Deadlines: A Writer’s Best Friend, or Worst Enemy?

deadline looming

Since this is the final stretch for July’s Camp NaNo session — only three days left! — I figured I would talk about deadlines and how they either help a writer or stress them out, depending on the type of writer you are.

No matter what kind of writer you are in the face of deadlines, there is one thing that you can always count on happening:

That deadline sneaks up on you way faster than you thought it would!

When I think about deadlines, I find there’s a few different types of writers that I have encountered: the jump starters, the pacers, and the procrastinators.

The Jump Starters

If you’re a jump starter, you’re the type of writer who looks at that deadline and immediately gets to work with everything you’ve got. It doesn’t matter how many days, weeks, or even months away that deadline is, you hit the ground running from the getco and you don’t stop until 1) you’ve burned yourself out, or 2) you’ve finished the project early.

Jump starters try to get everything done as soon as possible so that they won’t stress over it last minute, or run out of time. They take that intense amount of work and tackle it like a bull fighter. The sooner they get started on it as well, the sooner they can get it off their plate for the next thing life throws their way without having to rush too much. And if they’re done early with the project than that means either more free time to relax without worries, or jumpstart the next project! They are the motivators and hard workers who never stop (for the most part).

I am not a jump starter, not really at least. I start out as a jump starter sometimes depending on the project, but then burn myself out quite easily and become no more productive than a puddle of stagnant water.

To a degree, jump starters have solid reason behind starting that project early and getting done with time to spare. For one it always leaves room at the end to double check your work and correct any other errors so it’s the best it can be. Being done early also leaves you with time to add to it if something better or new strikes you. Not to mention the sooner you finish something and possibly hand it off to other hands for review, the sooner you’ll probably get it back with feedback, right? That is, providing the fast pace work to get it done quick doesn’t leave your work a little too rushed and require more attention down the road.

For a jump starter writer with motivation and energy to spare, that deadline on the horizon is a huge motivator to get moving and get it done, making the deadline their best friend who likes to give the kicks in the ass, gun-to-the-head-kind-of-muse style.

So to you jump starters, I say keep plugging along on the productivity line and watch your accomplishment list grow and grow! Just remember to take a break sometime before you burn out from the constant go, go, go, write, write, write, edit, edit, edit, go, go, go. Breaks are a good way to recharge.

The Pacers

If you’re a pacer, then you’re the kind of writer who plans everything out evenly from start to finish. You don’t push yourself too hard, but you don’t slack off either. You have a set goal to reach each day (or week) and you stick to it without issue. This means you normally don’t burn out from overworking yourself since you have small breaks to do other things, but you also don’t normally finish early. You tend to finish up with one last glance over right on time.

Pacers are great list makers and schedulers. They’ll break projects down into smaller parts and plan each one out before jumping into the thick of things. They are the kind of writers who can make a routine and stick with it every single day. The better the plan they come up with, and the more spread out it is to handle the workload without being overwhelmed, the easier it is to accomplish, crossing off one small part at a time until the project is complete. They might take the full length of the deadline to get it done, but you can be sure they’ll get it done on time.

I am definitely not a pacer. Sure, I’m a lover of lists and I have started to break bigger projects down into parts to better manage them and my time, but I am not a pacer. I fall off the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race wagon way too easily.

Like the story of the tortoise and the hare though, slow and steady is sometimes the best way to go. It leaves you time for other things as well so you don’t become bored and frustrated, and it allows you to take your time and focus on the project as a whole when you go part by part, putting your best effort into each and every piece.

For pacers a deadline is a frenemy. It’s a good thing because they can take the allotted time given and plan out each and every phase accordingly, never having to burn themselves out or stress too much. However, it can also be their enemy if the time given isn’t enough to fit their steady pace. In those cases bring on the stress and the plea to extend the deadline. With pacers you can be sure the work will be top quality to the best of their ability though, making for a lot less editing woes. (Or so we hope.)

To you pacers, I think you’ve figured out the best system out there to writing and tackling projects, and your steady perseverance is both admired and maybe a little envied. You get to smell the roses along the journey when us jump starters and procrastinators may not. Keep it up!

