Tag Archives: Planning

December, You Sneaky Bastard

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I’ve got some interesting news to share, today. Other than it being December, of course. Grab a cup of something warm and settle in. This is kind of a long post.

I’m coming off a 10-day vacation (yay) and go back to work tomorrow (boo). It was a really good vacation, too. We didn’t go anywhere, but we did spend a lot of time together just chillin’ out. I made a big Thanksgiving spread (which we’re still eating), watched Jessica Jones on Netflix, got some Redbox movies and took a lot of naps. By the way…Detroit Lions whooped Philadelphia Eagles ass on Thanksgiving.

I’m sad to see the vacation end, but you know how it is. Back to the grind and onto the interesting news.

This year I co-hosted the WriYe Tumblr blog, something most of you were aware. Back in September or October, one of the mods approached me to help out on the actual site for 2016. Like, the official WriYe forum site. I hemmed and hawed and finally submitted the “application” that the team was requesting from interested people.

Imagine my surprise after not hearing anything for awhile, I get a notification that I’ve been added as a Global Moderator! Next thing I know, I’m signing up to handle 2 forums and adding the Twitter and Facebook accounts to my list. A fair amount of time each week will be dedicated solely to WriYe, on top of the Tumblr, which I agreed to oversee for 2016.

Just like when I do Tumblr, my activity and participation will be done on days off from work. Most of it can actually be done on my phone while at work (during down time, of course) if it doesn’t require a cut/copy/paste situation.

Which leads me to my plans for December…

  • 12 Days of Consistency Challenge (write a certain minimum word count each day for 12 consecutive days) – I chose 320.
  • New Moon Challenge 12/11
  • WriDay 12/15
  • Full Moon Madness 12/25 (I already have an idea for this one.)

These are all challenges hosted by WriYe, and they really do get a chunk of that word count goal eaten. Well, they would if I participate(d). I’m also going to…

  • Go through the 2016 Writer’s Market and look for contests and publishing opportunities
  • Make a list of WIPs and decide which projects to focus on next year.
  • Make a list of WIMs (works in mind) and choose a couple worth exploring.
  • Update all my social media places
  • Write as much as I can.

I’m not going to make any hard deadlines, yet, since each month’s writing plans will have to work around my day job and the schedules don’t come out until after the 17th. Even then it could change, so yeah. Soft deadlines, it is.

Which leads me to my New Year’s Resolutions. Yeah, I’m making them early. This way I can ease into them, instead of going cold turkey balls out on the 1st…

  • Eat better and move more
  • Sleep better/more
  • WRITE MORE
  • Be more aware of my body’s signals and slow down when it tells me to
  • Get back on my spiritual path
  • Go outside more for fun (helps satisfy pretty much all of the above)
  • Get more organized
  • Donate unused clothes to charity.

I should be able to keep at least 1 of those, right?

What are your writing plans for December?

 

Inside the Mind of a Planner

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It occurred to me last week there are people, like me, who can’t live without their planners. If you are one of those people I invite you to comment, share tips/tricks and even (if possible) share a photo of your planner.

For those who don’t understand the obsession that is Planning, this post is for you.

Let me start with the addiction factor. We love lists, to be organized, to be able to cross off something in victory. There is a modicum of OCD. Or, a whole ton of OCD depending on your personal view. And, it’s no coincidence we have a thing for office supplies ; sticky notes, highlighers and pens spanning the rainbow. Everything has a purpose and a place, which brings us back to OCD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is nothing to a) make light of, or b) be ashamed of. I will tell you this, though. I make light of my OCD all the time. Plus, it doesn’t effect my life in the same ways it does other people (counting, colors, textiles, etc), although it used to. With a change in my life, mine has adapted. I don’t double-check the doors and windows at night to make sure they’re locked. I do still touch all the living things in the house before I go to bed. That’s been going on for years and I don’t expect it to go away. But, I digress.

I also have a touch of ADD. My planner (along with timers, alarms and Google) help keep me focused. You’d be amazed what I can get done in a day if my planner is right beside me.

planning

Why not just use your cell for all your appointments and stuff? Tried it. Didn’t work. I need to physically be able to write things down and cross them off when I’m done. It goes along with the OCD. It’s like with books. Some books I’m good having it on Kindle. Others I have to have a copy in my hands and pages to turn. Still others I make the compromise because the Kindle price was lower and it wasn’t as important.

Sometimes the OCD and ADD have a battle. I’ll make a grocery list and forget it at home. Or, I get so focused on a task, that allotted time bleeds into the next task’s time. Then I get behind and become slightly manic. I do not like leaving something unfinished for the next day.

Then there’s the control aspect. Planning is something I can control. It makes me feel better. There are no guarantees in life, but I’ll be damned if I won’t be organized in the uncertainty. It’s almost needless to say I don’t deal well with a disrupted routine.

Have you considered therapy? Yes, and no. The point is, my planner is my therapy. It’s where I go to sort things out. Literally and figuratively. That doesn’t mean I retreat to it when I’m stressed out. It means I’ve learned to cope and manage stress in a (in my opinion) healthy way. You know how some people clean when they’re upset? Well, there you go. My body knows what’s going on, reports it to my brain and my brain says, “Planner time!” There are a hell of a lot worse things I could do other than plan and organize.

