Tag Archive | Writer Resources

Big Progress and Little Changes

I had a head-slapping moment recently.

The writing scheduling advice I’ve found in the writing community just doesn’t work for me. At least not yet. I seem to get the most writing on my WIP done when I have no other writing to think about. If I know have blog posts to write and research, it’s very hard for me to focus on my WIP.

Last month I decided to conduct a test that would begin on December 1st. I spent the month of November writing blogs ahead of schedule. By Thanksgiving, I had blog posts written for my 3 x week schedule through the first week of January, 2012. That means that in 21 days, I wrote 30 blog posts – 10 posts each week. I didn’t write even one word on my manuscript.

Why did I scramble like crazy to get so far ahead on my posts?

crazy

image source: Google.com

I wanted to have the entire month of December free to write only on my manuscript, and I ended up being able to begin a few days earlier than December 1st and I had Thanksgiving week with no worries.

December has been an interesting month! Some out of the ordinary things happened. My sisters and I found an opportunity to move our 88 yr old mother to an assisted living facility two weeks ago. We had one week to pack her and move her in. For me, there was travel time involved as I live 2 1/2 hours away. So, between packing her things, moving her and unpacking her things, 10 days were consumed. In addition, my daughter needed help babysitting on Saturdays to finish up her schooling, so that wiped out 3 more days.

Total – 13 days…no writing.

With one week left of the month, I don’t expect to hit my word goal of 25,000. I have written 2,600 words and I still have another week free to write some more. My granddaughter is with us this week and I have another day of traveling to return her to her mother, but I hope to get another 2,500 words written before the end of the month.

I have been diligent about making sure my blogs posted properly and I enjoyed time chatting with my readers via comments. Having all that writing and research done allowed me such peace of mind, especially the past couple of weeks. If you can find the time to push through it, blogging ahead it definitely worth it.

And as for writing, I’m going to continue working on my current projects week by week and I’ll continue to build a backlog of posts, hopefully to cover more than a month at a time. It’s invaluable when life throws a curve ball. My goal is to write quality content and be responsible about posting regularly.

 One way I’ll be doing that is by trimming my posting schedule to two regular days each week – Wednesday and Friday. My Wednesday posts will consist of all the elements I had in both Monday and Wednesday(before the holidays), so you won’t be missing out on any of your favorite topics.

#1 Big lesson learned…Be Flexible! Family is more important than any self-imposed deadline or schedule. No point in banging your head against the wall because the schedule didn’t pan out the way you’d hoped. You’ll just give yourself a bigger headache.

#2 Big lesson learned…The 30 posts I wrote in the first 3 weeks of November totaled approximately 30,000 words. That means that I am capable of writing beyond my blog posts. January will hold 9 blog posts – at most 9,000 words. That leaves me more than 20,000 words I should be able to write on my WIP.

coming soon

image source: Google.com

Beginning January 4th:

Wednesdays will be Woman’s DayThe posts will consist of all the elements I had in both Monday and Wednesday, so you won’t be missing out on any of your favorite topics. I will be including more posts on and for women – our strength, courage, sexiness, health and inspiration with a little history included now and then.

Fridays will be Lists and Links. Every other Friday will continue to be The Life List Club. Alternate Fridays will be lists on writing and other topics I feel would be of some value to you. A mash-up of links will be at the end of the lists. They will include the best of the blogosphere for the previous two weeks.

The last Saturday of each month I will post an update on my Health Challenge. This is where you’ll learn about new and ongoing health challenges in which you can participate. At the end of each post will be doctor approved health tips just for you. 

I hope you’ll enjoy the changes and will continue to visit with me Wednesdays, Fridays and one Saturday a month.

Don’t forget! This Friday is The Life List Club Milestone Party! It will be a celebration of 6 months of working toward our goals and a look ahead to the New Year. Please join us to win some awesome prizes as our gift to you for sticking with us.

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Win Big and Support a Friend!

K.M. Weiland just released her new book, Outline Your Novel…Map Your Way To Success, and she’s having a contest to make the launch successful! Woohoo! We love contests, don’t we? She’s offering amazing prizes. Take a look:

  

Win a Kindle and over $100 in writing craft books!

The big day is here! Welcome to the official launch of Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success.

You can purchase the book in paperback, Kindle, or Nook formats (or all three!).

I need your help to ensure the book has a successful launch week, so please join the party! I’m celebrating all this week with daily giveaways, culminating in our three-tiered Grand Prize giveaway, worth over $400!

