Tag Archives: Action Plans

On Writing & Feeling like a Hamster in a Wheel (NaPoWriMo/ Camp NaNoWriMo)

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I will start with my list of excuses;

  • I have been busy! (You can tell because there aren’t usually this many days between posts!)
  • I lost 14 poems through a file saving error and haven’t had time or heart to rewrite yet.
  • It is coming up to Easter and I still haven’t made plans for the weekend.
  • The weather has been GLORIOUS and the flowers we planted are in full bloom and in need of watering.
  • I have enjoyed getting a base tan* in the Garden.
  • I spent the weekend partying.
  • I am in recovery after a friend’s 40th and a weekend of poetry events (soon to be blogged about)!
  • Time has flown.
  • I have been working on submissions.
  • I have two performances to create a set for.

I could go on….

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* Not strictly true – I am so pale skinned, I just freckle and burn.

 

NaPoWriMo

Instead of filling me with excitement and revelling in words, both commitment to Camp NaNoWriMo and NaPoWriMo have left me cold. I know this happens to lots of participants, but I wasn’t expecting the experience myself.

I am WAY behind with poems for NaPoWriMo napo as I have to re-write from Day 3 -7 (lost files!) and then play catch up – a poem a day is a challenge but 14 + poems seems like a mountain I am not able to climb! Hoping for one crampon at a time and as I have 2 sets this week, tomorrow lunch time and Friday night, I could use some new material.

I have the added pressure of no working printer, Mr G has taken half day holidays as the weather is so good and I will be performing before he finishes work tomorrow and Friday is Easter weekend/ Bank Holiday so any poems to be printed need to be emailed to him before 11:30 a.m. today!

 

Submissions & Competitions

My plan yesterday was to catch up with NaPo – I had submissions (2 of them – 11 poems and a competition) that I had to hit deadlines for, leaving it to last minute again (the hamster is really whizzing around its wheel at this point!) I didn’t manage a catch up and thus fell a further day behind!

I did manage to enter my 2nd Poetry Competition though and it was an old fashioned postal entry, which included a jaunt to the main Post Office and back!

black-tablet-pcThe online submissions were not as successful, we spent the afternoon in the garden – I was catching up with reading writing articles – I am currently near the end of my March issue magazine with April and May waiting in the wings! By the time we went in, it was late and my brain was not playing ball.

After checking out the websites I found that none of my poems really fitted the bill. I have pencilled one in for next month, hoping I can write some suitable poetry over the next 4 weeks (perhaps some of my NaPo marathon!) and the other one I will leave until the next reading period in November and again try to write a suitable style entry.

 

go-away-i-m-writing-literarygiftcompanycomTIP:

There is NO POINT submitting work to magazines when it doesn’t suit there style, if you find yourself in my position it is far better to pencil in the next opportunity, read the last few issues and see if you are able to write in the preferred style or be true to yourself and back away, find a publication to suit your work.

 

PLANS (The best laid plans of Hamsters and Men!)

My plan now, today – is to carry on running with the wheel – keep up as not to fly out! I have already got the business emails out of the way.

  1. I will sort poetry for sets and email for printing
  2. I will re-write NaPo poems – the LOST file days
  3. I will catch up with NaPo as much as I am able

 

Camp NaNoWriMo camp_12_mug_detail2

Cabin:

For the 1st time I have an active cabin and I am the one not conversing – they are probably giving me pinches to wake me up or complaining about me on the forum.

Writing:

The saving grace is that previously (2013) I completed 55K on Camp NaNo – April, 35K on Camp July, and 40K for the main NaNoWriMo in November – WIN! WIN! WIN! However, as yet I have done NOTHING with this writing. So this year I set about planning short story submissions to be completed as part of camp.

What I didn’t consider was the proximity of deadline to writing time, a short story should rest a few weeks before editing begins. Also (see list of excuses at the top of this post) I have missed some of the deadlines.

I am only hoping for 10K so I can still do it.  715 words a day is still a manageable target… if I start today…

I have re-jigged my plan, I know what I need to write – just need my muse to kick in with storylines.

 

go-away-i-m-writing-literarygiftcompanycomTIPS:

Don’t be disheartened – if you haven’t started, there is always today. Just DO IT!

Work out the remaining word count – if, like me, you haven’t started more than a fortnight in, I suggest to re-adjust your target word count, make it manageable. The smallest you can have is 10K.

Make sure your writing is working towards something – don’t just write into a hole.

Believe in yourself and your ability to catch up! Think Fables – The Hare and the Tortoise!

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BLOG:

I also want to catch up with Blog Posts:

Poetry and Place Event at The Hive – Ledbury Poetry Festival/ WLF. (Friday 11th) poetry and place

Najma Hush’s Photogiraffe Exhibition Part 3 – Female Force – Event (Sat 12th) female force

Young Writer Group – WWM (Sat 12th) Write-On-2013-300x287

Guest Blog inkspill questions

COMING SOON

 

 

Schedule Time for the Schedule!

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It has taken two and a half hours to work through my writing action plan for this week.write1

I have researched websites and scheduled in this week’s writing. I have 8 poems to attempt to write today, for two competitions with the 16th December as a deadline.
I need to take some of my own advice and motivate myself again, I have known about these competitions for over a month and here I am on the  deadline day trying to create suitable material. Let’s hope I get there before getting ready for the book launch tonight!

xmas1 snowmen Fortunately that’s it for today – the rest of the writing has been neatly programmed throughout the rest of the month – alongside Christmas for a while, of course there is no guarantee that it will be done in the planned time, but much of the rest of the writing this month is actually for submission next year so I’m not concerned.

