Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Just a few more hours and we'll all have a clean slate to start over with. It's kind of exciting wondering what the new year will bring. Later today, I'll be reviewing my 2010 writing goals and setting new one for 2011.

2011 marks my 20th year of writing for publication so this is the year I need to dream BIG and set my GOALS high.

On Monday, I'll publically post those goals.

Until then toast yourself for all the goals you've accomplished in 2010, be happy and safe!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Word County Wednesday

I've written about 950 words this month...and that was for a January blog post for the Seekerville blog. I have two days worth of blog posts for my publisher's blog that I need to get cracking on! Maybe this weekend?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Funds for Writer's

This website can help point you to grants available to writer's. C. Hope Clark also puts out two weekly newsletters full of markets, contests, etc. It's worth checking out!

http://www.fundsforwriters.com/

Monday, December 27, 2010

WOW-Women On Writing

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Not only is this a very helpful website, it's also a potential market for freelancers!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fun Friday

http://www.jacquielawson.com/viewcard.asp?code=2009677405720&source=jl



I hope you all click on the link. This is the best Jacquie Lawson card I've ever seen.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inspirational Author Blog

Today's blog link directs you to Lyn Cote's blog. She hosts many authors on her blog in addition to her own posts. She also does book giveaways.

http://strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Agent Website/Blog

This literary agency puts out a monthly email newsletter that's quite informative. Check out their website and sign up!

http://knightagency.net/

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another agent blog

Today's post is a literary agency that handles children's writers. I was lucky enough to hear one of the agents speak at a conference. He requested a partial of one of my manuscripts but in the end didn't offer representation. He was very professional and timely in his response. Two of the agents at this agency are acquiring new clients so if you are writing for children and looking for an agent be sure to check out this blog site.

http://upstartcrowliterary.com/blog/

Monday, December 13, 2010

Short Story Blog

I chose today's blog because so many writers-including me-try to break into the Woman's World short story market. On this blog site, each weeks Woman's World romantic ficition is reviewed and readers/writer's can vote on a poll if they liked the story. Also, a course is offered through this blog for a very nominal rate. I haven't taken the course yet because when it was offered, I knew I couldn't commit the time I needed to it. Hope you find it helpful!

http://www.womansworldstyle.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fun Friday


These are some of our outside Christmas decorations. Do you drive around during the holidays to look at other peoples light displays?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SCBWI

SCBWI stands for Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators. This is a great organization for children's writers!

http://www.scbwi.org/

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

For Children's Writers

Just in case all the people who know me from my children's writing thought I forgot about it or them, FEAR NOT! Today's blog has a focus on children's writing because it's a blog by children's writer Kristi Holl. I'm sharing the link because today's post is very timely and reinforces some of my previous posts about goals. I hope you enjoy it!

http://institutechildrenslit.net/Writers-First-Aid-blog/

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Club Blog

Okay, this is my publisher's blog. http://www.heartsong-authors.blogspot.com/

Each week they focus on an author and their books. At the end of each days blog post, they leave you with a question. If you leave a message and answer the question you are in the drawing for their weekly book giveaway. So the more comments you leave, the better your chances at winning!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Agent Blog

Here is an agent blog that I visit at least one a week. I do not have an agent and have learned lots of valuable information from this agents blog. Hope you find it helpful too.

http://www.cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fun Friday

Here's another picture from the Fort Crook House....although these aren't pheasants...kind of gives new meaning to pheasants under glass! Yes, this was an actual picture on display in the bedroom with two stuffed birds under beveled glass. There was also a quite intrigate hair wreath but I didn't snap a picture of that. If you'd like to see a picture of this closer and from a different angle check out Cheryl St. John's blog!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Back At It

Since NaNoWriMo is a closed chapter of this writer's life, it's time to move on for the month of December. AND what should every writer being doing this final month of the year???? Working on those 2010 yearly goals and thinking about what you want to accomplish in your writing career in 2011.

Here is a great blog post from the Seekerville blog concerning goals: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/search/label/Goals

Also for the month of December, since it's such a busy month, I'm going to be lazy and instead of typing a blog daily. I will be sharing links to blogs that I find very helpful in both my Inspirational Romance writing and my children's writing.

The link I shared today is from the http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/. This is a GREAT resourse for inspirational writer's. Not only do these ladies share their words of writing wisdom, they answer comment questions, serve virtual food and give away great daily prizes. Plus they host guest bloggers that includes Harlequin editors and agents.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I ended the month with 31,508 words and a rough draft of a book to polish!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30 of NaNoWriMo

This is it...the finale...did you meet your goal? I did and I won't even have to burn the midnight oil to make it.

Here are a few things I learned about my writing during the course of the month:

I can write about 725 words per hour.
I'm more dedicated to getting my writing finished if I have limited time to work on it. Every weekend tripped me up on my word count goals (although that might have something to do with all the activities in November).
It's easier to work from a loose chapter by chapter outline (never thought this panster would admit that).
I'm finding it easier to write longer chapters.
Writing 1000 words a day really adds up and is a very managable number.

If you met your goal, CONGRATULATIONS!

If your still working on it, keep going because there are still a few hours left in November-YOU CAN DO THIS!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 29 of NaNoWriMo

Yikes! Where did the month go? Two days left to go on the National Novel Writing Month. It seems like I just started, celebrating that I made my word count three days in a row and then...it got dicey but I managed to make up word count to catch up with my daily goals....three different times during the month.

So as of today, I'm right on track. I've muddled through the middle of the book, trying to keep it exciting, thinking I didn't manage it, wondering if I should just stop, pushing to get enough word count per scene to make a chapter, thinking I'd come up short words at the end and you know what? I have just under 2000 words left to reach goal and the final chapter scene to write...and now I'm thinking.....

I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH WORDS! When I started the project, my feeling was I'd have all the scenes, all the chapers in place and be short on my word count goal. So I learned something new about my writing self, I can write a longer book!

I think I'm finishing strong...how's it going with your NaNoWriMo project?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fun Friday

Here's a couple of pictures from a recent writer's get together that I attended. We toured the Fort Crook House in Omaha, NE.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Taking a break from the blog....but not the writing!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I am just keeping close to my daily word count goals. I'm at 25244 words for the month of November.

