Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Madness--Day Nine

Welcome to Wednesday! I'm impressed and heartened that we're still here, working together, pushing forward despite the obstacles. Hooray for us!

Last month, while working under a challenging deadline, I had a day where I felt like I just couldn't push through. DH knew I was struggling and emailed me this:

It made me laugh and actually got me working again. I finished the project March 1st, the same day I arrived home after six weeks away. The same day March Madness began. Knowing I had a lot of catching up to do, I set what I thought was a reasonable, attainable writing goal for the month.

March Madness is truly living up to its name. I'm fighting like mad to get back into a peaceful writing routine, but life keeps spinning me around in crazy circles. Yesterday I wrote in the car on the way to Seattle. Today I'll write in the car on the way back home. And don't worry, I'm not the driver!

Determination and discipline have kept me going this month despite sickness, exhaustion, and the million other things that have demanded my attention. I'm thrilled that I've been able to write 500 words each day. It may not seem like much, but it translates into 10,000 words for the month, which is my March Madness goal. Thanks, all of you, for keeping me motivated! Don't forget to check in over at Shari's blog tomorrow:

So what's your bottle of glue? What keeps you writing through the tough times?


  1. Angelina, I think I need a bottle of butt glue! I like the notion of 500 words a day... My goals have to be revised at the moment as I just found out I have more work than I anticipated concerning my thesis revision. That being said, I will set up new goals for the month tomorrow as today is filled with the other things I have put on the side while completing the thesis. I agree that March Madness is truly living up to its name. My bottle of glue is my family and the idea that I can one day make a living out of sharing each day with my family doing what I love - writing. Not sure how far off that day is, but it's out there somewhere.

  2. Sometimes just being stubborn helps me get through, but other times like this week, just the bare minimum will have to do. Life is spinning crazy and it's getting me cranky. But I'm getting closer to having some major character dev done this week, one step at the time.

    @Jenn B. - it's ok to reset your goals. Better than quitting. Happy writing and good luck with the thesis. :)

  3. I've never been one to need motivation or discipline. I've always written because I want to, and I've always wanted to. Sometimes I'm in an awful, flailing place with something and then it's not the most fun the world, but I don't know. I just do it. I'm a Nike writer. -)

    I'm going a little bananas waiting for feedback from multiple readers who've had my MS a WHILE. otherwise, i'm carrying on.

  4. I got confused - the date of the post said Friday - wishful thinking :)

    I've had a crazy week at work, so haven't done as much agent research as I wanted, but up to four names. Hoping to be up to 10 by this weekend.

    Reading my second of eight books of the month and thinking about the WIP I want to pick up again next month.

  5. Thanks for pointing out the incorrect post date, Jennifer. Hooray for four names and books read!

    And I like that, Joy--Nike writer. I must admit, I'm a book addict. JUST READ is my motto.

    Best wishes with the thesis, Jenn.

    And akossket, mountains are conquered one step at a time...

    Great job, everyone!

  6. I wrote a page today while waiting for the oil in my car to be changed during my lunch break. Sometimes, just taking that time in the middle of the day (or in the early morning hours, before everyone else is awake) to write gives me the motivation to return to the story after my kids are asleep, too, even when I'd love to go to bed myself. Knowing that the words came together for me earlier in the day makes it easier to think that they'll come to me again when I'm tired, too, if I just put my butt in the chair. Coffee helps, too. :)

    Hope this week is an easier one for you. Cheering for you!

  7. Angelina, that's great. I love that image. Hook me up! Glad you could make your goals, and push through your project. It always seems that whenever I have a block of time I set aside where I NEED to write (like MM), that's when life is the busiest. Maybe life is always busy, and I just notice it more then, I don't know.

    This week's been good. With MM I've been breaking up my writing periods into smaller chunks, instead of sitting down and trying to do it all at once. I think that's been really helpful. I've made my daily goals, and usually had time before bed to do some clean-up.