I haven’t experienced Christmas as a AWF Writer banner since I last wrote (a decade ago) and I think back then I took Christmas off. I am not having to do my day job over Christmas so I should be able to divide time between festivities and word-craft – although I think festivities will get the higher claim!

As long as I succeed with today’s writing I will be okay. If I end up with just 4 suitable poems, I will submit those instead.

Wish me luck, I’m going in!HALLOWEEN 2011 081 motivate write do

INKSPILL – My Writing Day – Open Discussion

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AWF Banner

SATURDAY 26th October – DAY 2

af6a8d6a523a755e956fbb7021443872 Open Discussion My Writing Day

My Writing Day

Post a thread on your blog telling your followers about your writing day. Encourage them to write about theirs.

Copy & Paste this at the start of your post and a link back would be appreciated.

Post a link to your blogpost in the comments under this thread.

My Writing Day inkspill splat

The early part of the year saw a different kind of writing day. Back then I was still working and had to schedule my action plan around my job. Time wise this was much more manageable but energy wise it sucked.

I made the decision to let the job go and recreate my earning potential through a mixture of avenues. I spent the summer taking a much-needed breather, in lieu of a real holiday as we had just moved house.

By the Autumn I found myself back on track with both the world of writing and job interviews and agencies.

I tend to have two times a day when I can write – the morning and night. The afternoons are full of distractions and partly finished jobs and chores.

I know that the MOST important parts of any writing schedule are;

Discipline

Time management

Organisation

Commitment

I am now freelancing in my day job as well as writing so my plan goes one of two ways – it works (if I get no calls) or it doesn’t (if I’m working)!

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A Typical Writing Day Looks Like This

I do not get up at the crack of dawn and make some hours up before breakfast, I did do this when I was at work full time, but I am not a morning person and often I lose more than I gain by working at this time before my brain has started to function.

I usually start between 8-9, I may write about what I have dreamt in my notebook (bedside) I try my best to complete a 5 –10 minute free-write in that lovely, dreamy morning moment when you have just woken and the world and your mind is lucid and only beginning to process reality. This is a practise I promoted at the beginning of InkSpill and it is one in which, I firmly believe.

Often you may end up with pages of unusable trails of words and sometimes you will struggle to read your handwriting, but you are also building up a treasure hoard of ideas and one liners that may see the light of day at some point. And more importantly you are ACTUALLY WRITING.

I usually start between 8-9, I may write about what I have dreamt in my notebook (bedside) I try my best to complete a 5 –10 minute free-write in that lovely, dreamy morning moment when you have just woken and the world and your mind is lucid and only beginning to process reality. This is a practise I promoted at the beginning of InkSpill and it is one in which, I firmly believe.

Often you may end up with pages of unusable trails of words and sometimes you will struggle to read your handwriting, but you are also building up a treasure hoard of ideas and one liners that may see the light of day at some point. And more importantly you are ACTUALLY WRITING.

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I check my action plan* and start working on my daily tasks, usually split across a few projects.

I may stop at 11 or 12, depending on other commitments that day.

I eat lunch and then usually spend some time catching up with social media, emails, blogs.

This is where I need to be disciplined and careful. All too often I am still doing this when Mr G arrives home from work. I attempt to use an hour and return to this task later in the night.

Then I fit the rest of life in.

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At 7pm or sometimes 8 I may write some more depending on the schedule.

9pm –11 I usually spend on the internet researching, communicating, reading and connecting with social media.

At the least I write 8a.m –11a.m morning slot.

* I have kept action plans for a monthly writing schedule as I find it an effective way to manage the written work load and it is a style I am familiar with from work.

Sometimes I don’t manage to accomplish everything that has been planned for the day, it just rolls over into the next one.

I find them an effective way of meeting deadlines as work is always scheduled to be completed before the deadline, allowing me to at least submit it within the deadline, usually a few days later.

I can balance writing, admin, research and editing time and easily see the proportions of each easily, by using different colours on the grid.

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I have learnt that the most important thing is to GET INTO A RHYTHM and your rhythm may not be the same as someone else’s. I read how other writers’ divide their time and will often experiment to see what works for me. This is what works for me. Doing it all first and not punishing myself when I spend the whole day writing and let the chores and paperwork vanish from the TO DO List in my mind!

First Step Forward – The September Plan

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Here we are in September and I back onto my scheduled action plan for writing and submissions – which will hopefully avoid some of the hair pulling from last night!

Today I have to start work on a 6000 word short story, which wouldn’t be so bad if I had a notebook crammed full of ideas. The notebook contains mind maps on children’s picture books and scripts – as these were the previous project focus.

I have nipped online in the hope that trusty Google can help activate my muse. (She’s currently only thinking of the blackberry and apple crumble she is making later on after admin, allotment and lunch!)

This month I pledge this promise to myself.

I WILL STICK TO THE ACTIONS SET OUT ON MY MONTHLY PLANNER. COMPLETE EACH PROJECT. EDIT WISELY AND SUBMIT!

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Make a pledge to yourself this month – share them here – and WRITE!