After another day, chapter nine will be finished and I'll be working on the last chapter to get the book wrapped up. Then I'll start the fun of revising it in a good book!

So, I'm on the down stretch of the project and the down stretch of NaNoWriMo. I hope I can keep the momentum going right up until the end of the month.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 23 of NaNoWriMo

Sadly, I'm still behind but only by about 450 words. I'm hoping to catch them up today.

On Facebook, many of my author friends have posted their daily word count. Yesterday one group was trying for a 1000 words an hour! Wow, if you could keep up that pace for all day, you could get a good chapter or two completed. Perhaps one day this weekend I should try it? I can do about 1000 word in an hour and half if I KNOW what scene I'm supposed to be writing.

But what a wonderful exercise this month is for writer's and how creative are the writer's who come up with these daily "word contests" to urge themselves on!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 22 of NaNoWriMo

Whew! I was behind on my word count until Saturday. By early Saturday afternoon, I'd topped out over 2200 words. I was feeling good...not many words left to go and chapter would be "in the can" and I'd be under 10,000 words to go!

Then yesterday hit...a busy day away from home. By the time I did arrive at home it was 8:30pm and I just wasn't in the mood to write so now I'm right back to where I was on Saturday morning.

BUT I am through the muddy middle of the book and heading toward the home stretch where everything hinges on that one dark moment. At this point, I can see the light in the tunnel but my hero & heroine can't!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fun Friday

Oops! Last week I posted out of order!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18 of NaNoWriMo

Okay...I'm behind. Why? There are two reasons, no not excuses, reasons!

First, I voluntered to lead the service at my church on Sunday and had to stop and write a message for the service. Which I'm not finished with yet. Unfortunately by doing that it cut into my novel's writing time. Time is such a HUGE factor in a writer's life with a day job.

Second, when I met with a group of writer's on Monday, this event came up and TWO other writer's voiced a thought that I've had for years concerning NaNoWriMo...WHY ON EARTH DID THEY CHOSE NOVEMBER???? The busier month than November is December! Quite frankly some years I have chose to not even try to do NaNoWriMo because of the month of the event but I think I may have answer to that question.

It is a busy month but if YOU are serious about writing this is a great month to show how serious you are by participating and meeting your goals despite all the events going on around you.

Anyone agree? Disagree?

Word Count Wednesday!

This time a whole day late!

My word count for the month is: 17953!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16 of NaNoWriMo

Do you notice a pattern in my daily posts? They keep getting later and later and later in the day. That's because I'm really trying to make an effort to get the needed daily words written before I write blog posts, visit other blogs, answer emails.

And so far, it's working. I'm happy to report that I'm back on track with my daily word count and actually over by a few words. This panster has a confession to make...it's much easier to meet my word count goals during this year's NaNoWriMo because I have a chapter outline to follow. I don't have to rack my brain for what should come next in the story...I know.

However, my heroine has surprised me with a revelation in chapter five and I'm finding that I'm having to adjust the chapter outline. I bulked up the middle of my book to avoid a sagging middle and I can tell it's just too much to fit in the word count guidelines of the book.

Believe me, I'll have a lot of revision work to do but I'm going to have a good frame work of a book come November 30th!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15 of NaNoWriMo

Okay, this is posting before I can actually see what day 15 brings but this must be said...I have way more free time on the weekends YET that is when I fall behind on my NaNoWriMo word count goals.

I thought the past two weekends that I would gain word count but nope, I fell behind. This weekend is worst than last weekend. All I can figure out is I work better under pressure....

Let's hope my Tuesday post brings me up to date on the word count!

The good news is, I almost have chapter six finished!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11 of NaNoWriMo

I am over the half way point of my total word count for the rough draft of my inspirational romance. Granted, I went to the month with 14,400 written words.

I also roughly plotted out ten chapters for the book and I am a third of the way through the sixth chapter so I am past the half way point on the book.

Now, I know that I have some errors in time placement and I think I don't have the hero and heroine in enough scenes together so my internal editor is niggling me to stop typing words and go back and edit what I've written. Which is a no-no during NaNo!

The actual point of NaNo is to WRITE and not edit so I'm forging on hoping that I'm getting some type of frame work down that can be revised and polished into a publishable book.

BTW I did get one surprise...my heroine let me know just why she was acting the way that she was. Who knew? I guess she did!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

My word count total for the month of November is 10,814!!!!

Day 9 of NaNoWriMo

I know I forgot to get my blog post written and posted yesterday. I was too busy trying to find the time to get my daily word count in. I felt like a phoney after I'd dedicated my blog to time management for writer's a couple of months ago.

But my day was so busy. I was busy at my day job so I ate lunch at my desk and worked through breaks, then a wonderful opportunity came up to meet with other writers on the 15th but that required time to email and work through various schedules, of course at home there is always work to do, dinner, dishes, cleaning and our weather was a balmy 68 degrees so the hubby & I wanted to take advantage of it and walk outside. What do you think happened on our walk? I ran into a high school classmate/friend, so we chatted for a while before resuming the walk and I'm thinking...there goes my word count for today. How did I let time slip through my fingers?

At 7:40pm, I decided to get ready for bed then see how many words I could add to my WIP between 8:30 and 10:00. I moved to a quiet room and when I stopped writing at 10, I was only a 134 words away from my daily writing goal of 1050 words!

Needless to say...I finished getting the last 134 words done before hitting the hay!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 8 of NaNoWriMo

Eight days into the whorl wind of writing month and I'm happy to say...I was on track through the 7th day! I've yet to write one word today but the day isn't over yet.

I did get off track over the weekend only producing about 500 words on Saturday but I managed to make up for it yesterday. It worked out great because I'd discovered that I had three scenes in a chapter and none of them were the hero's point of view so I wanted to change that but wasn't sure how. Just before I dropped to sleep on Saturday, I figured out what I needed to do!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day Four of NaNoWriMo

I don't remember if I shared how many words per day that I need to write to complete the rough draft of my NaNoWritMo project. I'm trying to get to 45,000 words by the end of the month. I had three chapters completed at just over 14,000 words. So my daily word count goal is 1050 words per day.