  8. Jeanne/SerenissimaMarch 9, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Gotta love supportive husbands!

    I think what keeps me motivated is the sheer determination to achieve my dream of getting published. It's actually kind of an obsession, I think. Not so healthy, but better than gambling or drugs I guess.

  9. Jenn B. - I'll send you that bottle of butt glue. I invested in the supersze bottle since you know how am I. (I know JB in real life and while writing my thesis she held my game consoles hostage until I finished said thesis. She makes the Grinch look nice. Kidding! ;-D) You can and you will ace those revisions, Jenn, with ease.

    I just signed up for March Madness, but am adding writing 500 words a day to my goals. I think the notion of daily writing will help me refocus on my writing goals. I need to shed my old ways of writing in spurts under deadlines, especially since now the only deadlines I face are self-imposed ones.

  10. Hi everyone!

    I think what helps me most is writing every day. When I've had even a day or two away for whatever reason, I have a harder time starting up again. So even if I can only do 200-300 words, I try to do at least that when I'm drafting. I also find that setting goals that are a little more difficult than I wanted challenge me more. I was going to set a 15K goal for this month, but I went with 20K, and I think I can do it!
    Good luck to everyone!

  11. Yeah, I have no problem sitting in the chair. My problem is that there are always so many pretty, distracting things right in front of the chair (i.e. The Internet!)

    I'm on a little writing/reading break in the sunshine and plan to get a lot done over the next several days. Even though yesterday was spent traveling, I did write at the airport and on the plane. Today, I spent most of the day getting lost in Phoenix but I'm back in the glue, I mean the chair, and ready to kick it!

  12. Ha! Love the butt glue, Angelina. And Joy, I love the term "Nike writer", too. I don't usually have trouble putting butt in chair, but that doesn't mean I get lots done. I'm easily distracted. (Denise, maybe we need an anti-internet pact or something, lol.)

    I think I'd be wise to adopt a daily word count goal like Chris and Kip and others. (More than a goal, maybe... perhaps a "daily write-or-die quota", lol). Daily quota first; blogs, social networking, and other distractions second.

    It's great reading all the comments -- both challenges and triumphs. Reminds me that you guys all "get it" -- how great writing/blogging/whatever can be, and how hard it can be, too. Good luck, everyone!

  13. I had no trouble keeping my butt in the chair today, but I seemed to shuttle from one project to another and never did get much done on my revision. Too many online distractions, too! Tonight I'm out all evening, so will have to try and get in an hour's work before bed. Tomorrow is another dental appointment that will eat a chunk out of my day. Drat! It's good to hear that some of you at least have had a profitable day.

  14. Thanks for the inspiring message, Angelina! Since I'm a habitual daydreamer (now they call it OCD...) the best thing for me to do is listen to personal development recordings (like Dr. Wayne Dyer and others) and/or read inspiring quotes before I do my work. When I'm working on a first draft I love using Dr. Wicked's *Write or Die* software. I have the desktop edition set on *gentle* consequences...haha. Today, I am happy to say that I am conceptualizing my new portfolio pieces. I'm actually starting to get excited thinking about how much time I'll get to play on those paintings! ;-) I'll be leaving for a class soon but when I return, I plan on first drafting some more of my story tonight.
    Cheers, all~hope you're having fun meeting your day-by-day goals! :-)

  15. Thank you all for the awesome words of encouragement regarding the thesis. I too like Joy's Term "Nike Writer", unfortunately it does not fit into my world. And Chris asked me to take away her "distractions" while she was finishing her thesis. I didn't play them not one bit... ;) And yes there are days when I scare the evil out of the devil. Thank you all for the support and the accountability. Just the act of checking in makes me feel like I have a community to belong to while getting some long overdue items under control.

