Like so many, dare I say most? writers, I have a day job. During the school year, I rarely have the time to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard—unless it’s paid work. The good news is, unlike some, I do have the summers off. So, this is prime writing time.
But…here’s the harsh reality: three months isn’t enough. I have one manuscript I’d like to finish. Another just caught my heart and I wrote fifty pages on the new one last week (instead of the old one). If I plot ahead instead of writing, the page count isn’t there. I also feel the need to research some of my facts—again, time away from writing. Aargh!
Oh, and not to mention, my web site needs work, I should be submitting to agents and editors, and blog! Wait, I’m doing that-whew. I know all about prioritizing, and how’s that working for me? Not.
Further, even though I technically have the summer off, I do teach one night class starting tonight. My advisees need help signing up for classes. I have a meeting today at ten plus I need to prep for the class I’m teaching.
Think I’m done? NO. I have kids and a husband. Kid number one requires frequent nagging and still may fail geometry. Kid number two is in softball (almost over), swim team (just starting), chorus (just finished), student council, piano lessons, and is starting at the School of the Arts next year (so we have orientation to attend). Husband, friends, and church get leftovers.
Wait! There's also me! I do make it a priority to get enough sleep, exercise, cook halfway healthy meals, and Read.
Okay, glad to have that off my chest. In case you haven’t guessed it, this blog is about time management--and planning your writing career. The club I advise at school hasn’t won regional and national awards (end of the year report’s due next Saturday) via my lack of organizational skills—so I’ll calm myself down and organize.
I need to finish at least one manuscript—the new one has me excited and I have 350 pages to go, divided by ten weeks to go, two weeks will be shot because of vacation so eight weeks. Each week I need around 47 pages, requiring about 6.5 pages a day. I can do that, barring unforeseen circumstances (which will undoubtedly happen but at least I have a plan).
I also want to revise the other manuscript but find I can’t really work on two at the same time…so I’m going to wait until I have a first draft of the new one.
My goal is to blog every other Monday—so expect itJ Another goal will be to submit to either an agent or editor every week. That will be more difficult , but the purpose will be to have something at all times so the rejections will be offset (dream on) by the hopeful something still out there.
So, my foray into First Draft in 30 Days has been waylaid by my passion for a new project. I am combining Karen Wiesner’s approach with a need to write. The concept of keeping a folder for every idea you have---and getting those out of your system has been wonderful! Character sketches I’ve done in the past. Setting sketches, background sketches, are new to me and helpful. Doing all this plotting without writing, I can’t do!
Some of these career goals ideas also come from her book, but she gives examples from a different stage of her career. How about you? Do you write blithely along, enjoying the writing bug as it hits? Or do you have very specific goals for each area of your career—writing, revising, promotion, submitting?