Friday, August 31, 2012

August in Review

August is concluded. Pretty sure I completed most of my goals, or enough of them to be satisfied with myself considering three weeks of crushing frustration about writing and plotting.

I have discovered the timer is my friend. With the help of the yTimer program*, I've managed to get more done this month than in past attempts, and I'm only doing 30 minute intervals.

The reasons (in a bullet list!):
  • Forces me to focus on one thing at a time, and not worry/consider/daydream about anything else because I have a limited amount of time to work before the obnoxious buzzing occurs.
  • Allows me to focus on task at hand because I know that I only have to toil at it for 30 minutes before I can fly from my chair and forget about it for a while instead of staring at a page blankly until I nod off.
  • I don't stare at a blank page until I doze off. Somehow, actually having a timer cut back on the frequency of dozing off at my desk, and proceeding irritation of trying to translate what I wrote down right before sleep struck. It wasn't cool in high school, and it isn't cool now.
  • Hand-in-hand with the previous, the 30 minute timer buzzes before boredom swoops in and I start playing with fonts in the editor or embellishing letters and doodling in page margins.
  • The short breaks between force me to get up and handle other tasks, like preparing for the next day of work, getting more water, or just stretching (which helps with that whole falling asleep issue – who knew?)
Don't ask me why I didn't take to this strategy sooner when I've read and printed so many articles about it already.

I still have the impression of time missing in my week. I've been using methods to track my hours, but still haven't found all those missing minutes. Maybe they never leave bed when I get up in the morning.

1.      Made it to the end of the first scene of the new short I'm working on. Haven't devoted much time to it.
  • Sketched a brief outline for the short.
1.      Still struggling with outline for LBW, but stumbled across a blog, Do-It-Yourself MFA(DIYMFA), with helpful articles, and through playing around with a mind mapping app to make character sketches I surprised myself by finding more ideas for back story, and a few for the plot.
  • I also played around with free form character interviews of two characters, and dug up some more back story.
1.      The short in revision is, well, still in revision. It's one of three stories I've ever done that began right in the middle of the action, and not before. It feels cheesy for that reason, but maybe it really isn't.
2.      ST is so close to being done its 2nd revision. Goodness, it's been a chore. Call me Madame Treeslayer.

I'm working to take the advice of numerous writers and break writing tasks down to the smallest goals possible. I do it all the time with my daily chores, but never tried with writing. I'm thinking it might help.

Hmm...I should probably decide what my goals for September will be too.

*yTimer by Spacejock software. Free to download and use. I am a fan of his yWriter program, which is how I found the timer.

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