Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nebulous Thought and Newish Things

One of my favorite thoughts ever:

link to original here
Muffins? I’m not sure I totally get this question–why muffin when you can cupcake? -- Ally Condie


I love Ally Condie's archives. This may not be the best example (though obviously I think so), but they're full of great writing thoughts, life thoughts, lovely things thoughts. Definitely check them out if you have the time.

With that being said, my newish things are:

1. Many thanks to people's advice here. I've taken your suggestions to heart, created a more sensible schedule I can follow, and on those days I actually do it, things have streamlined a lot better. Therein lies my intrinsic incentive to follow it daily, eh? So far I love it.

2. I've updated my current project page, set a new deadline for August, and a question I was asked this weekend: "Yeah, Deb, but is your deadline realistic?"

My answer, with accompanying shrug: "I think so? I don't really know, I guess. It seems like it, based on my pace for writing the first draft. I'll see, I suppose."

What I do know is that I work better with deadlines, so I've got to have something in place whether it's a working deadline or one that's more fixed. I'll test out these waters. Here's how I've broken it down:

  • Section 1: April 23-May 18 -- 55 pages that need to be revamped.
  • Section 2: May 21-June 20 -- 45 pages to revise.
  • Section 3: June 25-July 23 -- 53 pages.
  • Section 4: July 25-August 25 -- 30 pages, but this one needs the most work and adding-on-to.

This doesn't include blogging. I have a whole different schedule for that, but as for noveling, I've tried to keep in mind and work the dates around our anniversary, movie nights, the 10k in May, summer holidays, Sundays/rest-days, birthdays. I'm sure there are things in there I'm not accounting for? Things that will pop up and surprise me as the days plow by? Still. Testing out the waters.

What works best for you? To deadline, or not to deadline? And do you guys have writing schedules? If so, I'd be very interested to see what that looks like for you. Anyone willing to share?

Moment of Magic today:

Inspiration for revamping -- I'm not sure I loved the original version of this song, but this one? *Sigh* Lots of love. Maybe the next version of my book will be like that too.


  1. I'm mostly a last minute person that needs deadlines to make me get things done buuuuut...
    those times when I've got things started and even finished early - wow! they make one feel sooooo powerful.

    1. Agreed. I've never really processed that thought before, but it's true. Maybe I'll try to finish the sections of my draft a little early, just to feel that satisfaction. Maybe :)

  2. I'm definitely a deadline person. If for no other reason, it gives me a clear view of the last possible minute I can get things done. I am operating under 3 separate deadlines this week, as a matter of fact. I do a lot of ruminating and planning in the days and weeks heading up to the deadline, so by the time I sit down to work, I've already tried and rejected a lot of ideas and I can usually work pretty quickly. Usually.
    As for writing, I write every day whether I feel like it or not. Sometimes it's just free writing, sometimes it's working specifically on something. Sometimes it's a chore, sometimes I can't stop.
    Revising and editing are entirely different for me and I drag my feet and whine about it. But then I talk it out with someone (usually my husband) and I'm ready to dig in. I've been thinking that I need to set more deadlines for myself in this regard because the foot-dragging can lead to disinterest or lack of momentum.
    I love cupcakes. Muffins, not so much.

    1. I'm very much with you on the need to write daily. The habit helps, eh?

      I like your thoughts on thinking and planning for days and weeks ahead, so that when you actually sit down the writing is smooth. I feel like it's so rewarding to have things just "magically" spill out (though really there's been a lot of work put in already).

      Hmm. Good thoughts all around. Thanks for your feedback.

      And cupcakes are delish, for sure.

  3. Cupcakes or muffins mmmmm. Sorry you distracted me with sweet things!!

    As for deadlines and schedules I am kinda do and kinda don't person, if that makes sense. I guess it would help if I had a goal to aim for, but then for that I would need to know what I want (slightly envious that you do!). It seems I am happy to just drift along with my writing at the moment, it has however helped having a plan in terms of blog posts, so far!!!

    Good luck, keep the end of each stage in sight and you'll soon be at the end!

    1. Thanks for the lucky wishes, and for the advice in your last sentence. It's so true.

      And I think if you're happy drifting at the moment, then there's really not a lot of reason to worry. Happiness is the key, here, eh? If it's frustrating or stressful to push something, why push it? (when it comes to writing, anyway...if it were a piece of furniture that was in the way, or something, I'd have different thoughts)

    2. Writing is so new to me I think drifting is the only way to go, I want to see where the ride will take me before I try to navigate too much.

      Thanks for this comment, it made me laugh just when I needed to. You're a star!

  4. Just out of interest is there a significance to your deadline of August 25?

    1. Ugh-hum. My birthday is August 28, Hubs' is Aug 29, so I'd like to do something to celebrate this year if possible. We've not been able to do much the last few years for various reasons, so this year I want to make plans. Even if they're just little-bitty plans.

      There are a couple other reasons, but that's the main/most practical one :) Thanks for asking.

  5. I tried to eat my computer screen just to get to that cupcake. I need a deadline because I need parameters on almost everything I do and don't do, but mostly I use said deadline to wait until the last minute and do it all at once. This is especially true with writing. If I have an essay that I knew about all semester that is due on X day, you can bet your Aunt Millie's toaster tarts that I am just starting it on the night of W. I am a procrastinator, but it is actually because the pressure makes me work better. I shut down completely when I try to move where I am living, but pressure for assignments or writing helps me thrive. No deadline=no work.

    1. I know, right? You can't imagine the difficulty I had trying to find that picture -- so many yummy-looking cupcakes. At 5 am, pre-breakfast-time, it was grueling. I love sweet things *sigh*

      And I agree on the procrastinating stuff -- in the past I've very much worked better under pressure, but this thing? This is a different monster. It's too big to put off, but maybe...ah, there we go. Breaking it down into smaller chunks, creating a constant underlying pressure to reach smaller deadlines...yes, I suppose I still rely on procrastinating, I just do it on a daily basis (night-time is crunch-time, for sure).

      Good thoughts, DR. You got me thinking. Pre-breakfast, again, so it's grueling again. But good.

  6. My current writing schedule seems to consist almost entirely of blogging in the moments I can spare and mentally berating myself for not being better organized the rest of the time. I have been blogging daily (I include reading and commenting in that catch-all word "blogging") since November 1, 2011, but I have yet to really get back to my other writing (which I still sometimes think of as my "real" writing, though I've tried to get better about that). I admire the precise nature of your schedule and hope it works out. ;)

    1. Ha! The schedule is truly precise, but life almost never is, eh? Blogging is instantly rewarding, so I find it's hard to put that aside for my "real" writing. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Either way, life invariably presses on.

      Thanks for your good hope wishes.


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