Monday, February 13, 2012

The Gathering - Motivation Mondays

I finally have the motivation I've been needing.

My weekend was spent getting caught up on as many pending things as possible.  Those things included attending my writers' group meeting, trying to sketch a possible work schedule that would allow me to meet some unofficial (for now) writing deadlines, along with the usual website design projects, blogging, social media-ing, family, eating, and, most importantly, sleeping.  I'm still working on tying up some loose ends today.

Okay, I haven't quite made it to the loose ends yet, but I'm working on it.  I'd hoped to have everything lined out by the time I went to bed last night.  Sadly, I didn't and I'm behind.  In fact, blogging time on my schedule is to be done much earlier in the day--like before lunch.  Can you tell that I have a bad habit of over-scheduling myself?

I'm a master at making schedules (and lists!  Lots of lists!) and deciding when and how long I should spend on projects.  Sometimes it works great!  Sometimes it fails miserably.  The first step is gathering everything I need to reate the schedule that will--or won't--get me through whatever needs to get done.  Below is a short and incomplete list of some of the things I need when I begin a new writing project.

  1. Calendar - If only an everyday, run-of-the-mill calendar would work, I'd use one.  Instead, I create my own calendar with MS Word's calendar template.  That way I can keep a permanent version on my computer and have a printed version, too.  To begin it, I break the big goal down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals. (Remember those blogs on setting goals?  That's where this comes in.)  I try to build in a little extra time so I won't be in a crunch when deadline nears.  The calendar keeps me on target so I don't have to wonder how far I've gone and how far I have yet to go.  I'm visual, so seeing my progress on paper (or computer screen) is my daily motivation.
  2. Three-ring Binder - Everything I need about the story I'm writing goes into the binder.  Everything.  From photos of the hero and heroine slipped into the front of the clear cover, to a list of the characters, a printed copy of the storyboard, and age charts.  There's even a calendar for each book so I can keep my timelines straight.  Portability makes it easy to go from room to room, and I can also take it along wherever I go.
  3. Red Ink Pens - Not any pen with red ink will do.  Only Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball with Extra Fine tip is acceptable.  In a pinch, I've used others.  But I always come back to my favorite.  Red ink makes edits easier to see, and the tiny tip keeps corrections from becoming a muddy blur.  I try to keep several backups on hand.  If Pilot stops making them, I'll be lost.
  4. Forms - Yes, that's what I said. Some of the forms go into the three-ring binder, some reside only in the folder I create on the computer for each book.  I made it easier by creating a blank template for each, so they're ready to go when needed.
  5. Playlist - Sometimes there are specific songs that evoke images of a character or a scene, or even an overall feeling of what the book is about.  Other times any "slow dance music" works fine.  For me, a playlist is often created as I'm writing, instead of before I begin.
Each writer eventually learns what works best.  But even so, we still manage to tweak and poke and start anew, hoping to discover something that might make things go easier.  It's a real gathering of ideas, material, and goals that change as we grow as writers.

I'm hoping the get-ready-to-write gathering I've done these last three days will make tomorrow's goal of writing a little easier.  What do you do to get ready when starting a new writing project?  What motivates you to gather those things?
It is only in the world of objects that we have time and space and selves. - T. S. Eliot


jaylen watkins said...

This diary worth reading. Thanks for this informative one.

Calendar Template

Rox Delaney said...
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