A very doable number. And so far so good, as you can tell by my word count reporting yesterday.

However, today, I found myself wasting an hour that I could have been writing. Not that I didn't write and complete my word count goal. I did but I didn't put the writing first...In my opinion some of the process of writing a novel in a month is to make the writing a priority. Because if you don't make your writing a priority you will never get a book written.

Word Count Wednesday

My word count for the month is 3210.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cover!!!

In case you didn't notice that I changed my profile picture to my book cover....here it is!

Monday, November 1, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

It's that time of year again for aspiring or established novelists to join other aspiring or established novelist in writing a 50,000 word novel in a month.

I have never officially registered for this event however, I have participated...albeit with a little cheating. My first children's non-fiction book that had a very tight deadline was written as a NaNoWriMo project. This year the remainder of my WIP, a romance novel, will be my November project.

So this month will be dedicated to my progress or lack there of in completing a rough draft of a novel in a month!

 See website here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ready, Set, Goals

Hopefully, my posts have your thinking of goals to set not only for the remaining two months of the year but 2011 as well. It doesn't matter what kind of goals you set for yourself as long as they are attainable and move your writing career forward.

But it is important to write them down and be accountantable. It's easy to think on January 1st that this is the year I write that novel only to realize ten months have passed by and you have maybe a page or two written. However if you'd set monthly goals, chances are the rough draft would be complete!

In December, I'll post my 2010 goals and tell you how I did meeting them. Then I'll share my 2011 goals with you. Until then, keep considering yours!

Word Count Wednesday

I know, I'm a day late...I have 4000 words so far for October. I have happy to report that I should have the first three chapters of my WIP polished along with the chapter by chapter synopsis by the end of October...and hopefully submitted!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day to Day Goal Keeping

I discussed last week that I was considering setting weekly or daily goals next year. If I do this I will definately need the aid of a calendar, whether paper or online. I am not big on to-do list's and that is what the use of a calendar for my writing goals feels like to me but I am willing to give it a try to see if it helps produce steady word count.

I'm going to try this daily goal keeping next month during NaNoWriMo. I need at least 31,500 words to complete the rough draft of my current WIP. So my goal will be 1050 words per day to accomplish this task.

I'll keep you posted on how it's working for me as the month of November progresses!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Recording Goals

It's important when you set your writing goals to WRITE them down somewhere. Again, what works for one writer will not work for another.

I use a spiral bound journal to write down the goals I want to accomplish for the month. In addition, I jot down my acceptances, submissions, rejections and 'other' happenings in my writing career as the month progresses. At the end of the month, I recap my progress.

Did I complete all or any of my goals? If not why?
How many rejections did I garner? How many acceptances? Did I turn the rejections back into submissions?
Did I answer a manuscript call? Get a notice about a work for hire project I applied for? Did I receive a conference notification? Am I able to go to it?

By recaping the goals I can see if something did or didn't work for me. If I was working on a non-fiction piece for children, I might have miscalculated the time it'd take to research the topic thoroughly before I could write the article or perhaps I ran across a different angle to persue for the article. This lets me know that the next time I'm working on a project like this, I need to adjust the number of goals for that month.

I can also tell if I'm making forward movement in my writing career during this process.

Whatever way you chose to record your monthly goals they need to be visable each and everyday as a constant reminder to you that your writing is important!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daily Goals

The only time I've set daily goals is when I've participated in a book in month. Then I knew how many words I wanted to reach by the end of the month and divided that number by the number of days in the month.

Next year, I am considering setting daily writing goals. I think I'll get more writing produced, which I hope means more completed projects.

There are a few ways to set daily goals, word count, pages completed or time spent.

Setting a word count daily goal appeals to me more than trying to crank out x number of pages or allotting myself two hours and producing very few words. However, I am willing to try the other two options, who knows they may work better for me, especially with a day job.

Goal setting is about trial and error, so don't get down in the dumps if you set a word count goal of 1000 words per day and end up only getting 700 words per day...that's still pretty good!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

Not much but some improvement...word count is 3590.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weekly Goals

After you set your monthly goals, you can break those down into weekly goals. I have never done this but am considering it for 2011. I think it will help keep me on track better when life throws me a curve or I just feel tired or unmotivated.

If you've set four monthly goals, perhaps you want to concentrate one week for each goal set. Or maybe you want to work on the most important (to you) goal. Or if one of your goals is easier, like polish and submit a manuscript, that might be the one you work on the first week to get it finished and have that sense of accomplishment. Remember not all of your monthly goals have to be "hard". It's nice to have an easy one that you can get out of the way so you can check one goal off and move on to the next.

This is where your own unique preference comes in because what works for me might not work for you. Believe me I am more motivated when I can check a goal off within the first week of the month as being complete no matter how easy it is. But maybe for you, it's better to complete the harder task then reward yourself with the easier one at the end of the month.

Either way you will get to the end result, completeing a monthly and making forward movement in your writing career.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Types of Goals

Before I continue on to setting weekly goals, I thought I'd rewind a little to yearly goals. There are two main types (IMHO) of setting yearly goals.

Output

Monetary

Output goals are the kinds of goals I use. I decide by mid-December based on the writing year I'm having just what I want to change or see as output by a year from then. So I the goals I set are based on write the first book in a series, research and write a children's non-fiction book, apply for work for hire jobs and/or answer manuscript calls. It's easy to set output goals because you can base them around your writing time. If you only allot 20 hours per week to write, then you know that setting a goal to have three 90,000 word manuscripts complete and submitted is not attainable.

Monetary goals, of course, revolve around your writing income. Do you want to double the income you made in 2010...then your goals must be set accordingly. Perhaps you'll want to write a monthly column for dependable income while you query magazines or submit your book manuscripts. Another way to handle montetary goals is decided how much per day it takes to reach the yearly writing salary figure. If you want to earn $36,500.00 in 2011 from your writing, then each day you must produce something to earn at least $100 per day. Maybe that is cranking out four devotionals or querying a magazine article. Now just because you write something doesn't mean it will sell but if you are trying to reach the $36,500.00 you MUST produce something that MAY pay $100 per day. This is a good type of goal to set while you work a day job since editors/publishers response times are slow. BUT slow response times doesn't mean that this method doesn't work, it just means that you might not see a "wind fall" of writing income until a few months later.