 

Grand Prizes

Prize A: A Kindle. Value: $114

Prize B: A whopping bundle of writing craft books donated and signed by some of the industry’s best authors. Value: $100

 

Prize C: Poster of winner’s choice donated by the fabulous PosterText. These unique posters feature a scene from your favorite book constructed from the text of the book. Be sure to drop by their site to browse their wonderful selection. Value: $35.

 

Bonus—Hourly Prize Today Only: Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration Mp3. Value: $8.99. 

From 6 AM to 11 PM, I’ll be drawing a winner every hour for my 60-minute audio presentation Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration. Winning this prize does not exclude you from the Grand Prize drawing on Friday, but the sooner you enter this one, the better your chances of winning! Check the blog throughout the day to discover hourly winners.

Rules

All you have to do to enter is buy a book!

Paperbacks are priced at $9.79, and the Kindle version is only $2.99. After you’ve purchased the book, email your receipt to me to be entered in the contest.

The contest will run all week, and you can do several things to earn contest points and increase your chances of winning. For every contest point earned, your name will be entered once more into the pool (e.g., if you’ve earned 18 points, you have 18 chances of winning).

You can win points by:

1. Buying a book early in the week. I’m trying to create a surge of sales to boost the book in Amazon’s ratings, so I’d like to encourage people to purchase as soon as possible.
        Buy a book on Monday = 5 points
        Buy a book on Tuesday = 4 points
        Buy a book on Wednesday = 3 points
        Buy a book on Thursday = 2 points
        Buy a book on Friday = 1 point

2. Buy more than one book! You get one extra point for each additional book you buy.
        Buy additional books = 1 extra point per book

3. Tweet the following message each day of the week. Duplicate posts per day will be counted as one post.

RT @KMWeiland Win a Kindle and over $100 in writing craft books! http://tinyurl.com/3lo2dau

        Tweet about the book = 1 point per day, possible 5 points over the course of the week

4. Share this post on Facebook. Be sure to tag me (@K.M. Weiland), so I can find and count your posts. You’ll need to “like” my page in order to tag me. Duplicate posts per day will be counted as one post.
        Share on Facebook = 1 point per day, possible 5 points over the course of the week

5. Mention the contest and the book on your blog. Be sure to email me the link, so I can give you credit.
        Blog post = 3 points

Note: Because of shipping costs, I’m sorry to say the contest will be limited only to U.S. citizens. My apologies to all my international readers!

Winners will be announced Friday, September 30th.

Good luck to everyone in the drawing, have fun, and thank you for helping me celebrate the launch of Outlining Your Novel!

Happy writing!

Needless to say, I already have my copy of the book and have done all the other helpful tasks to earn points. I SO want Prizes A or B! If any of these prizes interest you, or if you just want to help out with the launch to support a fellow writer, start putting the word out, like I did! You can check out K.M.’s website here.
Thanks, friends!
 

 

ROW80 – ROWnd 4!

This is it! I’m going for Round 4 to see if I can finish my manuscript!

All of you who have been stuck, floundering, procrastinating, dozing off…
                                                      

  HOP TO IT!

Get yourself motivated to jump in on the fun and inspiration to get your butt moving in the right direction! Oh, don’t worry…yes, I know, life can throw a wrench in the works. That’s precisely why ROW80 is for you! You can tweak your goals if you need to. We all think we’re capable of scaling a tall building in one bound; climbing Mt. Everest in an afternoon; writing a novel in one month! No way! Achieve goals

Goals take time, perseverance, motivation and GUTS to accomplish. I’m here to tell YOU…you have the will, the determination AND the strength to accomplish a goal!Uncle Sam

Pick a goal, any goal and get started today by signing up for A Round of Words in 80 days! Go on, DO IT NOW!

I’ll be looking for you!

ROW80 Update

Can you believe it? I actually have an update!fireworks

  • I wrote a mere 1,000 words on my WIP this week.
  • I am two weeks ahead  in writing my blogs, which adds another 4,500 words.
  • I have outlined 3 short story ideas
  • I wrote 1 flash fiction story
  • I wrote answers to interview questions that will appear on Patricia Sands’ blog on Tuesday
  • I am gearing up for Friday’s Life List Club Milestone Party at which I’ll be giving away a prize I’ve written
  • I’ve totally restructured my daily schedule to allow time for writing, business, and reading
  • I’ve been commenting, tweeting and connecting frequently  this week
  • I’m keeping up with my reading – halfway through Save the Cat, and well into Patricia Falvey’s, Yellow House

I feel like I can celebrate this time. I’ve had a great 4 days!

I hope the rest of you did well also and have reason to celebrate!

