It’s the third week of the Summer 2015 Online Writing Group!
Unfortunately, my slack-doggedness rubbed off on some of you, and this wasn’t as productive of a week as our first. But that’s okay, writers! After you read our goals list, check out some of the links I’ve provided for life-work balance, and make sure to carve out some time for yourself this week, even if it’s just thirty minutes. You’re worth it!
Here are Everyone’s Week Three Updates & New Goals:
- Anne: My second week is going okay, but not as I wanted. So this week’s goal is going to be a bit different. Week three goal: This week I’m going to focus on my journaling. It helps me get organized to write a manuscript and I want to get better at keeping up with journaling on a regular basis as I have fallen out of the rhythm I had during the Spring semester. Of course I’m going to continue my research goal from week two; however, I do feel I need to put the breaks on writing a manuscript without the daily journaling to get me back in sync. I want to try to journal for twenty minutes every day this week. (use a twenty-minute pomodoro, Anne!)
- Anuar: My goals for week three are to add two more chapters to my book; my writing has been going good so far. I’m really excited with the way my book is going. (Anuar also wrote a guest post for this week–check back tomorrow to see it!)
- Bev: My second week also went well, mostly because the rain kept me out of the garden. The weeds are doing well also! I have just finished the revisions on my 18-page letter. I have also cut even more out of the intro to Seven Bridges and feel pretty good about my opening line, which satisfies the three questions posed in last week’s blog — “I’m taking the job in North Dakota.”
For week three, I have to stop doing fun writing and spend at least three hours on my nascent instructor guide to the lab manual. I’ll feel better when it’s done, and it won’t get done if I don’t work on it. (Bev, who said writing lab manual guides can’t be fun — just add a margarita to your process!)
- Bonnie: Goals TBA
- Curt: Goals TBA
- Donna: Weeks two through eight: re-research information for Glimmer Train and research three other magazines; incorporate edits to story. *
- Laura: Week two went better than the first week for me. I spent some time doing minor revisions on my short story and added a few new pages. I also wrote a short blog post. For the third week, I’m going to try to get through the second of three scenes for the short story.
- Lisa: AGAH! I got nothing accomplished this week. I’m determined to catch up, so I say ten pages for me this week. Wish me luck! (You can do it, Lisa, you amazing woman!)
- Mary: Goals TBA
- Mary Margaret: My one week objective is to write a blog post on my site to get the cobwebs out and get creating again. **
- Matthew: Goals TBA
- Mike: Week Two was a step backwards, but nothing we can’t overcome in Week Three. I had a weird week at work, where I was rarely in front of my desk (to actually set aside some writing time), and then we were up in Madison all weekend. Anyway, we’ll just re-up the Week Two goal to be our Week Three goal and move on. (That worked for me last week!)
- Robert: Robert is traveling, so he’s got a pass and will pick up when he returns!
- Samantha: I’m basically THE WOOOORST and my week three goals are the same as week two: rewrite the first part of my story since it’s terrible and it needs to be purged forever. (You’re not the worst! You’re an amazing starfish! Now write, starfish, write!)
- Steve: Confession — I completed the bibliography and the first page of my Mendelssohn paper — will finish the draft by end of week three — really! (Everyone gets a few set-backs, Steve! Now get writing!)
*Donna is a new addition to the Lake Projects writing group. Her big picture goals are to edit and then submit her short story, “The Baby,” to literary magazines by September. Welcome, Donna!
**Mary Margaret is another new addition to the group. Her big picture goal is to compete a short story to be submitted for publication. Welcome, Mary Margaret!
Although this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education is supposed to address an academic’s life-work balance, much of it applies to a non-academic’s life, so everyone should give it a read. The biggest takeaway is that we as writers need to set boundaries to protect our writing time. Because most of us are writing at home and have distractions. Mine is an adorable but demanding who is so fussy about getting in enough play time.
This article published more recently on the Writer’s Digest website, claims that writing is important. And guess what? It is! Is it more important than, say, making sure your children are fed and clothed, or making sure that your electricity bill is paid, or that your dog is walked? Maybe not more important than those things, but it’s still important. So give it a higher priority this week, even if you can only afford to do so for a short amount of time.
Finally, here’s a (hopefully) inspirational anecdote. Last night I stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish the thriller, Dark Tide, I’d started on Friday. The book, the second novel by a British author named Elizabeth Haynes, was a real page turner, due in large part to the narrative structure. When I finished it, I read the acknowledgements at the end, curious about the research Haynes had done to get into the world of houseboats and strip clubs (read the book).
Haynes mentioned that the first draft of this book was a product of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Contest in 2010. And about two years later — with the help of editors at HarperCollins, so, okay, we don’t all have that… — she’d published the 394-page thriller. Now, it’s not as good as the other two books I’ve read by Haynes, but it got me to stay up way past my bedtime to finish it, and I’d say that’s something.
The reason I mention this is because Haynes is a working writer. She’s a police intelligence analyst in England, and she has one son. And between her job and her family, she carved out enough time over the four weeks of November to put down 90,000 words of a novel. So that means that over our remaining five weeks, we can do just as well.
Now, everyone, write. Write today, even for a few minutes. And then write tomorrow. And Wednesday. And, why not — Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, too.
And if you didn’t get me your goals for this week, post them in the Comments section below.
Check back here on Tuesday for Anuar’s guest post, and good writing!