Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

...or maybe there just isn't enough time in the day.

Well, the good news is that using my netbook at the kitchen table rather than allowing myself to get distracted in my office has continued to work.  I'm having to get used to typing on a smaller keyboard and the junk food is closer and more tempting, but I've felt very good about being able to focus on my novel.

Part of the problem I've been having lately is that I'm at a place in the editing process where I can't just jump in and out.  I need larger chunks of time to get reoriented, examine large passages, think things through, and figure out where a change will ripple to.  I've decided not to leave anything behind on this edit.  I'm going through from beginning to end and if I make a change that will affect later sections, I find those sections and make a note to myself.  If I make a change that affects things that are earlier in the text, I go back and make all the necessary alterations before moving on.  I can't do this in 15 minute segments (which is all I would sometimes leave for myself) because that isn't enough time for me to fully analyze the text from all angles.  Some portions of the book I will probably be able to just read, make a few tweaks, and move forward, but right now I'm in the middle of a section that needs a major overhaul.  So moving to the kitchen has been a good move.  It keeps me focused for most (sometimes even all) of naptime, and I've made good progress.

On the other hand, I haven't gotten as many other things done.  I am behind on my photos (as always,) on my submitting, on researching various projects both related and unrelated to writing.  I want to create a mobile app, it's important, but I'm having trouble fitting it into my schedule.  Registration deadlines for preschools are coming up fast and I haven't finished looking at the options.  We have a lot of family stuff that needs to get done SOON.  I think some of the pressure I've been feeling lately isn't just writing related, but due to the fact that life is so hectic, full, and uncertain right now.  Making more progress in one area means that something else has to give.

I think I'm going to start scheduling my posts.  On Wednesdays I will blog about something writing/submitting/business related, and on Saturday or Sunday I will blog about life, family, or kiddie crafts.  Other posts may pop in if I have something important or timely to say, particularly if it's short, but I know enough about myself to know that having this structure will help me know when to think about the blog and when to ignore it.  I will also make my normal stat check posts on the first of the month, regardless of what day it is.

I'm also going to have to restructure my goals for 2012.  I didn't quite know how much work I was getting myself into when I aimed at a new story to submit every month.  January and February were easy enough to do, as I had stories that only needed final tweaks.  I also wrote new first drafts in each of these months, but the real problem is going to be getting them from first drafts to ready for submission.  I need critiques for that, and in order to get critiques, I need to give critiques--and right now, trying to figure out when I would fit critiques into my day just makes me want to curl up and hug something (a cuddly 9-month-old would fit that bill.)  Besides, now that I'm making good headway on the novel, I don't want to pause it for stories.  So I'm going to put the stories off.  Sooner or later I know I'll long for a break from the novel, so I'll worry about the next batch of stories when that happens.  I'll worry about critiquing after some unrelated deadlines pass.

Another thing I didn't think about when aiming for 12 new story submissions this year was the maintenance.  I don't count researching markets and submitting towards my writing time, simply because I could focus on that and never do any actual writing.  Keeping up with submissions is already a hefty job, and it will only get more time consuming as I sub more stories.

To these ends, I think I'll halve my 2012 goal.  I'd like to get at least six new stories subbed this year, and I'm already a third of the way there.  If I meet this goal early I'll try for more, but I think this will relieve some of the pressure--at least the pressure that I make in my own mind.

How about you?  How often do you get too ambitious or change your writing goals?

1 comment:

Angela Brown said...

Sometimes you have to look at your goals, evaluate the reality of the situation, and adjust accordingly. Sounds like you've done that to your best ability.

I've been doing monthly goals, something on a smaller scale so I can attack things in small chunks and adjust as needed, if needed. It's been pretty helpful thus far.