The Procrastinators

If you’re a procrastinator, then you’re the type of writer who always waits till the very last moment to start everything. You think you have all the time in the world to get the work done and kick back in the beginning, either not doing any of the work, or doing a bare minimum to start. Then that time flies by way too quickly and you find yourself scrambling to start and finish the project before the deadline.

Procrastinators are kings and queens of the saying, “eh, I’ll do it later”. They don’t plan too much and like to have their free time instead of worrying and working at projects that look so far down the horizon you have plenty of time to worry about it later. Sometimes they just don’t have the motivation to get it started earlier, or work in shifts on it like the pacer. Procrastinators are either great under pressure, or testy under pressure when it comes down to the wire.

I am the procrastinator for the most part. I love to tell myself I’ll do something later, or I have lots of time, and then realize “oh shit, I really don’t have a lot of time”.

If working under the pressure of an immediate deadline gives you your best work, then a procrastinator is the kind of writer you probably are. For others though it doesn’t help the quality of the work and perhaps you need to adopt a new style. The procrastinator is truly the one type that can go either way — friend or foe — with a deadline.

If you are the kind of dragging-feet-writer that does better under pressure, then those deadlines are your best friend to light the fire to your heels. However, if you are the kind of procrastinator that waiting till last minute stresses you out too much to do any work half decent, those deadlines are your worst enemy. At the same time though, without those deadlines, wouldn’t you just keep saying, “eh, I’ll do it later” and never even start it at all?

For the procrastinators there is a fine line between helpful and harmful in deadlines, and depending on which side of that line you stand on, it may be time to find a happy medium.

No matter what kind of deadline writer you are, I find there is always a degree of panic…

keep calm deadline

Personally in the end I am a combination of two, if not sometimes all three, types. I’m more a strange mix of the jump starter and the procrastinator. I’ll look at that deadline with glee to start a new project and get right to work for about a week in the beginning, then I’ll fall off the wagon and end up procrastinating until the end where I again scramble to finish like a chicken without its head. Most of the time of at least. There are a few blue moon times that I manage to start strong and finish strong, or pace myself out, but I mean they are blue moon times.

I do more work in NaNo months where there is a stuck in stone deadline that I cannot change, with a set goal I cannot change, then I do out of the entire rest of the year combined. It’s pretty sad actually. Perhaps though I am starting to find my happy medium in trying to become more like the pacer. Then again, I don’t really do planning everything out into detailed parts. I break things down into smaller bits now, but to go detailed and scheduled out? Nope. I know life gets in the way too easily to stick to set schedules all the time, plus I’m still too much a pantser writer.

Now there’s a different topic for another day…

What about you? What type of deadline writer are you? Are deadlines your best friend, your enemy, or your frenemy? What tricks have you found work best for you in meeting deadlines?


(Footnote: To anyone, author/blogger/writer/reader/so forth, who has other ideas or topics they would like to see me cover or talk about, please feel free to drop a comment below. I look forward to hearing your interest.)

Progress Is Progress

Hello, world. Somehow I have once again managed to find my way to the surface to post. Truthfully, I had every intention of posting at the beginning of this month and keeping up with it this time. I even had all my Writer’s Guide topics laid out for each week this month! That’s a miracle!

Unfortunately that didn’t go to plan in the slightest, and I’m not really sure what happened that screwed every intention I had.

My last post — nearly a month ago now — was right before Camp NaNo began, and I had talked about getting ready for that, and I possibly also ranted about work… *Looks off innocently*

I suppose I could account part of my “falling off the blog wagon” incident to work and how much of a hell situation is was a month ago, but that has smoothed over for the most part again about two weeks ago. Maybe I was just so burned out and fed up with life and work that I no longer cared. Or maybe I was just so bummed and mad at myself because I wasn’t working on my Camp project that I figured I had absolutely nothing to talk about. Maybe all of the above and then some. Who knows with me, I’m not going to try to find the source of my absence, it’d be pointless.

