Saturday, January 5, 2013

Answers While I'm Dreaming

 image photo : Book of dreams

     I'm not sure why this happens, but many mornings when I awaken, some epiphany awakens within me at the same time. It is as though during the night my mind is working and in the morning it presents its answer to me. One time I remember waking with the understanding how by taking the angles of the location of a star in the sky from two separate places on earth, you can figure out the distance of that star from the earth. (Note: I didn't figure out exactly how, just that it suddenly made sense to me how it could be done.) More recently, because I am taking a logic's class in my academic studies, I have awoken to more logic related answers. This morning. however, my awakening epiphany had more to do with how I could finish my latest novel's second draft within three months.

      I finished the 50,000 word first draft of my book A Coward's Solace during November and have not gone back to the book since. That is not unusual for me. After focusing on NaNoWriMo during November, besides celebrating the holidays with my family, I also have a lot of other work to catch up on that I didn't do so during December, I normally put the book aside for the month and focus on other things. Now that December is over however, I knew that I really needed to get back to it because I intend to have the book published by the end of the year.
      This December I had Soldiers Don't Cry, The Locket Saga Continues published. I intend to publish A Coward's Solace this coming December so my goal for January, February and March is to add another 30,000 words to the book and have it ready for my editor by the first of April so that the book can be published by December.
      The idea of writing another 30,000 words in three months seemed like a lot to me. I thought there's no way I can write that much in three months.
      My mind, however, saw that getting the answer was important to me, so this morning it presented me with the answer. If I broke down the 30k into daily word allotments, I would need to write only have to write 400 words every day of the week with weekends free for catch up or additional editing.
      On top of that, my mind gave me the added bonus of letting me know that I should add another scene to the front of A Coward's Solace and make it from the viewpoint of my protagonist, Head of Stone.
      While it was still fresh in my mind this morning, I wrote that first scene which of course added just over 400 words. Because it is already the 5th, I will have to write 400 words every day in January to keep up,or up my word count if I get behind, but I believe that 400 words a day is an easy amount to write every day. (After all, I wrote 1667 every day in November!)
     I have two published novels in The Locket Saga. When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don't Cry, The Locket Saga Continues. A Coward's Solace will be the third book in the Locket Saga Series. My question today is, do you ever wake up with new ideas? If so, how do you capture these ideas? If not, try this: Before you go to bed tonight, write down a problem that you need to solve. In the morning, write down what you think the solution might be. If a solution doesn't come to you, write down anything that you think might help you find the solution. Do whatever it is that you wrote that might help you find the solution. If the solution still hasn't come to you, write down your problem again and ask your mind to solve it for you. Keep following these steps until you find a solution.

Friday, January 4, 2013

      Happy New Year Everyone! I love the change in years because it is a time when we are able to reflect on our lives and change what we don't like about our lives and add to our lives things we do like. The problem is that a few days later, we are back to the same old routine. We have changed nothing. Experts say that one of the big reasons that we fail is because we try to do too much at a time. A better approach is to take bite sized changes, make them routines and then add to them.
      This is the premise to the program started by The Fly Lady . The fly lady teaches how to clean and keep your house clean. She begins with "shining your sink" and builds habit upon habit throughout the year.
      This is also the premise that I am using in creating my own daily systems for my live including my writing. My system is called SOFF which is an acronym for S-start, O-Organize and Outline, F-Focus, and F-Finish. For an overview of the system check out Daily Planning: Increase Productivity
      This is how this relates to increasing my writing productivity. I will set aside specific times each day to work on writing projects. During this time, I will START the project, I will organize my writing time to do specific things. For instance, if I have designated the time to write my first draft, I won't spend it researching or checking emails. I will ORGANIZE my space to make writing the easiest process to do during that time. I will organize my materials and I will OUTLINE what it is that I intend to write. Once I know where my writing session will begin and where it will end, then I will write. This brings us to FOCUS. During my writing session I will focus on the project at hand. If during the session I think of something that doesn't fit, I will quickly write it down so I don't lose the thought. If I need to further research sometime, I will put the item I need to research into brackets {} but I will make sure that I don't break stride. FOCUS is the key to this whole process. Finally we come to FINISH. At the end of the writing session, I will quickly edit what I have written, I will determine what I will need to do next, then I will be done for the day. In the overall scheme of things, I will finish the projects I start before I start new ones so that I don't end up with a pile of unfinished writing projects. Each time I START writing, I will work on projects already started first and then move onto ones that I want to start.
        I have two published novels in The Locket Saga. When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don't Cry, The Locket Saga Continues. And like most writers, I have many more writing projects in the works. What are you currently working on, and do you have a system that keeps you productive on a daily basis?