A couple of options while you plan for next year.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Setting Monthly Goals

Although setting goals is as unique as our writing voice, I suggest setting several monthly goals. This ensures that you have another goal that creates forward movement in your writing career if you get "stuck" with a certain plot point or have to wait for research material to arrive from inter-library loan.

But don't be so strict with your monthly goals that if a writing opportunity arises with a short deadline that your turn it down. Last spring I interrupted my set goals to answer a manuscript call from an editor who needed short craft ideas. I did this because I've written for this publisher before, I enjoy writing short craft ideas and this call had a four week turn around time, so I couldn't put it off until the month.

I set anywhere from three to six monthly goals because this works best for me since I also work a full time job. If you have more hours to devote to your writing, you may want to increase the number of monthly goals you set.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

October word count is 2265....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Write Those Goals Down

Once you determine your yearly and monthly goals, write them down. Anywhere...a journal....a notebook....a Post it...a Word document....a spreadsheet....

Writing them down makes it more of a commitment. I use a journal to write down and recap my monthly and yearly goals. I've found this works very well for me and keeps them in the forefront of my mind. However, everywriter is different, so you may need to post them where they are a constant reminder...beside your monitor...on your refrigerator...you get the idea.

You may have to try several options to find out the one that works best for you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monthly Goals

Once you establish yourlofty yearly goals, it's time to break them down into monthly goals.

So if you plan to write a novel in 2011, you need to consider what you'd need to do each month to reach that goal. Maybe you want to crack ten new magazine markets, consider the steps you need to take to make that happen and start setting those goals each month. Perhaps you want to double your writing income, that may mean producing magazine articles as well as book proposals.

Remember the objective of monthly goals is to break the large tasks down, making them more achievable.

Want to write a novel in a year. Use January as the month to plot your book, February to start chapter one OR set a word count goal, say 1000 words per day.

Research five new magazines during the month of January and start writing and submitting in the following months, then start over in June in an effort to crack ten new magazine markets.

Are you writing a non-fiction book? Turn your research tacics into a how to article and submit it to writing magazines.

Now, do those lofty goals seem so overwhelming?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Considering Goals

Now, I realize we do still have three months to go before it's time to set new yearly goals and if you're like me, you're still working on THIS years goals but it pays to consider just what you didn't accomplish this year and would like to next year. OR if something in your writing life changed, this year and that will determine some of the goals for next year.

Here's what I'm considering for my goals:

Finish book two in my quilt themed romance novel series
Begin & finish book three in my quilt themed romance novel series
Continue to look for an agent for my adult writing
Continue to market the middle grade children's book manuscript

Those may or may not change when it comes time to set them as my 2011 writing goals. Why? Because I the middle grade manuscript is making the rounds...maybe it will sell before then? I'm also hoping to have the rough draft of book two completed by the end of this year...we'll see....

But all of these goals that I'm considering will move my writing career forward which is what you should be thinking about as you are considering your goals.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

It's a new month...and I have ZERO words to report. I was busy proofing my galley's but will get back to "production" soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yearly Goals

In my opinion yearly goals should be LOFTY! Something to STRIVE for. So when you're thinking about your yearly goals set the bar high.

Yet, make them realistic. You can't set a lofty goal like have my novel published by September 2011 because THAT is not in your control. However, you can set the yearly goal of have my novel written, polished and ready to submit to agents or publishers by September 2011.

You can't say sign a contract with an agent by June 2011 but your goal can be to solicit your work to agents.

As you contemplate your goals for 2011, remember to reach for the stars in order to move your career forward but don't set yourself up for disappointment set goals that are in YOUR control.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Yearly Goals Reviewed

Thursday I mentioned that the end of the quarter was a good time to review your yearly goals. It's also a good time to start considering what you want to get accomplished next year with your writing career. It's must easier to succeed in this business if you have a plan.

So I looked over my yearly goals and out of six, I've completed two. Now, that doesn't sound like much does it? But I set those goals before I knew that my inspirational romance manuscript that was submitted would be accepted. So, as with anything in life, my goals are subject to change. One goal that I set was to finish a different inspirational romance that I'd started, however with the acceptance of Lily of the Field, I must adjust that goal as to completion of the next book in the series, Jobs Tears.

I've decided to talk this month about goals. Goals are something to strive for and are not intended to weigh you down or be self defeating if you can't quite reach them. They are a way of getting a plan in place to help you succeed in your writing career. Be thinking.....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

End of Third Quarter

Ah, the day job mentality runs over into my writing life. Today, September 30th is the end of the third quarter in the year. For me at my day job that means running/calculating quarterly reports to send out to clients....in my writing career that means I have three months left to complete the one or more of the yearly goals that I've set.

How are you doing on your writing goals? Now is the time to review and put your nose to the grind stone to them all or at least one completed. Me? I need to get 500 words written today to meet at least half of a monthly goal that I set before I do a yearly goal review tomorrow.

Hoping your close to meeting your writing goals.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I'm up to 5500 words for this month. I'm about 700 words short on having three chapters completed in my work in progress. I'm determined to have them on paper by the end of the month...so mid-night tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Miscellaneous

The day job gets a bad rap from most writer's wishing they could write full time. I hope this month I showed you why a day job is important as you launch your writing career and even throughout your writing career.

So the next time you are fed up with your day, remember some of the benefits it does allow you as a writer. Instead of begrudging it, use it to your benefit.

Use the setting of your day job as the setting of your book.
Give a character a career based on your day job-have the young character in your story embarassed by that type of occupation
Use a co-workers speech pattern or word choices to define a character.

Don't forget you may think your day job is boring but someone else will find it very interesting!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reason Number Ten

The last reason for keeping your day job while you start your writing career is standard of living. We all have as unique standard of living as personality so you must consider this when contemplating giving up your day job.