(I do know there was more than one time I remembered I needed a blog post, and by the end of the day I had totally forgotten again and it was too late to do it. That happens a lot anymore. I need to start setting myself an alarm to write my posts so I stop forgetting.)

So while the first two and a half weeks of this month were a complete bust in Camp NaNo and life, I seem to have finally managed to pull some semblance of productivity and motivation back together. Perhaps this time the pieces of my life are a little more well glued together. A feat I can credit to some friends of mine.

Camp NaNo 2017

For the first three weeks of July, there were truthfully only two days in which I edited and worked on my concordance for Fated to Darkness. Those days were Day 1 and 2.  After that it was all down hill from there.

My original goal was to work up through Chapter 11, which was roughly 146 pages or so.

At first I wanted to work on it and kept telling myself I should work on it, but it just didn’t happen between work and other obligations. After that first week, when I had fallen so far behind in only managing to do 23 pages, I started to give up.

In the beginning it came across as I was going to have to lower my goal, to what I didn’t know, but I was going to have to lower it below 100 pages because the rest of my month was so booked with work, camping, and other obligations, that I was never going to have any free time at all to edit. (Or so I thought.) Then that notion began to spiral into not caring if I won for the month or not, which lead to wanting to just delete my entire Camp project for the first time ever because I was so frustrated with myself. I couldn’t figure out why I had tanked so hard this Camp.

On the last possible day before validation began I dropped my goal to 55 pages, which was only two more chapters from where I fell off the Camp wagon. A couple hours after that, I dropped my goal even lower to only 38 pages: one more chapter.

I hated myself for it. I hated how pathetically small that number looked, when I had such high hopes and plans for how I could finish the minor editing and concordance work before November started. I could see all those plans and hopes washing away down the drain each time I sighed heavily and officially dropped my goal.

But I’ve come to realize that I dream too big for the war I fight inside my own head every single day. I’ve come to finally see that those dreams carry me away on an euphoric high way up into the pristine white clouds and sunshine for a little bit, then the storm clouds roll back in at the slightest diversion to those dreams, snuffing the sun out, and the high is gone. The storm takes my motivation and hopes with it; and Mother Nature always wins in the end.

I also realized something else though. If I cannot find the willpower strong enough to hold myself accountable to my goals and dreams, then I do need help to do so. I don’t mean just encouragement, I mean the kind of help that stands at your side as your shadow, doing exactly what you do so that you aren’t doing it alone anymore. It’s easier to motivate yourself when you have someone in your corner consistently cheering you on and helping you build castles from sand.

And that is what happened finally.

Five days ago the black clouds began to clear, and with help — and much grumbling and resistance at first — I got myself to once more sit down and try to edit. I only expected to work for an hour, if that if I could keep myself focused, and instead I ended up working for two hours. Perhaps I didn’t feel very accomplished in the end, perhaps I didn’t feel the excitement to be working again yet, and I didn’t believe at the time that “some progress is better than no progress”, but that was because again I was still dreaming too big.

I’ve been looking at the long run goal for so long instead of looking at the stepping stones that lead me there. I’ve been looking at the completed concordance, and all 43 chapters (including Prologue and Epilogue) read through, slightly edited, noted for paper edits, and all the work for Phase 2 of this stage where I take all my messy notes and organize them to the concordance, and every word of every page in the Word doc that is overwhelming.

I’m psyching myself out when I stare at the project as a whole.

Yes I have a long, long way to go in this novel yet, but don’t they always tell you to stop and smell the roses, to enjoy the journey instead of focusing solely on the destination? Isn’t it easier to see how far you’ve come when you break the journey into parts, like traveling cross country, state to state, city to city.

If I stop thinking about the goals, if I stop making the goals, then I finally stop stressing about making par, about getting to the page or chapter or word count I so-called need to.

Progress is progress, no matter how small or big.

Yes, I want to finish this stage before November, but I don’t have to plan out doing this many chapters and pages every single month. All I truthfully have to do is show up and work, and before I know it…I’ll be farther than I thought I would be. Then suddenly I won’t be worrying so much about par, wondering if I’ll make my goal for the month.