 

 

Creating Bite-sized Life Goals

Happy Friday to all! Today I am fortunate to have the amazing Carrie Mumford as my guest. Let me tell you a little about Carrie before we get to her post: 

Carrie Mumford is a writer and editor living in the wild Canadian West. She writes short stories and non-fiction articles, and is working on her first novel (in 30 minute bites of time). When she’s not writing she can be found chipping away at her certificate in publishing, trying to learn CSS or watching knitting videos on YouTube (which is infinitely more entertaining than it sounds!).

Take it away, Carrie!

What do sushi and life goals have in common? More than you might think.

Have you been out for sushi with friends (or even worse, on a date), only to find yourself faced with an over-sized nori roll that’s just a little bit too big to fit in your mouth? If you’re a sushi lover like I am, I’m sure you can recall running into this problem, and even if you’re not, just imagine a roll of rice and fish or vegetables, precariously held together by a paper-thin piece of seaweed. It’s a dining disaster waiting to happen.

Now I’m not sure if this is what most people would do when faced with this problem, but I go for broke: I stuff the whole roll into my mouth. This inevitably ends in failure – the roll breaks and I end up awkwardly leaning over the table, seaweed hanging from my mouth with most of the goodies from inside the roll sitting on my plate. I recently made the exact same mistake when creating one of my Life List goals.

I was thrilled when I read about the Life List Club on Marcia’s blog. I had been creating a list of goals while writing my morning pages, and the Life List Club seemed like a fantastic way to share these goals with others, while also cheering fellow writers along their personal journeys. Since I had been thinking about my goals for a few weeks already, it was easy to come up with a list of 10 (which I’ve now expanded to 15). I wrote my Life List, posted it on my blog and felt very proud of myself. I had a plan! I was going to get things done. I was a girl on a mission.

In the weeks after I created my goals, I took small steps towards fulfilling several of them; I figured out how to fix my blog header; I found a writer’s conference to attend; I polished a short story I hope to submit to a contest. But each time I checked in on my goals, there was one that stood out. My dreaded 10th goal: “Finish the first draft of my novel.” For some reason I was not any closer to reaching this goal.

When I initially wrote my 10th goal I thought, “A year is a really long time to write a novel. No problem.” Last week it dawned on me that since I wrote that goal, I have written exactly zero words on my WIP. Thankfully, during a sushi fueled moment of insight, I realized why I was not making progress on my dreaded 10th goal: my goal was not bite-sized.

As Marcia mentioned in a recent post, small changes can add up to a big result. As writers, it’s easy to get caught up in the macro. You want to be a full-time writer. You want to be published. Or, like me, you might want to write a novel. Whatever your lofty writing goal is, it’s easy to find yourself frozen in fear when faced with it. The good news is that many of these goals can be broken down into small, attainable steps that will keep you motivated along your journey.

For me this meant revising my goal to include a commitment to spend 30 minutes every day writing my WIP. A very small amount of time, but, hey, I have a whole year to finish it. I imagine that this will be refined over time, but for now, to make sure that I’m able to commit to my goal and still have time to work, live and eat sushi, 30 minutes feels right.

And you know what? It’s working. Now instead freezing in fear when I think of the hundreds of thousands of words I need to write, I think, “You only get to write for 30 minutes. Go!” Rather than trying to stuff the whole nori roll in my mouth, I’m biting off one small, manageable chunk at a time.

Have you created your Life List? Are your goals lofty or bite-sized? What mind tricks have helped you read your goals?

Thank you so much for spending time with my readers, Carrie!

For great book reviews and writing tips, please check out Carrie’s blog here and follow her on Twitter @bibliogeek

6 Ways to Keep Your Readers Engaged

I’m guest posting over at Nicole Basaraba’s place, Universe City Blog, today.

Nicole Basaraba is a Canadian writer focusing on topics of travel, book reviews and her experiences living in the capital city of Europe: Brussels, Belgium.

Here’s an excerpt from my post at Nicole’s:

One of the more important concepts is how to hook your reader. How do you draw that reader into your story and keep them hanging on, right to the end? For new writers, especially, it’s an elusive bit of concept, like trying to catch a firefly. His light comes on and, then almost as quickly, it goes out. “Where’d it go?” you wonder as you stand in the dark, searching and waiting for his light to come on again so you can catch him. The idea of holding onto your reader can be explained in many ways. You’ll think you’ve got it but, when you try to put it into practice, oops…you lose it.

I hope to see you over at Universe City Blog later!

Don’t forget…The Life List Club Guest posting is on for this Friday! I’ll be guest posting for Sonia Medeiros’ blog, Doing The Write Thing. Please come over to read my post. Then you can come back here because Carrie Mumford is guest posting for me! Then keep making the rounds to see what Jess Witkins and Jennie Bennett have written!

Ooh, ooh, we’re havin’ a party! Everybody’s coming!