Goals by the Month

Some people set goals by the month, and some people are like me in that they used to set goals by the month, then they realized that the plans made to reach those goals often fall flat because of random circumstances.

Because life is so frustratingly random, one must learn to be flexible, which I often cannot do well because every time I think life with cooperate with me, it throws me another curveball that throws off my plans: mostly the odd day when I have to work late because an unscheduled/rescheduled assignment arrives or times when I get a headache or some other bodily ailment that prevents me from concentrating on anything.

That’s when contingency plans become necessary.

A couple days ago, I finished the second draft of RAFAEL, which I started in early May, so the draft took roughly three months to complete. That’s not bad. I rewrote the story scene by scene based on a revised outline rather going by a word count (500 or 1,000 words a day) until I reached the end. (I used the word count method with the first draft, and it took about five months.)

Today I started the second (technically fifth or sixth [long story]) draft of STEPHEN, and I have decided to write 500 words a day on weekdays and 1,000 words a day on weekends rather than going scene by scene. But I have a contingency plan: I set a goal of reaching scene 24 by the end of the month (the scene number I would be at if I was writing scene by scene). This will hopefully allow me to go at a slower pace during the week (when unplanned events are most likely to arise) while allowing me to catch up on the weekends.

I haven’t done this type of thing before, so I’m hoping it works out, but if not… I’ll have to start all over again with my plans. As long as I make some kind of progress and don’t completely stall, I’ll be doing well. :)

Would You Rather? Writing Edition

Last week, I did the reading edition of this meme. I found a writing edition on Rachel’s blog, so I figured why the heck not? Feel free to steal borrow from me.

Would you rather only write standalones or trilogies?

Trilogies. Everything I have ever written is related to something else I’ve written. I don’t see how someone can write just one book about a group of characters, especially when said characters are lively enough to warrant a whole ‘nother book (or more).

Would you rather be a professional writer or a professional blogger?

Professional writer. I find it difficult to come up with ideas for blogs sometimes, and I wouldn’t want my blog to become an ad-infested self-promotion tool (but I guess it would have to be anyway if I became a professional writer).

Would you rather hand write or have to type for the rest of your life?

Type. My handwriting is very bad, my hand hurts when writing for a long time, and I type much faster than I write.

Would you rather be forced to write everything in uppercase or lowercase letters?

Lowercase. I write in all lowercase sometimes for stylistic effect. Uppercase is always more difficult to read (and find typos in).

Would you rather only write 2 pages per day or 250 pages per week?

I’d rather write 250 pages per week, but I’d have to make the time for it, probably by giving up on my precious sleep time!

Would you rather be traditionally published or self published?

I like the idea of being self-published, but I don’t like the idea of all the self-promotion that goes with it. I like the idea of being traditionally published, but I don’t like the idea of an editor telling me what to write or deciding my title, cover art, etc. So I have no idea which to choose, but if I absolutely had to pick, I’d go with self-published. I’d be more in control.

Would you rather only write in pen or pencil?

Pen. Pencil smears over time, and in certain lighting, it makes a glare on the page.

Would you rather only be allowed to write at your desk or anywhere else in the world?

I think every writer has an ideal space, whether it’s imaginary or real. Sometimes I daydream about checking in at a random hotel and staying there a few days to get some writing done without being distracted by the real world. But the irony of that is I don’t get any writing done when I actually have hours and hours of time.

Poetry Time: Objects in the Mirror

December 3, 2010

Here’s a bit of passive-aggressive nonsense for your Tuesday:

Everyone who knows you
knows how you look
when you are not looking at them.

They love you anyway
because they want to show you
you.

You flinch at their smeared surfaces,
swipe them against pant leg or shirt tail,
ignore their offered truths.

They are closer than they appear.

When they appear,
you shatter them,
trample them,
because you cannot make them clean enough.

But you won’t see their shards
with your bare feet,
not until they bite and sting.
Sometimes they are closer
than they appear.