Sit. Stay. Write.

I have been struggling with developing a schedule for my writing.  I’m retired from my “day job” for heaven’s sake.  I have all sorts of time on my hands these days.  What could possibly be the problem?

Well, I don’t really want to look at that dead on, but I will.  Denial is not really working for me.  My denial takes the form of good intentions, like after so many years of living in this skin I haven’t figured out the implausibility of that working for more than short stretches at a time.

I was surfing the web a few weeks ago doing research for a blog piece I posted a few weeks earlier and happened upon a guest post by Patti Larsen at Novel Publicity & Co.  Making time to write is always in the back of my mind and when I read this it spoke to me like an angel’s trumpet directly to my ear with a back up of angelic host singing the “Hallelujah” chorus.  Loud.  It didn’t relate to what I was writing about at the time, but I read it, wowed over it and bookmarked it for later.

This is the blog where I wanted to reference that post and begin the task of absorbing its message into my psyche.  Sadly I had forgotten the name of the author and I couldn’t remember where the heck I had bookmarked it.  I would liken searching my bookmarks to hiking through the Amazon rainforest.  The way is overgrown by flora that seems to multiply on its own (I don’t remember bookmarking this.  I wonder where it goes?) and fauna that threatens to eat my brain by taking me on side trips through everything from nostalgia (Oh yeah, I remember now.  Cool.) to predatory sites that ate my day away so efficiently once I saved them for a repeat.

My bookmarks reflect the rest of my life.  They are organized out of necessity due to sheer numbers.  There are folders inside of folders inside of folders.  Finally I thought to look for the coveted post in my saved documents.  Sure enough I had saved it to my hard drive.  Whew!  I could almost smell the rotting vegetation, hear the whine of mosquitos and other life-sucking forces and see the darkening green of the canopy as I closed my bookmarks.

This is what Patti Larsen has shown me in her guest post:  I can write an impressive daily word count and finish several novels and short stories (picking up speed as I gain experience) and she has provided the supporting mathematics.  The only thing I have to do is treat it like work.  I need to sit my derrière in my desk chair and put my fingers to the keyboard – for a set amount of time.  You can see the details for yourself here.

She’s not blowing smoke or selling a bill of goods because she’s not selling anything.  She’s saying what works for her, an accomplished, published author who writes young adult paranormal fiction.  <gasp>  That’s what I write!’

I’m sure I’ll tailor her advice as I find what works best for me, but the basic message is to sit myself down and write.  No more talking about it, no more intending to do it, no more being satisfied because I’m getting out two blog posts per week.  I enjoy doing the blog posts and I’m going to continue, but they were always meant to be an adjunct, not the whole enchilada.

At virtually the same time, a friend who buddied with me at NaNoWriMo during November 2011 (and who was also a winner) texted me an OMG because she discovered Camp NaNoWriMo.    Another challenge to write fifty thousand-plus words during the month of August.  It differs from the main NaNoWriMo in November in that it has a camp theme and the option of joining a “cabin” with cabinmates to schmooze with.  In light of the word count Patti assures me is possible on a long-term basis, I’m ready for it.

Another resource is Annie Neugebauer’s blog.   You may remember her from my “You’re not the boss of me” post.   Her latest posts have to do with writing tools, which is apropos, and she has a page called “The Organized Writer.”  I have downloaded to my hard drive a Character Chart Template and other forms she offers free of charge from her page (here.)   Under “The Organized Writer” at the top right of the page is a drop down menu.  I’m sure they will be a help as I try to hack out the second half of my YA novel during Camp NaNoWriMo.

By the end of the week I’ll be heading back to Minnesota from Florida.  I’ll keep you apprised of my writing progress once I get back home.  Write on!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Annie Neugebauer (@AnnieNeugebauer)
    Jul 13, 2012 @ 12:27:55

    So glad you’re finding my tools and resources useful!! Thank you for linking to me, and good luck with Camp NaNoWriMo!


  2. Patti Larsen
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 09:13:30

    Sit that butt. Write those words 🙂 Most awesome, CJ. Like Annie, I’m thrilled you found my post helpful–happy writing!


    • C J Gorden
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 18:23:52

      Thank you Patti! That’s the plan. Enroute from Florida to Minnesota now, typing on iPhone in bouncy car. (NOT driving – passenger.) 0:-D

      When I get home: sleep day one away, day two, organize & schedule, day three and four write & do critiques for MN Speculative Fiction Writers Meetup group, day five face the music on five chapters of my YA paranormal novel.

      Can’t wait!


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