For example, I've always worked where I can easily (sometimes too easily) indulge in a "fancy" coffee drink daily. Not only does my day job allow the funds to do this but the means...close proximity. However, I live in a rural area so if I quit my day job I also give up a daily mocha, cappucino or frappacino. Why? Because my writing income may not allow for one along with the fact that the closest coffee shop is 12 to 20 miles away and I wouldn't be able to make that trip daily. This may be a simple example but applies to many things, like lunch or dinner out, expensive make up or spa visits. Any luxury item falls into this example.

Other than advances, your writing income consists of royalites that are paid quarterly. Will you be able to wait to make purchases? Go out for lunch or dinner? Get your hair done?

All jobs changes affect your standard of living and writing full time from home is no exception. You need to look at your lifestyle and see if the life of a freelance writer meshes with your standard of living.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reason Number Nine

When you work outside of your home it's easier to keep up with the trends in society, which is reason number nine.

Most publishers will tell you not to use "slang language" because it dates your work. For example today's preteen will not use the word-groovy like they did when I was that age. And you seldom find a romance heroine who is a housewive in heels and pearls. I realize those are extreme examples but since I began writing for publication in 1991, many society trends have changed not to mention technology. As a writer, unless you are writing historicals, you work needs to keep up with the times.

I am not a gadget person but my son and a co-worker are so they can keep me in the loop on most peoples must haves. I'm a writer and open a dictionary often, however today's young people would probably look up a word through internet access on their cell phones. So even though the publishers frown on language trends, they wouldn't want your teenaged protaginist trudging through the house to grab a dictionary when they would actually look it up through their computer or phone.

Clothing trends are another thing you keep up on when you are working outside of your home. When I started my "day job" career, ladies who worked in offices dressed up. That meant business suits or nice dresses/dress pants with hose and dress shoes. No one had casual Fridays or "jeans" days. As time went on businesses turned to a more casual dress code. Would I have realized this, had I not experienced it on a day to day basis? I don't know. My opinion is it's hard to keep track of social trends or changes if you're not out in the world each and every day.

So another reason to keep the day job is so your writing can reflect the times you live in.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

My word count total for the month is now 4177....not as many as I hoped but I'm getting there!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reason Number Eight

Character studies are reason number eight and it ties back to socialization from earlier in the month.

Listening to people as they relay their daily lives or memories can help you shape realistic characters.

What seems like a romantic gesture to one woman, another woman may find it very inadequate. That could be inspiration to write a scene in which your hero contemplates doing something for the heroine but remembers a bad reaction from an old girl friend.

No two people react the same to any situation. Watch what happens to a change in policy in the work place. Some people openly and angerily voice their opinions on why the change isn't fair. The next person may say nothing but you can tell by their sour expression that they don't agree and the next person may just shrug it off. These reactions and the body language that goes with them will help you flesh out a character and how they react to any time of change in their lives.

Getting flawed but sympathic characters is every writer's goal but when we only have our feelings to base a situation our characters can become flat. Imagine reading a book where every character reacted the same way to every situation. There'd be no room for growth on the character's part. No one to set an example or give a different perspective to the main characters. Working a day job gives you access to all personality types and insights on how to create a diverse character.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reason Number Seven

Reason number seven to keep your day job is your writing market might dry up. Yeah, right some nay sayers may be thinking but it happens all the time. Magazines fold, website's disappear, book lines are dropped, editors are replaced and you the writer are left to start over.

Again, while you learn search for new markets, hone your writing to fit a new magazine's style or revising the manuscript that took you six months to write and target to a book line that now closed...it helps to have a day job, which of course translates to a steady pay check. Depending on what you write, it may take anywhere from six to eighteen months to get yourself re-established enough that you are getting article assignment or multiple book contracts.

What if these new markets purchase your work but pay less per word in the case of a new magazine market or the advance is lower on the new book contract. Are you prepared to produce more work to make up for the loss of income?

Although this sounds depressing, it is a reality for freelance writer and another thing to consider before giving up your day job.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reason Number Six

Time management is the sixth reason to keep your day job. You've disciplined yourself to get up an hour early and write. Or you block two hours after dinner to devote to your writing career. Maybe you use all of Saturday afternoon to knock a rough draft of a chapter. Why? Because you know that a good portion of your working day is spent at the day job. You fit the writing into your schedule.

But when you quit your day job, there's no longer a schedule. You have all day to write. Yet, many times other things get in the way. Like watching a morning talk show, reading the newspaper, chatting with your neighbor.

Ask yourself if you are disciplined enough to get into a "home office" routine. Getting up and getting your day started just as if you were commuting and reporting to your day job. I'll be the first to admit that if I didn't have to get up at 6:30AM during the week, I wouldn't so that means my morning routine would be pushed back into at least mid-morning. Which translates into less than an eight hour workday for me. Sounds wonderful but not realistic if I was trying to live off my writing income!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

My word count is still 3567 for the month.

Sad but true! Are you wondering why the writer who talked about time management last month has the same word count number as last week? Well it's one of the curves that life throws at you that you must handle. I had an estate auction last weekend so all my free time was used with last minute preparations for that. But I will get back into the swing this week!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reason Number Five

Creativity is the fifth reason not to quit your job day while establishing your writing career.

Many writer's save enough money to take a year Sabbatical from their day job to start their freelance writing career. They squirrel away enough to cover basic living expenses but what happens when the water heater or furnace breaks? Their savings is diminished and so is their creativity.

Another scenario is selling a couple of books and quitting the day job because the writing career has taken off, but in the ever changing world of publishing, what if the next book contract is eighteen months in coming? You are out of living expenses and forced to look for a part-time or full-time. Can you be creative with plotting when you are updating your resume and interview skills? Will you feel like logging two thousand words on your manuscript after a long day of training on a new job?

Creativity goes hand in hand with worry and writer's block. If your finances demand you to write or starve will your plot be creative or forced? Will your characters be fully developed or flat and generic? Worry can trigger writer's block, then what do you do?

I recently read an interview with a literary agent who said, you need to have at least ten books written before you consider quitting the day job unless you want to OR can live on a gross income of about $10,000.00. It's easier to be creative when you have peace of mind. So keep the day job for a while.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reason Number Four

The fourth reason to keep your day job is benefits. Now, I did talk about health insurance, which is a benefit but there are also other benefits to consider besides health, life, dental and vision insurance.