I read somewhere that it is more motivating to make a list of all the things you accomplish, instead of a list of all the things you want to accomplish and never get to cross off half. Watch the positive list grow and grow to build yourself up, and if you so wish, make that goal list anyways and watch it grow smaller and smaller compared to your accomplishment list on steroids so long as you show up to work. At some point the positive one will come to outweigh the ever-growing, daunting list.

So right now I have no true monthly goals anymore. My only intention is to be through this stage of editing before November, and at the rate I’m going now without the stress of meeting quotas, I might even be there before October.

Right now it’s just work for one hour a day at the very least with a friend to help hold myself accountable. (Most days I’m finding I do more than an hour.) It doesn’t matter how many pages I get done, or if I make it through the chapter or not, just work. The hope is the more I do it, the easier it will get, the more habit it will become until I can hold myself to it every day without issue. And the more I work, the further I get every single day.

A week ago I thought I wouldn’t make goal for Camp. A week ago I wrestled with myself over deleting my Camp project and giving up entirely. A week ago I didn’t care. It’s amazing how one week, one day, one conversation can change everything.

Now I here I sit making sure I edit every single day with a writing buddy for at least that one hour. Now here I sit somehow managing to get through almost a chapter a day without even realizing how much progress I’m making. Now here I sit truly wondering if I ever needed to drop my Camp goal at all from just four days of work.

I am over halfway to my original goal of 146 pages, and there is still six days left to Camp NaNo. I am 23 pages away from being one-sixth of the way through my entire book. I am 23 pages away from breaking triple digits in page numbers. I am three chapters away from breaking double digits in chapters.

When I look at it that way, in bits and pieces, only then do I see just how far I’ve gotten already. When I look at how many pages are being added to my concordance, how many notes are being organized and recorded to make the paper edits that much easier, I see just how far I’m getting finally.

Progress is progress, no matter how small or big it may be. Remember that fellow authors, writers, poets, and dreamers. Always remember that and the storm clouds will clear the way for sunshine once more.

Gearing Up For Camp NaNo

The Evil Day Job and writing don’t always mix nicely, especially when you work in soul-sucking retail. Sometimes it seems impossible to be able to unplug from work and find time, or energy, to write once you make it home — hopefully in one piece. And other times…it really is impossible.

I am going to hate myself for saying this, but I have begun to associate this work week as a third Christmas. (Easter is the second Christmas when it comes to retail, and actually Back to School could be the third mini Christmas instead, so maybe this is like my fourth Christmas.) Essentially this week is Hell Week when my boss decided it’s a great time to take an eight day vacation — for what I swear is the third time in only a couple months, throw myself and the two other managers under the bus more than once, and leave all of us to pick up her slack the final week before the biggest boss visit of our store’s life.

Thanks, bitch! NOT! I don’t care what’s going on in your life right now, you should definitely be here for this.

I do not get paid enough for this amount of stress, frustration, and responsibility now sitting on my shoulders. I should also not be going into overtime this week, but guess what? All three of us managers left to deal with this bullshit are probably going into overtime, even when we’re technically not allowed.

You know it’s time to find a new job when you’ve got to the point that you really just don’t care anymore. You do what you get done and the rest… “Well, fuck it. It is what is anymore. I don’t care.”

I get it though. You’re the general manager and you’ve adopted an “I can do whatever the hell I want” attitude because of it. Whatever though. I don’t care anymore. I’ll look for a new job unless things start shaping up as fair again, or I’ll leave and laugh while I watch you scramble to fill an already shorthanded position.

Well no wonder I’m going into overtime then when I’m not supposed to!

*Rolls eyes* Idiot…

I shall forego a longer rant about work though and move onto writing. If there’s one thing overtime kills, it’s free time at home and the energy to do anything once you get home. It also doesn’t help when you work so many messed up shifts that you have to choose between eating, sleeping, or getting things done once you finally do get home.

