Okay, I’m a bit late, but hey, it’s still January!
Last week I wrote about my desire to make more space for writing. During the past year, I’ve been busy doing other things. Since I want to be a writer when I grow up (note to self: that would be now!), my focus needs to change this year.
(ROW80 folks: check-in is at the bottom of the post.)
I am aiming to do better. But because I tend to beat myself up, I still want to celebrate my accomplishments from the past year…
2013 was, of course, the year of the Grand Adventure in Asia. My travel partner and I spent three months exploring Malaysia, Thailand, India (for six weeks!), and Nepal. The trip was exhausting, exhilarating, and everything in between. It wasn’t the first extended trip I’ve taken, and I hope it won’t be the last.
In slightly less earth-shattering events, other 2013 accomplishments included:
- road-tripping through the Canadian Rockies and back
- starting a vegetable garden (I’m now a year and a half into home-ownership)
- getting into photography (having a good camera and lots of new locations will do that to you)
- knitting my second pair of socks (do you know how much knitting goes into a pair of socks? Hint: it’s a lot)
While the above kept me pretty busy, I did manage a little bit of writing:
- wrote, and published on Turtleduck Press, three installments (6000 words) of “Still Waters Run Deep”, a fantasy serial inspired by my travels. Part 4 will be posted in two weeks, and the fifth and final installment is coming in a few months;
- got a third of the way through the second draft of a novel;
- did a lot of travel blogging (with accompanying photography by me);
- assembled and contributed to an ebook anthology, The Best of Turtleduck Press, Volume I;
- edited two novels (by other people) for Turtleduck Press: Captain’s Boy by KD Sarge and Shards by Kit Campbell.
That’s not bad given all that was going on, but like I said, I intend to do better this year.
On that note…
My weekly goal for ROW80 is 5 hours of writing or editing.
For Week 1, I hit:
- 2 hours of drafting and editing “Still Waters, Part 4”
- somewhere between 0.5 and 1 hour of prepping novel chapters to send around to my critique group
…so somewhere around 2.5 or 3 hours in total, well short of my goal
For Week 2, I’m at 1 hour so far (drafting “Still Waters, Part 5”). Clearly I need to step up my game.
I work full-time, I had a busy weekend (in a good way, but still), and my house is being renovated (mid-size renovations rather than major ones, thank goodness). But that’s still just excuses.
Writing Productivity Tools
On the plus side, when ROW80 started, I finally got around to setting up LeechBlock, a Firefox add-on that lets you block whatever websites you want, whenever you want. I’ve got it set up to block, between 9 and 10 PM (prime writing time for me), all the websites that are the worst distractions for me. Wikipedia is not one of them, so I can still go online to do some quick research — I’m pretty good at not getting distracted if I’m in the middle of writing and just need to look up something specific.
If that’s not enough, I also have a program called Freedom, which actually disables my computer’s Internet for a set period of time. The drawback of Freedom is that you can’t pre-set it like you can with LeechBlock — you need to have the willpower to turn it on manually. In fact, you can pre-set LeechBlock to block everything…I just haven’t gotten up the nerve yet.
Four more hours in Week 2. I can do this. Onward!
Your turn! How are your goals and resolutions for 2014 going so far?