on most days.

Well, it WORKED! I spent at least 1/2 hour every day on my writing, right after dinner, and also wrote about 3300 words of notes. Even better, my husband was gone for three days, and I kept this up after he got back. I also enjoyed it more, I think because I wasn’t trying to pressure myself into doing “real” writing, but just made notes.

Which is where the other part of “figuring it out” comes in. The act of making notes helped me tons with figuring out what needs to be changed in what I already have, and where my story is going. I haven’t figured it all out, but at the rate I’m going, I should be good to spend another week making notes and doing some rough outlines (with the caveat that it all can change!), then I should be good to get back to the actual writing. And since I’m no longer bored with it, that should be fun as well.

What I’ve Been Reading

I didn’t finish anything this week, but I have been enjoying a novel that I will write about here next week.

What I’ve Been Writing

ROW80Logo175

A lot of notes! ROW80 ended for the quarter on Thursday, so I guess it’s time for an end-of-ROW wrap-up. I changed my goals midway through when I started bogging down, but that was still not enough. I made my January writing goal, but got next to nothing in February or March. But hey, next week is a new Round, so time to start back in then. I’ll have a better idea of what I can do for Round Two, so I’ll blog about that next week. This week, I want to continue making notes to get the rest of the story figured out, and either start back on the WIP, or be ready to next week.

I am almost done with my learning goal, too. Since I set my goal for three months, and we still have a couple days left, I should be able to finish that online workshop by Tuesday, and meet my goal. I also wanted to learn something about copyright once a month, so I also need to get on that if I want to meet my goal–I sort of forgot about it last week, when it was on my to-do list. So this week for learning, I want to finish the online workshop on Secondary Plotlines, spend a little time reading about copyright, and start another online workshop–still not sure which one.

So that’s a wrap for ROW80, Round One! Tell me, how are things going for you? Have you been affected by the pandemic? I hope you’re staying healthy and employed! How are you doing on your goals, whether writing or something else? Please share in the comments–I love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

6 Responses to \

  1. I’m glad you’ve found a writing routine that works for you.

    I’d been doing a huge amount of revising on a long essay and while working on that I couldn’t do any other writing. I put it aside for a week, couldn’t stomach looking at it anymore. During that week I made progress on some of my essays-in-progress and am abut to submit one to a contest (fingers crossed).

    Now I’m about to do some final revisions on the big essay I’d put aside. Sometimes I just have to leave a project alone for a bit and get back to it with a clearer head.

    Let’s both be able to report real progress soon!

  2. Stay healthy and safe, Jennette. Great that you’re keeping busy with other stuff instead of letting the news of the virus distract you too much. Like you, I had to cut back (waaaaaay back) on reading about it. I predict a bunch of pandemic novels coming out soon. šŸ™‚

  3. I have the same feeling about my writing – that it’s “fun” and therefore should go last on the to-do list. But, that is the wrong mindset. I have to think of myself as an author FIRST, which means, I write first, then I do the other stuff.

    Of course the inn stuff has to come first, but right now I can’t use that as an excuse. But, after inn chores are done, I need to start on the WIP FIRST THING. No excuses. I was really good about doing that until this virus crap hit and that threw me all out of whack. My problem is focusing. I’m so easily sidetracked with worry about how everything is going to work out. I need to just relax and trust that everything is going to be okay.

    I’m glad you’ve found a routine. Good luck with the book.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  4. Finding a routine that works is great, isn’t it? I write in the morning, because that’s when I feel the most creative. Yeah, it helps that I don’t have to worry about a day job. I remember when I did, I did all my writing after dinner, too (and on the weekends). Well, actually, I might have done some of the writing at work during down times, but don’t tell anyone! šŸ˜€

    I reached my goal of 10K words this month (it was 10K words or finish the book) and I’m really close to finishing the book. I finally figured out who the killer is, so that’s good, right? Hopefully I still think that when I start with revisions late next month. Because I will finish the first draft early April. I’m sure of it!

  5. Hey, look at that! My post made it this time. Yay!
    Frankly, I don’t know what went wrong last week. I never got an error. It just came back to your page without my post. Strange…

  6. Lynette, sometimes changing projects helps, doesn’t it? Good luck on the contest, and with the revisions!

    Sheila, so true – and thanks!

    Patricia, exactly – it’s the mindset. I try not to let my writing get too “important,” because then getting everything just right becomes paralyzing. But we need it to be important enough that we don’t push it off until last. Good luck with your WIP and here’s hoping this virus passes soon and your business comes back!

    Stacy, you are so right! (And glad your post came through!) Congrats on meeting your goal and finishing! I’m looking forward to reading!

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