One reason is taxes. Employers withhold and report your Medicare, Social Security, Federal and State (if applicable) to the appropriate government enities. Do you know that your employer matches the withholding on Medicare and Social Security? So if you are writing full that means you will have to pay both your withholding and your match amount. If you are not savy with numbers or accounting priniciples you'll need to hire an accountant to report these taxes to the government. Paying taxes will require you to put aside "X" amount of money from each advance or royality payment so your taxes can be paid quarterly. This is in addition to any sales tax you need to report from direct sales of books.

The second benefit is retirement savings. Many employers offer a 401(k) or 403(b) to their employees. Many times they match up to six percent of the what the employee saves per year. Six percent is free money to the employee! And that can add up over time. Plus these benefit programs can make it difficult to withdraw your savings so the money will be there when you retire. Yes, there are retirement plans that a freelance writer can invest in but statisics show that most people are not good savers. If given the choice between sending money into a IRA account or splurging on a new tv, many will chose the tv.

Just a few more things to consider before quitting the day job.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reason Number Three

Socialization.

Writing is a solitary occupation. Working a full or part time job keeps you connected to the world around you, which for a writer is (or should be) reasearch.

If you write romance novels, there are many benefits to socializing with your co-workers. Editors are always on the look out for unique occupations for heriones/heros. Inquire what your office mates spouse does for a living. I like to ask people how they met their spouse or signifigant other after all my hero and herione MUST meet or I have no romance story.

Some of your co-workers probably have children or grandchildren at various ages. Listen to what parent say about their children. What activities the child is involved in at school, outside of school. That could be the subject of a non-fiction article or part of the plot line in a middle grade reader. Trends in the younger generation move fast. T-ball and soccer were unheard of extra curricular activies forty years ago when I was child. My son's generation loved arcades but with the ease of obtaining gaming systems at home some of that focus has changed.

It's hard to write for the world around you if you aren't out experiencing it for yourself!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

Since we're in a new month, I have a new word count total, 3567 words written so far in the month of September. I'm crossing my fingers that the figure doubles by next Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reason Number Two

Another reason to work a "day job" is health insurance. Although many writer's organizations provide health insurance or the accessiblity of health insurance, these premiums are usually very high. You can purchase purchase private health insurance, but again the premiums are high as well as the deductable and keep going up if you have a pre-existing condition.

Depending on the size of the group, the group plan at a day job will usually have lower monthly premiums and better benefits and existing conditions are not factored in. So more bang for your buck.  Group plans do vary and there are many small groups that do have higher premiums but probably NOT as high as private individual or family coverage.

If you are not lucky enough to have a spouse who carries the insurance for your and/or your family, you may want to keep your day job for the health insurance coverage they provide. Medical services are expensive and can add up fast which could lead to loss of productivity and creativity.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reason Number One

I thought I'd try to come up with ten reasons not to quit your day job while pursueing your writing career and cover each one as a blog topic. I've thought of a few reasons but not quite ten. Hopefully, I'll be able to come up with ten reasons.

But here's the first: You have to pay the bills. Yes, I've heard of starving artists but I don't really want to be one. Not that I couldn't stand to lose a few pounds but if I didn't have money for food, I probably couldn't pay the electric bill or my internet provider. In this day and age of writing, both of those are necessites!

The reality of the publishing world is: Even if you gain an acceptance, it may take months to received the payment for your manuscript. Many magazines, including some of the "big slicks", pay on publication and they work months in advance. So the non-fiction article you sold in the fall might be featured in April's issue. That means you won't see your paycheck until March at the earliest.

You decided to only submit to pay on acceptance magazines. I prefer those too but many of my sales to pay on acceptance publications has taken three to six months for them to accept my story/article/devotion. Very few publications make a decision on a manuscript in less than thirty days. Remember editor's have other job duties besided reading manuscripts all day.

Book publishing is an entirely different ball game. It can take up to a year for a book publisher to send you a contract, especially if you're just breaking into the publishing game. Once they received the signed contracts they pay half your advance pretty promptly.

But in all of these scenerios how did you pay your bills for six months to a year that you waited for an acceptance/payment for your manuscript.

By having a paycheck from a day job!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I ended the month with 15,246 words! YAY!

Join me today at http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/ for a chance to win a book or chocolate!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time's Up

For this month! Where did it go? I know I'm not the only one that time flies for. I have non-writing friends that complain the months go by way too fast. That's why writer's need to be aware of how they use the time they have to write. If you don't the days will fly by and you'll have no progress on your WIP.

Did any of my ideas or suggestions help you keep better track of the valuable time you have to move your writing career forward? I know that I wrote enough days in a row, that when I skipped one day, I missed the writing. That's a good sign, I think!

Let me know if you managed your writing time wisely this month?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wasted Time

I had all day yesterday to write but did I??? Nope. I wasted the day watching DVD's that I received as gifts then I took a nap.

Did it bother me? Yes,  I had a nagging little voice in my head all day telling me to get to work but I haven't had much time to relax since my mother's death. Getting her estate ready for an auction ate up the entire summer so I decided yesterday, nagging voice or not, I wasn't working...AT ALL on anything. Did my house need cleaned? Yes. Did I need to work on my writing? Yes. Do I have quilt/sewing projects Mom started for family memebers to finish? Yes. Do I feel refreshed and ready to tackle all my projects today since I relaxed yesterday? YES!

And that is part of time management, knowing when YOU need a break. I will not have written 30,000 by the end of tomorrow but I have met my deadline with editor for my book. I'll have at least 15,000 words by the end of tomorrow, which means I have a good start on two projects. And a refreshed mind going into the month of September.

What do you do to relax and refresh your creativity?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

God's Timing

Since I've been talking about ways or tricks to manage your time so you can follow your dream of a writing career, I'd be remiss to not mention God's timing.

Have you ever wondered what's taking so long to get published? You've studied the craft, studied the markets, studied the style of the publisher you're targeting and still your perfect manuscript returns to your mail box. Could be the timings just not right for you. God's timing that is!

