Tag Archives: Distractions

Writing Slump and This Well So Deep

In case you were wondering, I have not fallen off the face of the planet or gone tumbling down the trenches of a deep well. You could say I have fallen into a bit of a writing slump, and that does feel something like falling into a well, I suppose. This ‘slump’ has not only affected my blog and social networking activity, but also my personal writing projects. And this comes less than a month after I declared a daily writing goal for myself. Which by the way, was going really good for the first two weeks–I exceeded the goal on 9 out of 14 days–but then I ‘fell’ and haven’t written any new words for over a week and a half. Well, aside from some journal scribbles and a poem or two. But fear not, the goal is not dead, just a bit wounded. And if indeed I am trapped at the bottom of some deep lonesome well, I’m pretty sure Lassie isn’t coming, so I’m gonna have to find a way to climb out on my own.

I’ll attribute this slump to distractions in life which have made it exceedingly difficult to get my head into writing. It’s easy to find excuses, and it’s not difficult at all to find distractions and let them detour you from the writing path. But such things are necessary for me to move forward in life and provide for my family. Right now I’m charging to the end of a four year journey which will culminate in becoming a Radiologic Technologist. This means scrambling to meet the last of the program qualifications, studying for test after test in preparing for the national registry, and I now have the added stresses of trying to find a job, because sadly, there will be no more money handed to me for education (and most of that money will have to be paid back). In actuality, it feels like these tracks I’m speeding along are sending me straight into a brick wall–or to the bottom of a brick well, as it were.

Yesterday brought a bit of disappointing news to pile on to all this. Twisted Library Press announced they must cancel the majority of their upcoming anthologies due to the economic crisis. This includes the zombie-themed, Through the Eyes of the Undead II, which was slated to include my story Fleshward Bound. It always hurts to hear about any small press closing or making significant cutbacks, and it stings even more when it affects you personally. Oh well, I found a potential home for the story once,  so I know I can do it again.

To end on a more positive note: my entry into MicroHorror’s annual story contest was accepted for publication yesterday and is now available to read here: This Well So Deep. It’s a chilling little story about a boy who falls into a well (see there was a point to all this well stuff!). The theme for the contest this year is water, and this is my first time entering. I must say it was fun writing for it, and I produced a story that otherwise would not have come into existence. There are loads of great entries so far, so stop by, have a read, and get immersed in some terrific watery horror!

Oh, and I hope you are all doing quite well.

On (UN)Productivity and New Writing Goals

I’ve never been much for giving myself writing goals–I’m too much of a blatant procrastinator for that. I suppose I’ve always looked at the prospect of having to meet writing goals as something else to come up with excuses for not doing, and quite frankly, I’ve got enough stuff to use those excuses on already.

As far as my productivity goes, well it’s rather inconsistent. I’m primarily a weekend author. My current schedule provides me with at least three days each week to write. Family obligations limit the time on each of those days to mornings when my lovely daughter is content to play in her playpen, or in the afternoon when she’s taking her nap. That leaves only a few hours during each of these days to write for my current projects, which is more often spent blogging, conducting market research,  and networking (these are euphemisms for web surfing, forum trolling, updating my website, tweeting, and just general avoidance of performing any real work). So the scraps of time that are left to spend on actual writing projects is split between producing new words and revising old words, and further subdivided between fiction projects and poetry projects. It’s a miracle I ever get anything done!

The last two weekends have gone by and I’ve produced 600 words on a new story. A full six days to write and I probably spent less than two hours actually writing (not counting for the blog). That’s sick. I can do better. I know I can be more prolific. I have it in me to produce in bulk. There have been times when I’ve produced 2,000 plus words in a day. I can write in quantity and be productive, but I have to sit down to write and not let myself get distracted. And trust me, that last part is a doozy!

So perhaps I should give this “writing goals” thing a shot. I want to write every day. Even if it’s small. But I want to commit myself to at least produce something. Even if I only write in small doses, as long as I write every day, I’ll still be producing more than I am now. I think an achievable goal for me would be to start with say, 250 words a day. I know I could hammer that out in less than an hour. Probably more like ten or fifteen minutes if the creativity is flowing, but I know it could be done in an hour even if it’s not. I know I can find an hour each day to dedicate to writing, instead of  wasting away on the internet or watching television or God forbid just staring at a blank wall.

Here it is then, my new writing goal: Write Every Day, 250 Words.

There, I said it. And it’s here in bold for you all to see and help keep me accountable. 250 words a day, 1,750 words a week, 7,000 words a month. If I do more, great! If I don’t meet the goal on any given day, too bad and better luck tomorrow. I won’t dwell on the failings because I don’t want to get discouraged. I want to keep this going. I want the act of daily writing to become habitual so that when I start writing for one of those novel ideas, I’ll be able to stay on track and produce the thing in a year or less. And honestly, I’ve got too many ideas accumulating in the brain/journal, so for Heaven’s sake–just write the damn things already!

What’s your take on setting writing goals? Do you make them? If so, what strategies do you use to keep yourself on track?

Keeping Up with the Social Media

It’s Friday. I’m up early with the baby. After a bottle, she plays happily in her playpen. With fresh coffee, I sit down at the computer. It’s quiet, peaceful. Just some low music, and the distant rhythms of the Sprout channel. A perfect time to do some writing. Let’s just check the email/Twitter/Facebook/blog while the caffeine takes effect…

Oh look! Someone mentioned me on Twitter. Better send a TY mention back. Oh and a RT from someone too? Lovely! I’ll just thank them and… Oh gosh! That’s right! It’s #FF (#FollowFriday) day today! How could I have forgot? I don’t want to appear to be a loser, so I’d better send out some proper #FF’s of my own.

Ya know, it’s been awhile since I combed through profiles for cool new folks to follow. Just a few minutes of that and, my my this is an interesting blog post. I really should respond to this, it seems to be quite an important topic. Hey that reminds me, I wrote a new post for my own blog last night, but I still have yet to edit it. Let me do that right quick before I publish. Oh, before I do that, I’d better go to Google and search for a nice image to go with that blog post. Done and done!

Now just a quick peek back to Twitter and Facebook to make sure my blog’s feed is working… hmmm Twitter’s is fine but the feed to Facebook isn’t working correctly for my Author Page. I’ll have to post it manually for now and, Holy Moly! Look at all these new notifications! Gardens of Time… people need what for their what? Why did I start playing this game again? Ok. Let me just return the favors and, oh look at the time, baby needs her cereal and a nap already! And I’ve got to feed and walk the dog…

Speaking of, I’m pretty hungry myself. Ok, a quick bite and then it’s back to…checking my Site Stats on WordPress… and Ha! I just had the funniest thought that would make an awesome Tweet! Back to Twitter to share this awesomeness… Hahaha! Mentions, mentions, hashtags, blog, you tube, tweet, stumble, stumble, post, respond, RT, RT, update status, reply…

Wasn’t there something else I was going to do? Oh. Write.

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