  16. I must learn more about Dr. Wicked! Great job, Edna. And Shari, Denise and Carol, I've discovered the solution to the internet distraction issue. Take a road trip! With no internet access, I was able to write 1,000 words in less than two hours this afternoon. A new record! Of course, it won't work if you're inclined to get car sick, I suppose.

    Enjoy the sunshine, Denise. Having spend the past month in Arizona, I shouldn't be envious, but...

    Thanks for sharing your comments. Don't forget to check in with Shari tomorrow (I apologize for not posting the link. I'm going to go take care of that right now).

    Happy writing/reading/blogging/illustrating or whatever else you're working on everyone!

  17. Love the butt glue. I'd buy a big old bottle of it if I could! (Or maybe I just need to borrow some of Joy's Nike motivation.)

    I agree with kiperoo. Writing daily makes a huge difference. When I can stick to it, everything goes better.

    As for the writing challenge, I am happy to report that I put yesterday's outlining to good use and got some solid writing done tonight. So yay!

  18. I need to go on a reading diet. I'm dangling A Red Herring without Mustard as tonight's prize (love Flavia de Luce!).
    Not at the studio tonight and I was using it as an excuse to avoid my pencils, but I have applied a generous amount of butt glue and will tidy my roughs to trace on friday.
    Progress is as important as completion when there's so many steps to get through.

  19. What keeps me writing through the tough times? I don't know. I think I need momentum. When I stop, it's hard to start again. Oh, inertia.
    Let's hope the ball starts and keeps rolling for us all!

  20. What helps me most is having a writing space. Which doesn't get wifi. And a set schedule for going there.

    My #bookmadness progress today was retrograde: I rewrote the boring choppy chapter with the killer ending to make ti live up to the killer ending. In the process my manuscript got 100 words shorter.

    However, I'm still at 12,700/20,000 for the month. Not bad!

  21. Weekly Wordcount: 4,500 (out of a 10,000 goal)
    Daily Wordcount: 1,600, but I also deleted about 400 words from yesterday.

    Tomorrow is probably going to be super-difficult for me; I'm at a tough spot in this scene and it's going to be hard to pick it up again in the morning I think.

  22. Still working on finding that bottle of glue for the writing--or at least a full bottle, lol. One thing that is a for sure motivator for me is heading out to the coffee shop to write with a couple of good writing friends. Usually get that in once a week.

    On the other MM fronts I am blogging daily and just finished a YA book that I will be ordering for the library. Next up for reading is a MG!

    Good luck to everyone reaching for those goals tonight and tomorrow! Cheers.....Deb

  23. I'm fighting the nasty cold bug that has been eating it's way through my kids' school, but sheer stubborn determination got me my 1000 words today. But it's late, and I'm a little loopy from the cold meds, so I can't vouch for their quality. It gets me closer to finishing this first draft, so it's all good.

  24. What keeps my B in the C is me thinking about it every day. Every day, I've made a bit of forward progress, whether it's going back to splice in a necessary conversation or writing a new scene in its entirety. I did both today. It wasn't as much as I wanted to get done, but the bus ride home turned out to be much shorter than I expected.

    My biggest bottle of glue is my NaNoWriMo Other 11 Months group. We meet in various places throughout Vancouver (currently there are three, sometimes four weekly gatherings) and we sit and write. We chat, too, but we get writing done. At least, my specific chapter does. ;) It's very motivational.

    - Laura

  25. I fell outa love with the story I was planning to write this month. It needs a total rewrite and without my laptop I can't do that (oh I'm very good with excuses!) Otherwise writing goes well, I'm getting up earlier every morning for some peace and quiet.

  26. OOooh! Butt Clue! I could use some of that. Actually, this week is spring break for our students, but I still have some work to do, so I'm using my writing to avoid it! But truly, the recent success stories of dear friends are inspiring me to get my butt in gear and get this book done. And of course, you wonderful MM bloggers who are giving us a boost all month too! THANK YOU!

    okay...enough exclamation points. I apologize for upchucking violent punctuation all over this post. :-)


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