Writing and Raiding

This week has mostly been about the writing, between times of fatigue and headaches. I got a ton done last Sunday, but after that, the week started out slow (as in, nonexistent) on the writing front.

I was mad, because I had no one to blame for that except me. You see, I was playing too much Clash of Clans, figuring “oh, I’ll just go do one raid, then write.”

Except I realized that usually turns into “just one more raid” and “huh, let’s check out the clan war” and “hmm, I wonder how he did that” and watching replays of other people’s battles. Then the next thing I know, it’s midnight.!

So I decided that writing must come first, then raiding, if at all. That worked out as long as I felt well. (This has not been a good week, but I’m thankful that today was an improvement.) And yes, I did get a couple of good writing days in throughout the week, in fact, I got to the writing computer before dinner a couple of times (that helped a lot).

FasterBetterWhat I read this week: Still not quite done with the novel (though I’m really enjoying it!), which I will wait again to go over, but I also picked up a craft book that ties in well with this week’s efforts in upping productivity: Write Better, Faster by Monica Leonelle. There were a ton of great ideas in there about how to more effectively use time tracking to gauge where you are, and where you want to be, and also went over how this author writes a first draft of each scene by going from outline to draft in four steps. So if you are a writer who’s vehemently opposed to outlining, this book will probably be a lot less useful for you than it was for me, but I think there will still be some good tips in there. I am an outliner, but I still find some useful tips in books that are geared toward not outlining. What was interesting about this book is my approach is similar to hers in that I first do a very brief outline, then I sketch in each scene before I write it in with full details. The main difference with this author is that she breaks the “sketch-in” into two steps, and sketches out the whole book at once. She also emphasizes that every author works differently, and analyzing our own process like she did will help us find what works for us, and do that. She is also a big proponent of the Pomodoro Method of focusing and keeping on task. I tried writing in 25-minute increments, and that helped me immensely.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I only wrote four days this week, but with what I did today (I counted last Sunday’s work for last week), I still managed to add over 2600 words, which would have been more since I also deleted a good bit here and there (some of the scenes I worked on were mostly revision). So I see that as a win! This week, I want to finish one short scene I broke out of another, and revise two more.

What about you–how has your week been? Do you ever find yourself having a hard time staying focused on a task? Have you found anything to help with that? And how are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing or not? Please drop me a note in the comments–I’d 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. Oh, man, Jeannette, I so understand the rabbit hole that is online gaming. I have to fight going online when I can’t sleep, or I’ll look around and it will be dawn. I ended up putting a timer on it, no matter when I indulge.

    I saw that book–I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Actually, I had a pretty good week. I’m finally getting some habits to stick, and slowly making time for writing.

    I hope your next week is much better, and that you feel better.

  2. THAT is why I don’t play on-line games. Okay, that and they just don’t interest me (never have).

    As for my week… My re-drafting task is almost at an end. I’m about at the point I had gotten stuck and I’m beginning to see the light (that would be the ending). Yay! Don’t think it would have happened if not for re-drafting.

    And no, this isn’t telling me I should outline. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. 🙂

  3. So I’m reading along and then I get to what looks to me like something about plotting and I suddenly went – oh look – a squirrel. I am so not a plotter, or outliner, or spreadsheeter, or grapher. I’m more like a spirograph, curls and circles in pretty colors. Somehow it all makes comes together and makes sense, just don’t ask me to outline it.

    I hope the headaches go away. I can’t help you with the raiding. You’re on your own with that one.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  4. Elizabeth, glad to hear your writing is going better. And thanks!

    LOL Stacy, that is why I resisted it for almost a year! And I would never tell you to outline, since not doing so seems to be working well for you!

    Patricia, thanks!

  5. Jennette, hope you’re starting to feel better!

    I’m always after ways to write better and faster, and outlining definitely makes it faster to get to the finished product. If I don’t outline, my characters and plots ramble all over the map, and before I know it, I have a horrible mess to clean up. The cleanup actually takes longer than the writing of the first draft. Sheesh!

    Here’s to another great week of writing!

  6. Headaches and fatigue again? Oh Jennette, I was hoping that they went away. I’m sorry. But for someone who has been tired, you got a lot done. I’m impressed. And I find your post today an inspiration. Because I haven’t written anything in so long I almost feel like I’m a non-writer. The move has done me in girl. I hear ya on the exhaustion. I am just so tired. I just hope I come out of it soon. Have another great week and keep on writing! 🙂