Monday Mayhem

I didn't have a blog post planned for today, so I'm just going to fly by the seat of my pants this week. How about a little free-writing this morning? Normally, when I free-write it comes out like a journal or diary entry. That's not going to help me come up with any ideas. 

Not that I need any more ideas right now. I have a whole pile of stuff that I've started and set aside. I need to figure out what to do with those projects. Right now, I'm revising a novel that I wrote a long time ago. I want to say it's been at least ten years ago. 

Some things I've noticed as I've been revising that piece are:

  • it's not as bad as I thought,
  • the parts that have been heavily revised are the worst of it,
  • and don't ever throw away your rough draft. 

Some of the revised parts were so bad that it made my head hurt to even consider revising them. Since the latest version had veered so far off course from my original idea, I cut some scenes and replaced them with the original scenes from the rough draft. 

I literally, cut them out of the notebook I originally drafted it in and glued the pieces to printer paper so I could put it all in place. I'm surprised at how little I really had to change the rough draft portions. 

Which brings me to my next thought. I think I over-revise. At least I sure did on this piece. If I recall correctly, I did 7 revisions before I put it away, frustrated with it. I did something similar with Alaskan Recovery. I wrote the draft, then I revised and got another idea for Cari's character.

For those of you who haven't read Alaskan Recovery yet, I don't want to include any spoilers, but I will say that I wrote 100-150 pages of story that was essentially backstory. I spent years trying to figure out the best way to combine the two "stories". In the end, I cut the 100-150 pages of backstory and ended up back to the original story. 

I need to remember this with my upcoming projects. I don't want to spend ages revising and tweaking stuff that isn't necessary. I'm not saying that I can't add details and nuances in revisions, but I do need to ask myself whether or not I'm adding to the original story, or just obsessing with my characters and making my life more difficult than it needs to be.

So... now you can see how my mind works when I just let it go. I worry a lot about what I'm doing. Whether it's right, wrong, or just a waste of time. I think with my fingers as I type. And sometimes, I just need to see stuff on the screen to solidify it in my brain. 

There really wasn't much point to this blog post, other than I said I'd post every Monday. So here I am, posting. ;)

Where do you find the time?

How many of you struggle to find time to write? To find time to do what you think you need to do throughout the day to achieve your writing goals? I bet every single person reading this wishes there were more hours in the day. Even if you're not into writing, you probably still have incomplete items on your daily "To Do List" at the end of the day. 

People often ask me, "Where do you find the time to get your stuff done?"

I find time just like anyone else who knows how to prioritize. Yes, I have kids, a husband, pets, a job, a house to clean, errands to run, and dinner to cook. There's lots of minutes in there where I don't need to do anything. Waiting for the water to boil to cook rice? I can get a few thoughts down, maybe even a few paragraphs if the kids are entertained with something.

Right now, I'm sitting next to the washing machine while it drains so I clean the filter. Rather than play Angry Birds on my phone, I'm typing. If I don't feel like writing when I'm doing something else, I do chores so I have uninterrupted time later. I can clean the bathroom while the kids play in the bathtub. Can you empty the dishwasher while your toast cooks? If not, maybe you should have darker toast tomorrow. ;)

While the kids are building forts in their bedroom, I can fold their laundry and put it away. Besides, the more little chores I finish throughout the day, the less stressed I am by the huge pileup of stuff that needs to be done before I can go to bed with a clear conscience. 

I'm not saying that you'll ever accomplish everything on your list. I know I won't. But, you can do little things throughout the day that will free up more time for your writing. Or whatever it is that you really want to spend more time doing. Who am I to judge if you're just trying to find more time to watch The Bachelor?

Random Thoughts About Writing

Today, I'm just going to post some random thoughts about writing I've had lately. I've been pushing myself to finish this rough draft and it's a struggle. However, the 100 Day Challenge has been helping force me to write daily. Even if I don't do the prompt posted, I've been writing. And of course the BIW Challenge was a huge help this month. I only have a few more chapters to finish writing then I can announce that the rough draft is done. Random Thought #1: I see many similarities to my writing attitude and my 3.5 year old son's attitude.

Some examples:

  • He likes to yell for help, even though he doesn't need it. He just needs to do whatever it is. This is comparable to me spending hours online looking for the best way to do something. I don't have to do it the best way, I just have to do it.
  • He continually tells me, "It's hard," and pretends to cry when he's trying to build a "fort" in the living room. My response is usually, "Of course it's hard, but you're doing great. Just keep trying." Why can't I remember this when I want to whine and pout about how hard it is to string together 80 thousand words in a manner that makes sense?
  • He's indecisive about what he wants to eat. He requests one thing, I make it, and he declares, "I don't like it." That's just like me being excited about something I'm working on, but quickly changing my mind and wanting to work on something else, in the hope that the other project will be easier.

Random Thought #2: I should be more like my 22 month old daughter.

Examples:

  • She's perfectly content to admit "I'm stuck" and she just keeps trying different things until she's unstuck.
  • Her big brother knocks her down when they're playing and she just bounces back up and goes back to her thing.
  • She goes with the flow when it interests her, otherwise, she's happy to do her own thing, even if it's not the way something is supposed to be done.

Random Thought #3: I should appreciate every second I have to enjoy my kids at this age and not worry so much about deadlines that I inflict upon myself. There will always be another story idea, another hour to write, another weekend where the kids are visiting Grandma and I can focus completely. My babies will only be this age for a little while.

Random Thought #4: I should quit blogging and get back to writing. :)

What random thoughts do you have about writing? Does your writing behavior ever remind you a toddler's behavior?