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.

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