Not practicing what you’re preaching

Difficult road
Photo Credit: AAAndrew via Compfight cc

As usual, talking is easier than doing.

In the past weeks I found myself on a difficult path, struggling with many of the things I talked about in a previous post. Basically I let life and everyday’s tasks to steal time and energy from my passion (my tendency to procrastinate and put off writing untill conditions are perfect did the rest).

In that post I went through some of the strategies you can use to make room for writing (or other passions) in your schedule. I was really convinced of the value of those strategies and I still am, that’s why at the end of two mostly unproductive weeks, I thought “Come on girl! You can’t be like those people who talk and talk but never practice what they’re preaching!”. Since I know the value of publicly set goals, I want to share my plans with you so that you can encourage me (slapping and kicking included) if I procrastinate.

After doing NaNoWriMo in November, I stated that I would have written at least 1000 words each day in order to finish the first draft of my sci-fic novel by the end of January. However only a few days after writing that post, lifed happened and I finally found a full time job. The first weeks were difficult, then I was swallowed up by Christmas festivities (this is me making lame excuses again) and the result was that I didn’t reach my goal. Even if I managed to go on a little, my first draft isn’t finished yet and I start getting stucked in the plot.

It’s time to do something.

In the post I mentioned above, I identified three main steps to take:

Choose where to spend your energy: since your time is limited, you have to choose wisely what deserves your time and make a list of important things you want to accomplish.

Plan: split up each mission into simpler steps and identify where and when you can do each.

Search for tools that can make your life simpler: decide how much you can invest and don’t be afraid of paying something for a little help.

So this is my list:

Important Things

Rewrite, edit and publish “Secrets of a Handbag

Finish the first draft and edit “Undercover – Modifieds #1

Write “The Agency – Modifieds #2

Write “Prevention – Modifies #3

Keep writing on my blog

Find a solution for my newsletter

Quite a bunch of things, hu? Well, I don’t have to do them all tomorrow, it’s just a long term plan. Now let’s be a little more specific and try to plan.

After a lot of ruminating I decided that Camp NaNoWriMo in April will be the perfect moment to rewrite “Secret of a Handbag”, that’s my first novel. I found that simply re-read and make correction does not do the trick, because I keep finding things I don’t like, so I’m going to read a scene each day and then try to rewrite it without looking at the original. Let’s see if the result is any better this way. At present the novel is written in Italian, so I’ll have to translate it in English at some stage but I’ll decide about this later. Once the rewriting is done, I’m going to search for beta-readers and hope they won’t destroy my self-confidence.

Since there’s a month until April, I want to use March to give a push to “Undercover – Modifieds #1”, the first episode in my sci-fic WIP. I usually write during my lunch break, this means that I have a notebook full of sparse scenes that needs to be connected. The general outline is pretty clear in my mind but there are a lot of details that needs to be figured out.

This Modifieds Trilogy is the more complex project I ever attempted, that’s why I want the first draft of each episode to be completed before I even think about publishing. I don’t want to find myself in need of acrobatics to fill plot holes. My ideal would be to write the first draft of “The Agency – Modifieds #2” during Camp NaNoWriMo in July and “Prevention – Modifieds #3” during NaNoWriMo in November, so that I have the whole story outlined for the end of the year.

Am I too ambitious? Or insane?

Probably both.

For what concerns my blog, I have a list of ideas for posts that keeps growing, I just need to squeeze them into my schedule. The best solution is probably to devote Friday’s lunch break to my posts instead than fiction writing, so that I have a draft ready each Saturday.

My newsletter is a painful spot. I have a mailing list that’s as tiny as possible and it’s my fault only, because I forget about it far too often. I need to rethink everything about it and prepare a freebie for my subscribers. How, where and when?


Talking about the third point, searching for the right tools, I think I have everything I need. I have Scrivener (that I use both for fiction writing and for blog posts), a lot of notebooks and pens, I have this wordpress site and a Mailchimp account. I have a daily diary and an alarm clock loud enough. I don’t think I need anything more beside some willpower (as soon as I find a store that sells it, I’ll let you know).

Since every adventure implies a sacrifice of some sort, I believe that in order to accomplish all of this I will have to give up on some sleep and some reading. Days are made of 24 hours only, after all.

Now it’s time to start.

I just have a few questions for you, who have been so patient to read my ramblings: do you think I’m crazy? Do you have any suggestion? And most important… which are your plans for the next future?

Share in the comments!

Love to you all!

P.S.: in all of this, I plan to have a lot of fun with writing, because writing is joy!

Photo Credit: f. prestes via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: f. prestes via Compfight cc

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