The bad thing about all this happening right now is that it’s the week before Camp NaNo starts for me. By the time Saturday rolls around I’m going to be so fed up and exhausted that I’m going to need all of Saturday just to recover some sanity and motivation — maybe longer than that at this rate, which means I only have Sunday left in my request off days to get a head start on Camp.

I should have taken the first three days of July off for Camp, but then again, even if I did, my boss would be taking away the approved third day just like she took away one of my approved days — approved in FEBRUARY — this week because her life took precedent over mine.

I did not do it for you, bitch, I did it for the two other managers getting stuck with your bullshit too. Don’t you dare thank me for it, or I might just have the balls to finally say to your face I didn’t do it for you. (The other two managers know straight up I did it for them.)

Despite how much hell this week is going to be I did manage to start my Camp NaNo  project on Sunday. For the first time in two months I finally picked up some of my writing and got to work. Since I’m using Camp to work on the concordance and some minor editing of Fated to Darkness, I wanted to get a head start so I could play around with the best way to go about this project.

I’m glad I did get a head start because I spent a good hour and a half just organizing pages in my concordance and figuring out what sections/categories needed added yet, and making lists for what to include in certain categories (like character sheets, and chapter summary information for easy access to arranging plot lines, and so forth).

By the time I did call it quits Sunday night since I had to be at work early Monday morning, I had a better basis for how to do things, started a rough note notebook to keep track of things for said pages above, had managed to get through the Prologue of my story with the minor editing, and created a reference and question Word doc I can consult and use when I begin the major editing.

My hope is by making this Word doc I’ll better be able to organize the notes I left myself in my rough draft. I’ll be able to use it to answer questions of past events or miscellaneous things, or note that I need a character name, or a chapter title, or that this section needs more editing, or that I need to watch my “telling words” in this section, or this scene needs more description, etc. etc. etc.. By transferring and noting where those references and questions are in my rough draft, I should be able to eliminate lots of unnecessary words and some pages so I’m not printing — or paying — as much when I start paper editing the book. (I plan to put the Word doc on a flash drive and take it to an office supply store to print it instead of using all my own paper and ink.)

I think it’s going to work based on how things started out for me, and my hope is to get up to at least Chapter 11, which is about 146 pages, by the end of July. If I want to stick to my original goal of getting through the whole book by November, that gives me four months, and there’s about 40 some chapters in this book. Roughly ten chapters a month, not too bad — I don’t think. By doing it this way I can use the minimal free time of November and December to organize the rough notes I’m putting in the notebook into my concordance, and also print my reference Word doc and the actual book.

(Wait, what free time in November? That’s NaNoWriMo! And the start of the holiday!)

The more I think about this, the scarier it is to see how far I’ve really come. At the same time it’s exciting. It’s hard to believe I’ve really come this far.

Now if only I can figure out how to regain energy and motivation in the face of work’s hell to keep pushing forward this week — I would like to get through Chapter 1 before Camp starts — and in the future at this rate… Music only helps so much sometimes. I need another way. Like maybe taping the logo of my company — or maybe my boss’ face — on my target and practice shooting my bow at it. Bet you I’d hit a bull’s eye…

How do you unplug from work to shake off it’s exhaustion and frustration to be able to focus on writing and/or editing once you’re home?

Could’ve, Should’ve…Didn’t

How do you write a blog post when you have absolutely nothing writing related to talk about?

The answer is I don’t know, but I guess I’ll figure it out as I go because that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.

You would think that because I’ve had the last four straight days off work that I should have a ton of words written and be done with Fated to Darkness and have moved onto Clockwork Heart. You would think that I should have done 20k or more in these past four days and be close to goal, or upping it.

But no. You would be wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Four straight days off. FOUR! And I haven’t written a single word.

Why? Why, me? Why do you do this to yourself?

It’s Camp NaNo. You are supposed to be WRITING.

(Yes, I am yelling at myself.)

