Goal #10: A Writing Goal

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My little Scooby, Halloween 2011

Goal #10: A Writing Goal
I am taking liberties here by skipping around as I see fit, but this is the goal
I feel like tackling today.

“Finish at least 2 Harlequin manuscripts by December 2012 and submit them by writing a minimum of 1000 words each day.”
So, yeah. Haven’t really started this one yet. I know it can be done. I’ve even made a ‘timeline’ for completing it. Originally I planned to do 2 chapters per week, but that doesn’t look likely between work, university, Hunter, and the million others things I do each day. It would mean 10k words per week. That’s roughly 10 hours of writing per week. I don’t see having that much ‘free time’ until I go on maternity leave really. I can’t even tell you the last time I found enough free time for a bubble bath!
I have revised that plan and knocked it down to 1 chapter a week/5k words. This seems a bit more reasonable. And I really need to stick to it if I’m going to enter some upcoming contests. Rumor on the Harlequin forums is that Intrigue may be holding some sort of event in the coming months and American may have something in the works for this summer. Unless things have changed, both lines require a finished MS to enter.
If I can keep this goal of 1 chapter per week, I am looking at finishing (first drafts, but still) the first MS, for Intrigue, the week of April 8th and the second, for American, the week of June 10th. That should hopefully make me eligible for both contests.
Honestly, my biggest problem, as I’ve said before, is setting a time so that it becomes routine. I know I need routine in my life—I am a plotter in everything, not just my writing. I also know regular writing creates a good habit that will increase productivity and increase my chances of being published. What I don’t know is when I can write with minimal distraction (no such thing as no distraction in this house) while still having the brain power to turn out reasonable work.
Pre-pregnancy, I used to write at night, after I got the monster to bed. Lately, I’ve been dozing off while he is still coloring and watching Scooby Doo. At like 5pm. I am so dead by the end of the day, I struggle to do anything. Even writing this is taking me ages because I can’t focus or craft coherent sentences.
I thought about getting up early to write, but I am struggling to make myself get up right now. I am quite ill at the moment so ill I’ve been let off work for the rest of the week (at least I should get this week’s chapter done) and told not to speak for 24-48 hours. Long story short—the combination of coughing with a virus and having a blistered throat from acid reflux has left me with a mouse’s voice at best and a whole lot of pain. Ironically enough, I have been trying to make myself get up at 6am instead of 7:30am and today I was up at 4am. Of course, between the pain and exhaustion I couldn’t have written my full name if my life depended on it, so I spent my time trying 101 home remedies which are safe for pregnancy to no avail. I wasn’t alone and ‘undistracted’ for long, though. The monster was up at 5:30 asking for milk, toast, and Scooby Doo.
I do think my only option will be to try to stay awake long enough at night to write after bedtime. It may require copious amounts of coffee and sugar, but it may very well be the only way. It also means moving my blogging to another time of day—possibly lunchtime since I can post from my iPhone. That of course will result in shorter posts, but hey, it can’t be helped. Besides, I am not convinced that all 45 of my followers read these posts anyways. Or even two of them.
All I am convinced of is that I can continue to post for years to come about my road to publication, but until I find more time to write I can’t expect to be published. So, if my blogging suffers a bit while I try to complete these MS-- and the next 10—so be it. I’m not going to quit, or even break my 3-times-a-week stride, just make my posts shorter. Maybe link to other interesting posts more.
Once I finally get The Call from Harlequin, you can be sure I’ll write an extra long post about it.

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