God's timing never follows our time line. As Christians and writer's we must trust him on this. He will provide inspiration for ideas. He will provide writing opportunities. He will provide for a use of the talent he gave us. But it will be on His terms, which includes timing.

Continue to manage your daily writing time, continue to learn your craft, continue to study markets and leave the rest to God.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I'm still at 14,650 because last Wednesday I received my copy edits of my book. I turned it back in yesterday so by next week that number better be 20K plus!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On Time

Hi I'm Rose and I'm PUNCTUAL. I'm puncutal in all aspects of my life, not just writing BUT it comes in handy in my writing life.

Now I was raised in a family where punctual actually meant 60 to 30 minutes early for any given event. I married a man who slides into event with minutes to spare. What a shock to this punctual gal's system! But I've found a happy medium and try to fit my arrival time about ten to twenty minutes before the start of planned event.

However, with writing deadlines, I slide right back to my early teachings. I turn my edits in early (so far). If I have a three week deadline to submit something, I give myself two weeks to get it complete. If I have 10 days, in my mind I cut it back to 7. Yet, I don't rush through my edits or turn in shabby work, I just cut back my time allowance to insure I give the manuscript my utmost attention. Remember how life sometimes interrupts with a middle of the night trip to the emergency room? A case of the stomach flu? A migrane headache? An electrical storm that knocked your power out for a couple of days?

Well, if you change your deadline and work toward THAT goal when an unforeseeable event happens and you just can't work on your manuscript, chances are you'll still make your deadline because you've "padded" your time frame.

I had until Friday to submit my copy edits. My deadline was Wednesday. I sent the manuscript back this AM. With all the severe thunderstorms we've had this year and middle of the night hospital runs I've had...I'm not taking any chances. I am, after all, punctual .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time Alone

Something every writer dreams of and if you're like me struggles to get! But not this weekend. I had two large blocks of uninterrupted time alone.

It was AWESOME.

Although I was tempted by the television programs-why are all the good movies on when I can't watch tv?-I preservered and worked on my edits and proof reading my romance novel. Now, I can work on edits when I don't have the house to myself but the proof reading....not so much since I read it aloud to try to catch repetitive words or ackward phrases. Because of this precious gift of time alone, I'll be turning my edits in early.

Do you read your work outloud before submitting it to an editor? If not you should. You catch so many things reading out loud that you don't "hear" reading to yourself. I found a paragraph where I used the same word over three times. THAT had to be changed.

How do you use your "time alone" to progress your writing career?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time Out

Yesterday I declared a "time out" for my time management concerning my writing. Not because I was behind in work count. Not because I was tired. Not because life in general got into the way.

I received my last round of edits on my book. THAT takes priority over all my other writing goals for the month. Why? For one thing, I've been paid for this book. It's under a tight deadline. I want all my creative energy focused on making this manuscript the best book it can be.

Since my writing word count goals revolved around tight time managment, I gave myself a time out to work on the edits. This is what the time out means to me. I am still 3350 words behind. However starting with yesterday when I received the edits until the day I resubmit the changes to my publisher will not count against my word count goals. I have ten days to get all the changes made and to proof read my book. So instead of my 30,000 word goal by month end, it's now 20,000 (I'm basing the month on 30 days).

Be realistic in your time management. It will insure better productivity and success in meeting your goals.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

Oh boy...I should have 18,000 words by today but I only have 14,650.

Can you see where the time management posts are as much for me as others?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Timed Out

I've been throwing out different time mangement ideas this month trying to help other writers with full time jobs manage their writing schedules so they can see their dreams come true. It also helps me to evaluate my time management schedule to see if there is an area in which I can improve.

But what happens if the day job or life in general throws you a curve ball that eats right into your writing time? Well, you let it. There are just some things you can't control. The night my husband woke me up at 3AM to say, let's go to the emergency room another kidney stone is moving, I knew that even with a day off of work, I was going to get less writing accomplished than if I'd put in a full day at my job. Why? I'm a person that needs eight hours of sleep a night to function. It's hard to write when you or a family member doesn't feel well. And if you can't put all of your focus on your project during your writing time, there is really no point in writing.

The trick is don't use those intenses as an excuse to let that one day or two days or week mandate a new routine of no writing. Just roll with the punches and try to get back as soon as you possibily can into your writing time management groove.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Timer Method

I've read where other writers use a baking timer while they write. They try to get as many words written as possible before the timer goes off. They are literally racing against the clock!

Have you ever tried that method? I haven't. I'm more of a panster when it comes to writing. My characters are clear in my mind but the plot is not. I start with a scene and think about what should happen next and then write a scene. Sometimes during my writing time, I spend a lot of time considering just what should happen next in my story. So I'm wondering how beneficial it would be to a panster....

However, maybe hearing the actual tick counting out the time, knowing I'm running out of time would kick the creative side of my mind into gear and I'd come up with a scene. Not just a scene, a scene that moves my plot and story along.

Do you think this is a time management method that would work for you? I'm willing to give it a try but first, I have to buy a timer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fun Friday

Oops on Thursday's post. I'm not quite used to the new internet provider and when I was ready to post my blog yesterday, the my device wasn't ready for me. : ( The battery needed charged. Guess this will help me remember to plug it into the charger more often!

Here are a couple of writing excuses that kind of fall under my theme of time management!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I'm happy to report that as of 5:00 pm today I had 10,000 words written for the month.

I'm planning on doing additional writing tonight so I can hopefully get caught up to a 1000 words per day!

How is your WIP coming along?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Testing a theory

It doesn't make sense to some writer's to use time management on a daily basis. Then when Lady Luck smiles upon them and they have a looming deadline time management become very important. However, because it's not practiced daily they may have trouble adjusting to the new schedule.

It's been said that if you do a certain thing for twenty one days straight then it becomes a part of your normal routine. This is a theory to keep in mind with time management in your writing. Set a goal to write a certain amount of words a day or set aside a couple of hours during your peak time (if you can) and try out that theory. Not only will this become a routine activity in YOUR day, it will also become a routine event to family members and hopefully they will respect your time in front of the computer!

Try out this theory and let me know if after twenty one days, you're in a writing routine!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Time Slips Away

YIKES, I'm behind in my word count goal. I didn't have very good time management this weekend. But I did have a very good time this weekend!