*Sigh*

In my defense — or maybe this is my excuse, which, *slaps self*, bad me! — it has been a fairly busy four days. Saturday was spent catching up on everything I didn’t finish the beginning of that week thanks to holiday madness. Sunday was Easter of course which meant spending time with family and apparently it also meant coming home sick that night with a splitting migraine. Monday was a friend’s birthday so that meant I had to spend time with them, and I was still feeling a bit iffy that morning. And today…

I don’t know what happened to all of today. I think I pretty much screwed my own morning and afternoon. The evening was spent at the hair dresser where I got my first ever coloring. (I got highlights, and it’s amazing how stunned every single hairdresser was I had never done any coloring with my hair before. I was like a star. LOL) But let me just say… AHH! I love it!

*Clears throat*

Anywho, as I was saying…

My four days off were pretty much screwed. I know I should have had writing time in every single one of them, but it just…didn’t happen. (Well, except maybe for Easter.) I guess I really am just making up excuses now, because I know I should have been writing Saturday night after I finished things and settled down, and if I had been up a bit early on Easter I could have written something before leaving and ending up sick the rest of the night. Monday I could have done some writing before I went to bed, and today I should have done some before my hair appointment.

I could have, I should have on all accounts, and I…didn’t.

I’ve pretty much completely failed at Camp NaNo this time around.

You know what the really scary and disappointing bit to this is though?

Facebook does those “on this day so-and-so years ago” memory posts and do you know how many words I had last year in April on the 11th?

40,131 words. Forty thousand, one hundred and thirty-one words.

In just over a week I had managed 40k last year.

This year?

*Snorts*

I’ve just barely broken 13k and we’re almost three full weeks into this month. It’s half over already! And I’m below par by 5k, about to be 6k at midnight. I haven’t written a word in a week.

Like…

What the hell happened to me?

Did I just completely and utterly fall apart this time around, or… ??????

Like… GAH!

I don’t even know anymore.

The good news is I have one more day off before I go back to work, which means if I really light a fire under my ass, I can pull off probably 8k words easily, especially if I write a lot before I crash tonight too. And I’m pretty sure there’s someone who can light the match for me… The same person who is already glaring at me from the virtual world, and threatening me playfully in a way that I can’t tell if its bluffing or not — and I’m not sure I want to find out, and who also may or may not be ready to chase me with a sword as my Muse instead of the ever so popular…

writing muse

Okay, well, maybe not chase me. That would defeat the purpose of sitting and writing, but the gun in that photo might turn into a sword instead pretty soon. Or a whip. Or… Yeah, I’m going to stop imagining what she might have the capability of pulling out to make me write. I really can’t tell if she’s bluffing. LOL.

The bad news is as of right now my “At This Rate You Will Finish On” date is May 12th, I need an average of 1.3k words a day to win on time, I won’t be bumping my goal up anymore this month like I had hoped, and after this last day off I will essentially be screwed the rest of the month because our assistant manager will be going on vacation now, which again means more flipping hours I don’t want right now.

Go. Figure.

Nothing like a closing in deadline and running out of time to make me write, right?!

…..

Gods I hope so. This novel was supposed to be done in the first week of NaNo.

Emotions-5, Daelyn-O

Well I did it.

I took the biggest plunge of my life in my writing so far and submitted the short story to the anthology at about 1am on Saturday. (To me it was still Friday but according to the clocks it was Saturday.)

I am still terrified.

Literally, after setting up the email and attaching the Word doc, I stared at the send button for a good ten minutes unable to breathe before I finally managed to hit that little button. I’ll admit, I had to close my eyes and hold my breath to do it, along with a little kick in the ass from some friends, but I did it finally. I’ve been freaking out off and on ever since then.

Yesterday I had a panic attack over it when I got an email from the coordinator (after I had been asking a few questions so they knew I was submitting one) asking me if I had sent in my submission. For some reason, her email wasn’t showing it at all. It was in my sent mail, it was the right email address it went to and all, yet somehow she didn’t get it. Thankfully, I was allowed to forward the email a second time and she got it after a few hours of panicking on my part.

Of course, that doesn’t change the fact I’m still freaking out.

You know how when you submit to something like this you think it’s going to take maybe a month or so before you hear back about your submission? Seems logical, right? They have how many submissions (I really don’t know how many they have and I don’t want to know unless I’m accepted) to read and their own personal lives and such. So I thought a month would be a reasonable amount of time before hearing back.

