Monday, May 31, 2010

The Writing Equivalent of pre-race Carbo Loading!

this is me crossing the finish line in Dublin!
Tomorrow I begin my seven week edit and revision. Today I want to get ready for that. How might I support the writer in me? I've decided on a few ways. Today I will finish some tasks that weigh me down. I have some info to get to my tax person and I will locate it and get it away. I will clean my office - sweep - get rid of all other projects - put them away neatly - clear off my desk top - find all the bits and pieces I will need in order to be ready to roll tomorrow. I will go and buy ink for my computer as I will be printing out a compressed manuscript for the first part (single spaced, small font, double-sided). I think I'm going to try and find a comfortable reading chair for in here. I've printed off the schedule I did up the other day and will post it. I will also create a calendar with my goals on it so I can chart my progress. I will print off some pictures of my writing heroes and post them above my computer. Gather all my writing books in one easy to grab basket.

I will put in place my carrots and sticks.
Carrots
  1. finish one hour of work - take 15 minutes to weed in garden
  2. after two hours - walk dog, make a healthy snack or do some stretches.
  3. when twenty hours are done for week - take the man out for dinner or a movie.
  4. Make a huge effort to schedule clients in clumps so that I have free days to write for long stretches.
Sticks
  1. blog progress or lack of - that is a big stick, my friends.
  2. tell my non-blogging pals what I'm up to and get them to ask me about my progress. (yes, I'm completely driven by wishing to impress my friends and family!)
  3. Take my lap-top to work so I can work in between clients instead of going for coffee or snoozing!
What do you do to get ready to rock and roll on a work in progress?

16 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

Love the photo. You go, girl!

My only advice would be don't get so caught up in the prep work that you don't get started on the writing work. And...sometimes setting a timer helps me.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Michele Emrath said...

I love the carrots and sticks! Those are the most important. Best of luck!

I didn't know you were a marthon-er! Impressive. Most impressive.

Michele
Southern City Mysteries

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like you've got a good plan. Good luck.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Jan Morrison said...

oh my this is acting up again as I already responded. Probably show up later!
Helen - you are sooooo right. I tend to love the dooh-dah and forget the writing! The timer works for me too.
Michele - thanks! I'm secretly an old horse so I've always set up carrots and sticks...and I am proud to have done one marathon - the Dublin in 03 - I walked it. I don't run. I think it is undignified. snort.
Mason - thanks - your well wishes are my fuel.

Words A Day said...

Thats a good plan, your v organised. And your garden, dog and man are reaping the benefits too - very holistic!

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Niamh! everything is round...

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I have a feeling if you can look that good finishing a marathon (I mean you’re still standing and even smiling!) you’ll have no trouble reaching your editing goals. I’ve been a bit lax on my goals lately – I need to try your carrot and stick approach.

Jan Morrison said...

Jane - there is such a wonder when you approach the finish line that you've pulled it off - your energy soars! Plus I sang for the last third of the race. I WALKED though. I cannot run. I think we get that sort of high when we push through on our writing goals too. At some point it all seems impossible and then we see that it is in fact do-able and that there is even enough energy for some grace.
Good pluck with your own goals - I know you'll do it!

Nishant said...

sounds like you've got a good plan. Good luck.
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Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Nishant - drop by and I'll be charting my progress.

Stacy Post said...

Jan, you have set ambitious goals. I know you can do it! When I have to get busy like you're doing, I find having good music playing in the background helps to drown out the noises from beyond the door. Happy writing, dear friend!

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Stacy - thanks for your warm and encouraging words. Luckily, to start with (the first 2 weeks) the step-kids are with their ma. Actually, this place is pretty quiet except for the chickens. They like to make a big hullabaloo when they're laying. I'm just printing of my wip in condensed form to start reading tomorrow and I made a nice collage of all my fave writers to look on me as I work. Yay.

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome photo!!

I'm not sure I'd consider weeding a carrot...

You've got a great organized plan - good luck with it. I usually fly by the seat of my pants :)

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Jemi - yes, I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants gal when I'm writing the first draft but then I want to get down and serious with it. This manuscript was put aside when I wrote my first mystery and part way through the second one. I did that because I didn't want to screw this project up - I needed to learn how to write plot and create structure. So this is the one I really really care about! And here I go - this morning!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Jan, I was studying my calendar just yesterday, looking for a long stretch of time I can work on revisions. And tonight I'm conducting a class on revisions and self-editing. I should be ready to roll. I wish you the best of luck in sticking to your schedule.

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Patricia,
I'd love to know about your class on revisions and self-editing! Wish I could hop over there and take it. But alas alack - I must glue my bottom to the chair and fly atter.