Saturday, January 9, 2010

My constitution

I know my next blog entry isn't due until Monday, but I'm inspired. I attended my first quasi-official PLRW (The Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers), the local chapter of the Romance Writers of America. In the previous meeting of this group I attended, I found them amiable, nurturing and very serious about their writing. While they may not all be published, they all work toward something, which I don't always feel is the case with some other writers I know.

So, they set goals every month. And announce them. The newsletter editor publishes them and then she asks the following month whether or not you met your own goal. I am competitive. I am deadline oriented. This is a good thing for me.

I said I'd finish revisions to chapters five through eight of my second novel.

The speaker today was member Nisha Sharma. She spoke about applying Asian time management techniques to your writing. I had to leave earlier because of my daughter's dance class, but she really got my applying the same skills I normally use it my own life to my writing. I won't go in depth about her talk, because its her talk. But here's her web site:

Now the first couple steps of her system involve writing a letter to cheer yourself toward your goals for the new year. Here's mine:

We’ve had a great few years with the wonderful support of family. I think you’ve managed to make positive steps toward reinventing yourself when many of your colleagues from the journalism industry are still bitching about not having a job.

I think you’re a tad crazy for going back to school, but you’re setting a good example for your daughter and stimulating your own intelligence, which will come through in your writing. So with all of this going on, keep with the writing. I know you keep wondering if realistically writing is an endeavor that makes sense, but it makes you happy, as your husband says, and your husband likes when you’re happy. It will come together.

Then she said to set goals and list them in priority order. Here are mine:
Finish revisions to book two
Finish the "prequel"
Begin revisions on book three

Next she instructed us to make a plan of how to do these things and assign a reasonable time frame. So...

Finish revisions to book two
HOW: revise at least a chapter a week
have daily uninterrupted writing time, no Facebook, email, or iPod, or drinks
TIME: the book should be finished around 25 weeks, or six months. Get the book cleaned up by July-- though Spring Break should be the time to REALLY move it forward

Continue/ramp up trying to ‘sell’ book one/agent/ Web?
HOW: network with folks, read more, internet research
TIME: -- submit a query a week, minimum two a month

Prequel/market as paranormal romance
HOW: chapter outline, then revise beginning to get in swing, write synopsis and use this piece as the center of your membership in PLRW/RWA
TIME: before the PLRW may workshop, have a synopsis and a chapter outline for that manuscript, and July is devoted to the prequel, writing

Begin revisions to 3
HOW: read in August, not before. Outline the third manuscript as succinctly as possible by the end of August.
TIME: August and fall 2010

This almost seems doable, doesn't it?

1 comment:

  1. OMG, that's great! It looks doable. Jeez, I just got home. I had some running around to do return stuff to Target, buy a baby shower gift, stop at Wegmans. Whew.

    Nisha's workshop gave me--and I assume everyone else--a lot to think about. Great workshop to begin 2010!