Ha, yeah, nope!

Imagine my shock over the email I got back in saying they received my submission and I’d hear back by the end of next week, if not sooner, if I was accepted. End of next week! If not sooner! I was not ready to hear that, I think it only made me more terrified.

I expected I’d have a month of waiting with baited breath and now I kinda just got flipped upside down in shock. (I was at work when I read that email to, soooo…) I’m both excited and nervous as all hell to be checking my email for the next two weeks. Excited and terrified are pretty much my two dominant emotions in this.

Well, there’s also the fact this feels so, so surreal. Yes, I still can’t believe I’ve done this. I’ve been one whack-a-doodle since I hit that send button. One minute I’m terrified and repeating “oh my god” to myself while holding my head, the next I’m laughing and smiling like an idiot with giddiness, then I’m left day dreaming and I feel like I want to squeal, then once more I’m terrified and I can’t seem to breathe right, and then… Yeah, it’s just a repeating cycle of madness and roller coaster emotions right now.

In an attempt to get my mind off it and stop freaking out, I tried to dive back into Fated to Darkness on Saturday. You know, since it was neglected while I wrote this submission. I’m having trouble getting myself back into it. I was so focused on this submission and so panicky over it, that now that it’s actually over I’m thinking “now what?”.

Seriously, now what?

This is the first time I’ve ever put so much focus and work into writing and editing something. Alright, yeah, I’ve put A LOT of writing and focus into Fated to Darkness, but I haven’t done any editing on it yet so this feels…bigger.

Who am I kidding? This IS bigger.

At least, at the moment it is. I’m sure when I get around to editing FtD and then looking to get it published, it’ll be ten times bigger than a simple short story for an anthology being as this series is my absolute dream, but… Until that day comes along, this is bigger.

So now I just kind of feel…stuck. Lost. Grappling for what I’m supposed to be doing. I know what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m supposed to be blog hopping and writing and trying to make my goals for August. And instead I’m just…bleh.

It’s been a really funky two days with a lot of unknown reasons for mood switching. As well as a lot of headaches. I don’t know what it is with me right now. Maybe it’s the shock and nervousness and terror of this submission that is screwing with me, but something is screwing with me majorly. I’m getting absolutely nowhere in everything, my emotions and life are winning every round right now, and beating me down into the ground.

Right now I just hope I find my equilibrium again and get writing on FtD, because I had wanted to get 20k added to it this month, and I’ve got about 4.5k instead so far. And because I was supposed to be writing a lot of journal entries for camping and I haven’t done a single one. And I hope I get accepted into this submission, because it would be a dream come true. And… *Sigh*

Why do I always seem to fall apart just when I think I’ve finally got myself on a good path? Am I psyching myself out? Just…why?

Light A Fire Under Me

The second Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a week again and once more I am crazy enough to dive into it.

Just like last Camp, I’m going to be working on the same fantasy novel that I’m taking snippets from on Sundays, Darkness Becomes Her. I just have to make sure I know where I’m going with it.

Well, let’s put it this way.

I know the beginning of the book, and I know how the book is going to end. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out all of the middle. Which, I have a majority of the big plots and scenes already rattling around in my head. I just have to sort them out and put them in the right order. Somehow.

As for the goal I set myself, I’m pretty sure I’m crazy.

As a way to get myself really motivated and going, I’m setting my goal for 31k. Part of the 1k-A-Day challenge I wanted to do for so many months already and have yet to make that goal for the month. I’m hoping that Camp is going to let the fire under my ass to actually stick to it fully this coming month.

I had originally opted for a 25k goal, but I’m daring enough (and probably crazy enough) to up it to try for that 1k-A-Day.

I’ll see how it goes this time around.

Hopefully, and I mean fingers-crossed-hopefully, that I can get some more writing done before July starts. Considering I have a journal entry I need to write before Friday and I have a whole bunch of other things going on, I’m not sure just how much I’m going to get done. I haven’t been getting anything done for the past week.

I think it all boils down to the fact that:

1) I need a break, badly.

