Time out to re-focus.

No more excuses.  Today’s the day.  I have just one goal:  2000 words on In Scene, the mystery-in-progress.  I am inspired by Morgan Mandel’s Facebook posts.  Every day, she writes about whether she made her word count or not.  And almost every day, she does it.

That’s because Morgan’s putting her writing first.  Not blogging.  Not working (although she has a good reason for not working, having recently – and sadly – been laid off from her job).  I imagine she has stuff she has to do, but nothing that’s keeping her from making her goal.

I’ve been drifting through the writing work.  Excuses: My real job, for which they pay me real money and lots of people depend on me doing what I’m supposed to do, is demanding.  Reading for pleasure is fun.  I have to exercise or I’ll die.  (Or get flabby.  Flabbier, then.)   My brother’s in Detroit 187; watching it with my finger on the pause button so I can back up in case I see him makes watching TV even more exciting.  And how can I miss my other favs?  Parenthood?  The Good Wife?And that new Chicago Code show… that’s practically research!

And writing-related excuses – you know, those things that feel like writing but don’t really get any word count accomplished:  Revising my cover letter and querying agents for Character-Driven, which has been complete for an embarrassingly long time, seems very important.  Re-writing a couple of short stories so they are tighter, better, and then sending them out.  (If I earn $100 more, I make “active” in the Mystery Writers of America.)  Blogging, too.  It’s so much easier, and every time you publish a blog post, you’ve accomplished a little something, complete unto itself.  What a rush!

Writing a whole long book is lots more work and then at the end, you get the fun of hawking it.  Unsuccessfully.  Augh.  But that’s what writers do.  And it is rewarding, thank heavens, to see the words come together in a way that illuminates the characters and moves the story along, and to put in something sweet or funny that makes the women in my writing group write “ha!” or put a smiley face in the margin.

So, I am recommitting myself.  With single exception of this blog post and the likely need to make coffee at some point, I’ll be In Scene until I meet my goal. Wish me luck.

UPDATE:  Wrote a key scene – word count up by 2,234.  Yay for me!

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4 responses to “Time out to re-focus.

  1. I’m glad my prodding to myself is helping you also, Karen. You set your goals much higher than mine today, and I’m glad you made it. It’s very rare when I can do 2000 words in one day. I’m lucky to finish my 1,000 words, and don’t always make it, despite good intentions. Today, after Fitness Class and going to the last day celebration at Siegelman’s Deli, which took up longer than anticipated, then the long walk in town with Rascal, I finally sat down to work on Forever Young. I went backwards on my word count, as I tightened the manuscript and eliminated unneeded words, so only 163 new words were added. I did this because I suddenly realized the first paragraph didn’t have a hook. After that, I kept wanting to edit, so I did. Now, it’s a better manuscript than before, and that’s what counts. I do want to get the rest of the story all the way down soon, and it’s almost there.
    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

  2. literarylunchbox

    Well, now I’m hooked. But at least I can relax while I watch it!

  3. Kevin Branshaw

    Hey, Sis! I’ve stopped telling people I’m on 187. I’ve filmed 8 episodes but my head only made it into 4! So just watch if you enjoy it. Btw, on Monday I’m working on the new George Clooney movie Ides of March.

  4. Hi Karen, I read your comment on Do You Have Daily Goals? as “Goats” and it didn’t seem strange because I know there is a rural group on SheWrites and I just thought “how interesting”. So I clicked on it and discovered you and your blog! Nothing to do with goats but fascinating none the less. 🙂 Good luck with today’s goals. Your friend’s idea of posting goal on FB is a good one, if a bit daunting… I think I would start by just telling one person whose opinion on my writing I respect about my daily goal (if I went as far as setting one). My trick is promising myself a little treat (it doesn’t have to be food but I find that’s what works best… I think I was a well pampered pug in a previous life) if I accomplish my goal. I like so start off with small manageable goals and then build them up until there’s a routine. But I often end up writing a “witty” blog entry (or cleaning the entire house) rather than writing a new chapter! Have a super weekend, thank you for sharing your blog. xx, isabelle

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