By the way, I’m actually working from 2 planners. Yes, you heard right. I’m still working out of the old one, because that’s where everything was written down. I sit once a week with both and move the stuff I absolutely without a doubt need to get done to the new one.

Which reminders me…My work schedule is going to be different the rest of the month. It’s been 4 on, 3 off the last week weeks. Now I’m looking at 7 on, 6 off starting tomorrow. Should be fun.

Here’s a fun look at planning from Lifehack. Enjoy!

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

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I bought a new planner, and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival.

The InnerGuide 2015 Planner, Jan-Dec Calendar with Journal, Goal Planner & Organizer, Monthly, Weekly, Daily Appointment Book Makes a Thoughtful Gift

InnerGuide Planners

February has been…rough. I don’t have a concrete routine, but what routine I do have makes me feel like I can’t get anything done. My work  hours are either too late or early to get anything productive done. If I go in at 1, it’s like the morning is full of hurry-up-and-wait for work. If I work the first half of the day, it’s the opposite. I have too much time.

Another thing that has been thrown out of wack is our eating schedule. It used to be we ate around 5. Now, if I get out at 6, sometimes we don’t eat supper until 7 – but most of the time Mike makes supper before picking me up. Or, we grab something on the way home. Or, like the other night, we got delivery.

Writing? Ha! I’m still not productive. It goes back to routine. I very much need a day (probably tomorrow) to plan out March writing/blogging/spiritual pursuits. The beautiful planner should be here on Monday, which works out because I have Mon-Wed off next week.

And, I have tomorrow-Friday off. The plan?

Write. Catch up on Pagan things. Write.

The Positives of Outlining

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I love Writer’s Digest; it’s not a secret.

We’re all well aware of the Great Outline/Don’t Outline Debate, right? In this guest column article on Writer’s Digest, (with input from K.M. Weiland) 7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story, everything from character interviews to putting the outline in play is addressed. It’s a really good article. Check it out.

Here’s a dilema, though. Brian Klems, the online editor for WD, only used “guest column” for the author tag but credits Weiland for the article – sort of. So, honestly, I wasn’t quite sure how to credit it here other than just giving the link and dropping names.

By the way, Weiland rocks pretty hard. You can find more cool stuff she’s written here.

Steppin’ Up My Game

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2014 is going to be crazy busy!

I came to this realization Wednesday night after a local business burned down – the one The Other Adult works for. Nobody was injured, thankfully! The entire building was lost, and five jobs along with it. Sure, its a small business but any loss like this is detrimental to the entire community.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with writing. Well, technically I’m the solo earner in the family, now. And, I can’t earn money if I’m not writing and publishing. *By the way, Timing has sold 12 copies!* SO, the relatively slow pace I’d originally scheduled for myself in 2014 will get a big ol’ shot in the ass. In fact, this morning before the kids descend on the house for a nearly 2 week vacation I’ll be revamping things. I was going to wait until next week for this, but time is critical.

In other news, I can’t figure out how to permalink Timing‘s Amazon link on here. I tried the Image Link thingy and it just wasn’t happening. The image won’t show up and the link isn’t clickable. After Christmas I’ll try, again. Let the hub bub of the holidays die down, etc.

Even with the income loss, we’re still heading to Mom’s for Christmas. I think at this point we all need off the Island for a bit. Me, The Other Adult and definitely the kids. Lil Dude will have half a small mountain to play on for a couple hours on Christmas morning if I can tear him away from the tablet he’s getting. The downside: I have to use a “normal” coffeemaker. *Gasp!* The horror!

And, yes. I did totally just give 2 links for Timing 🙂 So far, I’ve gotten good feedback on my FB page, and hopefully people will leave reviews on Amazon.

On that note, its time for more coffee and a date with my planner. Happy Friday everyone!

Hello, December!

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Hello, everyone! NaNoWriMo is officially OVER! Let the drooling and brain melting slow as we reacquaint ourselves with our families, friends and the real world.

I did not win NaNoWriMo2013. And that’s ok. Too many of the usual excuses got in the way, and I’ll not bore you with them. Lessons were learned this year, and they’ll be incorporated, in a way, to hopefully win in 2014. We’ll see. What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t get a cool Winner’s Badge. *shrug* Moving on!

So, I mentioned the other day that I’d be discussing writing plans for the month. There’s a lot going on! In amongst the holidays and birthdays and shopping both entail, plus the kids’ basketball games, December is a jam-packed month, for sure.

Priority #1: Find a new writing arrangement – tomorrow. This little table is cute and effective, but there have been a few nights where script meds have been required for back pain. I get all fuzzy and feel like caterpillars have invaded my mouth but hey. I’m not going to knock it. The meds work and that’s all I care about.