Friday night my husband and I attended a Prairie Poet and Cowboy Poet performance. It was so enjoyable, especially to this writer. Their use of poetic timing and descriptive words that painted a picture while they told a story with a funny or poignant ending, music to my ears.

Saturday we spent time with our granddaughter. I refuse to call it babysitting...it's spending precious time with a precious little one. However, even though I had time before and after she went home, I was worn out and didn't even try to write.

Sunday, I finally grabbed the laptop and started a new chapter but only got 500 words down when a storm blew up. Lightening was involved so I figured having an electronic device resting on my lap might not be the smartest move on my part.

So, today I'm back on track. I've used any free time I've had to log word count. Now, I'm still behind on my monthly goal...50% behind as a matter of fact but I am determine to make my word count goal this month. Time management for writers is a lot like dieting...if you back slide a few days the world won't end but you must get back on track as soon as you can.

When you "fall off" your regular writing routine, what do you do to get back into the groove?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fun Friday

I'm going to celebrate Friday's with something fun. Today's fun item is a writing quote from Olin Miller.

"Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators."

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prime Time

There are twenty four hours in a day. Do you know when your most productive writing time is during that twenty four hours? You may be a morning person but that doesn't mean your most productive writing time is during the morning...same goes a for night owls.  Or it might.

You need to experiment with various times during the day to find your prime time to be creative. Mine runs from about 10AM through 4:30PM. As you know I hold down a full time 9-5 job so the only time I get to write during my Prime Time is on the weekends. Does that mean I don't write during the late afternoon? Evenings? No, it just means it's a little harder for me to get my creative juices going. Sometimes I jot down notes about my WIP or a new idea to help prime my creative juices well when I'm not writing during my Prime writing Time.

When is your Prime Time to write?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I've decided to use Wednesday to post my word count for the week. This should keep me honest especially while I blog about time management!

I plan to write at the very least a 1000 words a day this month. So far, I'm behind but I do have 3000 on my new work in process which is approximately one chapter for this particular book. Now, it is the fourth of the month and simple subtraction will tell you I'm a day behind but I'm hopeful I'll make it up sometime this weekend.

So, my word count is 3000...


PS I typing this blog on my new laptop which should prove to be a challenge to maintain word count since I've been using old versions of software and I really HAVE TO SEARCH to find what I'm looking for in Word!!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Murphy's Law...

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".

Does this apply to time management? Well for me yesterday, it did! Got a call from the hubby mid-day to say: Neither computer will work.... WHAT? I know that sometime this month I will need to address copy edits and give my book one last proof read. Since this publisher handles everything on-line I need a computer to do this.

So,  time I'd planned to use for writing (I'm trying for at least a thousand words per day this month) was eaten into by accessing computer problems. I'm pretty sure the hard drive on the PC is fried. I can't even get it to turn off or on...basically I get nothing, nada.

However, the laptop just needed rebooting. Whew! Sort of...most of my writing files are on the PC, which means sooner or later it will have to be disconnected and taken into a repair shop, at least to retrieve my Word & Excel documents. I'm not sure I want to fix it because it is ten years old...ancient in computer years.

Now, all my current WIP's I email to myself so as long as the laptop worked, I could work. Which I did. Why because how can I blog on time management and not apply it to my own writing. SO I wrote for about an hour. I didn't make the thousand word goal but I did make fifty percent of the goal.

What's the point of this blog post besides whining about my computer problems? Well, time management is a mental perspective because most of the time for most people, Murphy's Law applies-almost daily. I could have thrown up my hands in frustration, called it quits for the day on my writing goals, zoned out in front of the tv because Murphy's Law proved I wasn't going to making my daily word count goal. Instead, after determining there was nothing I could do to fix the PC (BTW I did throw my hands up in frustration), I settled down and used what writing time I had left in the day to add to the word count of my current WIP.

Do unforseen events or scheduling changes rob you of your valuable writing time?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time Wasted

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about time managment is where am I wasting time during my day? Several things come to mind. Playing games on Facebook, watching tv-especially watching movies that I own or have seen before, checking email frequently.

Those may be big time wasters but when you work full time and are trying to start/maintain a writing career there are other 'smaller' ways to waste valuable writing time.

Sure it's fun to share lunch with co-workers but if you have an hour lunch and you're finished eating in twenty minutes, don't waste that time. Excuse yourself and write. If you can't go somewhere to be alone and concentrate on your writing during that time, use the time to walk and sort out a plot problem. Plus if you exercise in the evening, this will shave time off of your exercise routine and you can devote that time to writing down the new plot twist.

Not consolidating errands. Do you find yourself stopping at the grocery or discount store more than twice a week? If you do, time yourself from the moment you turn off your engine park until you start your ignition again.  Most full time workers make these stops right afterwork. Since many jobs work the same shifts, 7-4 or 8- 5 the stores are at their busiest besides once you get into the store, a display may catch your eye or you notice a sale on something you use. Before you know it, thirty minutes are gone. If you run one errand after work each night of the week and the trip costs you thirty minutes each time, that two and half hours you didn't spend writing.

Care to share a small time waster that you've discovered?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just Do It!

That is probably the BEST advertising slogan ever. It applies to almost every aspect of life! I had the idea to start a blog about writing with a day job in April 2009 but then didn't follow through. Good thing I do follow through with my writing goals or I'd never had been or continue to be published!

Since I signed a contract for a romance novel with Barbour Publishings Heartsong Presents line, I thought now is as good of time as any to jump back into the idea of blogging about writing with a full time day job. The acceptance of this novel came with a hitch, a quick turn around time. The novel was accepted in late June and must be wrapped up and ready to go by September 1st! Since, I am serious about my writing, this is a very doable deadline for me.

Does that mean it's not stressful? No.
Does this mean my social life will suffer for about two month? Maybe
Does this mean I HAVE to manage my time better? YES!!!

Writing as a second career while holding down a full time job is all about time management. So starting next week, I will blog on time management and what point I am in the editing process on my novel. If any of you have time management tips, feel free to leave them in the comments! Or if you have a question, ask. I can't promise I'll have answer but...maybe together we can figure it out.