Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ah Ha! The Goals Must Reflect the Task

Well, I have had a major breakthrough today. At first, I slogged through negative emotions about outside world pressing in on my inner world of writing. Then I cleaned bathrooms. The dirty work didn't jar any new thoughts. Neither did banishing the outside forces.

I cleaned up myself, planned to go to B&N and then the phone rang: hmmm my DH's surgery center with more estimates for his surgery costs... great conversation with the lady in charge. A bit of laughter... needed it. Then I got a call from a friend in DC... and I needed friend time so I took it. We talked for an hour. By the time I hung up, I had an hour till DD came home from school.... see the distractions? Mounting up? Oh, what a big shovel I'd need ...

But there is a reason for everything. My CP in DC called me regarding my first 30 pages. And she solved the problem for me: I am trying to stretch a category length book from page 50 when I need to stretch it from page 1. I need to relearn how to write according to ST length.

AACK! I need to not worry about word counts. I need to worry about the structure. Redo on the goal list. Good thing I factored in the whole FLEXIBILITY goal LOL.

So here is the plan: slog away through first three chapters... first 9 scenes, light revision. Then move forward again. Oh. And painful cutting and repositioning of exposition, emotion. Oh. And layer in action etc. Oh. And. Oh.

Redo my thinking. No more worries about word count. Now I worry about true revision. Numbers don't count.

The good news is she loves my writing. And my characters. And my voice. Whew.

Sometimes it really is like one step forward and two steps back. But she reiterated a MAASS illumination: unpublished writers have time to learn.

Hmmmm... still learning and growing.


Gwen Hernandez said...

Always learning and growing, even after publication, I'm sure! You'll be great, and I can't wait to read your MS after you incorporate all of her great feedback.

Had fun today!

Kate Diamond said...

I am right behind Gwen, rooting for you!

Christine said...

Hi Gwen--now we know our tasks and we are pumped to move forward. Writing is a little like one step forward, half a step back, check the map, look for holes, start in a new direction and move ahead.

Kate: Thanks! Yesterday was a good day. Lots accomplished with my wonderful CP here in AL and in VA. Now I have a task to perform and I feel so much better.

And the tutorial on Scrivener helped a lot ;) My CPs in VA are eagerly awaiting their new teacher in the program :)

KarenG said...

Nice to find another writer blog, chronicling the journey with all its ups and downs! I have resolved this year to get more organized, to block out the writing time, or else pretty soon everything else will crowd it out. (I added myself as a follower here.)

Christine said...

Hi Karen: Welcome to the Veranda and my own digging out of life's distractions. If you click on goals, you'll find lots of cool ways I approach goal setting.

The most important goal I set for myself this year was "be flexible." I've already had to call on it this week.

I wish you best of luck as you begin to focus and concentrate on your writing journey!