Priority #2: Finish the final final final alterations on Timing. December 19 is, as of right now, P-Day. With it taking up to 24 hours for the link to go live, I’ll be handling all the uploading and stuff on the 18th. I’m having trouble with the cover, though. While I like the “free” imagines out there and the publisher’s templates, I had my heart set on creating my own cover with a photo I took. So far, that’s not working out. I may have to resign myself to the templates available, as much as I don’t want to. A lousy cover can turn a reader off pretty quick. And if I’m not happy with the cover, I don’t expect potential readers to be either.

Priority #3 is finish the first draft of “Rising”. With not making word count for NaNo, and my renewed interest in the story, it needs to be finished. The plan right now is 1k/day until I hit 60k. The story has great potential and it could go in so many ways. I just didn’t have it in me during NaNo.

Priority #4: I will also work on “Untitled” and start planning for the Samson and Delilah-esque piece.

Priority #5: Clean out my personal library. I know, it’s blasphemous to consider getting rid of books, but I need the space and the local library could use some new material.

I’ve taken each day of the month, accounting for holidays/birthdays/game nights/taxi duties/vacations and mapped out December pretty good. There aren’t many days I’m not “working”, like Lil Dude’s birthday and Christmas, so it’s looking like a very productive month. I’ve set aside the 30th-1st to enjoy time with my family (got movie dates with them planned) and once the kids go back to school, the 2nd and 3rd I’m not doing anything. Going to give myself a couple days to reboot and debug from a crazy couple of months.

The final post of 2013 will be on December 29, so that post will kinda be like reminiscing over the last year and a rough plan for 2014. Wow, 2014…time doesn’t just fly when you’re having fun; it flies when life gets crazy, too, and shit sneaks up on you. Like a new year looming ahead. I’ve already got some ideas floating and a notebook going for projects I might work on. They’re all organized in traditional style with sticky notes in case they stay “just” ideas.

Remember back in October when I bought the planner refills? Well, let’s just say I need a bigger one. Especially one that offers larger areas to plan for weekend days. Sundays may not be big event days for some, but when one keeps track of everything – including food and drink consumed – a large space is necessary. I’m not finding a planner layout that I like, so I may end up creating and printing my own and using a 3-ring binder. Office supply companies make a number of binder storage-y inserts that are super helpful. And, the more I think about it, the more I think that’s the route I will likely take. The more productive and anally organized route.

Each year I tell myself I’ll be the Organization Goddess and 2014 will be no exception. But, more on that in four weeks.

And on that note, I’m going to go chill and watch some football, and get a bunch of house stuff done during commercials. I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday week!

Not enough days in October

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Last week I talked about NaNo and reading Styxx, among other things. Since then I have completed Styxx (feeling rather on the fence about it so a review is in the wind), watched The Croods, finished up The Teen’s volleyball season and wished at least four times per hour there be more time in the month of October.

Not for someone intending to participate and conquer NaNo, anyway.

I’ve got 2 kids/3 cats/The Other Adult to handle daily. Plus, the house looks like a disaster and needs a desperate cleaning. Like, bulldozer and backhoe cleaning. Did I mention my Grandmother is turning 89 tomorrow and we’re celebrating on Sunday at my Aunt’s – which is almost 3 hours away? Oh, and finish the outline for Rising.

On Sunday, Cupcake was awesome (as Cupcake is everyday) and told me about the Vikings marathon on History Channel. We. Love. Vikings. This prompted about 30 story ideas to flood my brain and I settled on 1 (for now), which will be researched in December and January while Rising has a nap. I’m having a hard time not diving into it, but NaNo comes first. Then we can play with Viking raiders and Celtic priestesses.

And now its time for The Big Bang Theory – one of Our favorite shows 🙂

Who among my readers is doing NaNo this year, and what are you working on? Are you planning it out or flying by your pants? Share!

My DayPlanner – aka The Bible – and other books

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Time for a confession.

I’m in Love with my DayPlanner. There, I said it.

I’ve always been rather anal when it comes to making sure I have all appointments, kids’ events, etc written in The Bible. My planner is always at my side. It’s my American Express, if you will. Its entries are color coded based on family member, type of activity/event and there is usually an accompanying sticky note in a corresponding color. Oh, yeah. I’m that organized.

Couple that with a few books I just bought from Writer’s Digest and I’ve got a custom course of sorts on how to make a real go of this writing thing. I picked up the 2014 Writer’s Market2014 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market and Writing Fantasy and Science FictionWow! The Writer’s Market books are chock full of great planning, marketing and techie information. They also have lists of trade magazines to fit pretty much anyone, publishing houses, and contests and retreats.

The F&SF book will be invaluable. I jumped ahead to read the section about where the genres currently stand – and it included anecdote-type material – before starting at the beginning (on page 69 right now). Since fantasy is my favorite genre, and the one I plan to write the most, this book will be a huge benefit to me. To anyone wanting to have a go in the fantasy market, really. I strongly suggest it to you if this is the path you want to take.

Finished Coen’s book, Love & the Goddess, btw. 2 stars. It reminded me of Eat Pray Love so much that it felt like a rip off. I was more interested in the traveling part then in the character(s)…A hurt woman traveling the world in search of herself. Gilbert did it right with Eat Pray Love.

Back on track…What books did/do you find helpful to your craft as you started out? What sort of organizational techniques aid you best in keeping on track? I’d love to know.