And

2) Someone really needs to light a fire under my ass or start nagging the hell out of me to keep on things. Or maybe I need to light the fire and someone needs to keep it lit for me.

No Time Like The Present

It’s my first day off work in six days.

Well, really, it’s my only day off before I go back to work for two more days. Only then do I get a three day weekend afterwards. Finally. I’m in desperate need of one.

With the promotion at work starting with some hitches, other stress, and now some sort of allergy/sinus problem for the past few days, life is kicking my butt right now. I haven’t gotten anything done.

And there is a ton I need to be doing.

Not to mention, the characters in my head are consistently nagging at me to go write their story. But with so little time lately, I’m getting nowhere fast.

Already I feel like I’ve wasted almost the entire day away and gotten nothing done. It’s been so long since I had a day to myself that I’ve pretty much blew it and just sat around relaxing.

There’s this whole list of things I need to get done by Friday. Like folding and putting away the laundry that I can’t remember how long it’s been sitting there… Organizing the mess I have that didn’t stay clean for more than one day, again. Set some journaling things up that I do every summer for some activities. Go through the mass of papers I have piling up. Change the sheets on my bed…

You see where I’m going with this. Too much to do. And nothing I actually feel like doing.

I need to change that. I need to get some things done before I go back to work tomorrow. I also want to get some writing back in but we shall see about that.

No time like the present they say, right?

Guess there’s only one way to find out.

Falling Behind

Well, in my final mad dash to make goal for Camp last week, I neglected quite a few things. And I have yet to get caught back up.

It was mainly the club I belong to that I have fallen behind on, and once I fall behind there it is near impossible to catch back up. I think I have six or seven things I have to write for it, which is going to take me forever. Since I did fall behind on that too, I’ve been trying to catch up on that instead of keeping up on writing Darkness Becomes Her.

So I’ve pretty much screwed myself.

Again.

No surprise there.

I had planned to get a lot done today, but I’m now ending up having to work since the next new girl can’t do today. (My fingers are crossed she doesn’t quit like the last one and leave me stranded again.) At least it’s a really short shift for me this time around though. Though I still wish I had the whole day off.

My hope is to get a bit organized before I head out to work, that way once I get off I can just dive right in and tackle some things. No idea if that’s going to work though. It normally doesn’t.

I’m starting to think I need a new system so I stop falling behind. Or maybe I just need more motivation, or routine. Something that I can’t ever seem to get.

If only work allowed me some downtime that I could bring something along with me to do.

If only.

Motivation Will Be My Downfall… Or Rather, The Lack Thereof

So I had this whole blog idea formed out in my head for what I was going to write for today and then, well, let’s just say I got distracted to put things lightly.

My biggest problem right now is motivation, or rather, the lack thereof.

You see, originally, this post was supposed to be about me trying to get myself back on track for the 1K-A-Day Challenge I was crazy enough to do presented by P.T. I had completely failed at it for the month of January (number of words I did do for the month is not up for debate) and now that it’s February, a new start, I had hoped to get myself back on track.

But so far, no such luck. (As always with me.)

So I had hoped this post would be about that, and then getting myself psyched over it. Little an extra push, a little energy shot. But since I have not started for this month yet either, I couldn’t possibly do that for this post. (Not to mention I’m still working on those notes for my current novel so I can’t do much writing without them finished.)

Are you guys sensing a pattern here yet? That I’m terribly far behind in what I want to be doing.

My thoughts are currently so jumbled and out of order, pulled in so many different directions because of all that I want to be doing, that I’m not sure I know which way is up and which way is down. I need to be able to put a filter on my thoughts for which ones get through so I don’t get distracted or overwhelmed by the rest. And then I need to be able to attach a generator or a supply of Monster drinks to the thoughts that I do let through so that I can get myself doing them.

Motivation and follow through are my greatest enemies if you can’t tell.

(But at least I managed to get this written before today came to an end. I guess that’s one plus.)

Anyone got any tips for me on how I can get myself moving in the direction I want to be going again? At this point, I’ll try just about anything.