21 April 2014

WIP2 - Book Project Plan

I mentioned in Sunday's post that I'd spent a bunch of time last week coming up with a more detailed project plan for my WIP2 (which just stands for "Work in Progress 2" and is my code name for the book project). Today I wanted to share with you what that project plan looks like and how I came up with it, both to give you a sense of what I think about as a self-publishing author and also to get your feedback on what I might be forgetting!

Photo by Rick Campbell

How I came up with my project plan
First, I set a target word count of 60,000 for this book. Most novels are somewhere between 80,000 and 120,000 words, so this is slightly shorter than the average. (And if you prefer to think in pages rather than word count, I can tell you that if you're working in double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman font, there are usually around 300 words per page, so I'm aiming for roughly 200 pages for this one.)

Next, I thought about how many words I tend to be able to write per hour. I already had this information from doing #writeclub sprints on Twitter and from paying attention to my word counts during my daily 2 hours of writing in the morning. On a good day, I can produce 1,000 words per hour without having it feel like a stretch. Granted, on other days I'm lucky to get 500 words per hour, but I'm being optimistic. So 1K words/hr it is.

20 April 2014

ROW80 2014 Round 2, Week 2

 "A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life." 

This week in my writing life I spent several hours reworking my project plans and looking more closely at logistics. Much to my surprise, it turns out I can get my pseudonym's three WIPs done more quickly than I'd originally thought. (At least in theory.) So that was exciting. (Would you be interested in seeing my project plan? If not, that's cool, but it just occurred to me that writers who haven't done project plans might be interested in seeing how I approached mine.)

I also submitted an application for a writing fellowship and submitted a few poems to a literary journal - two things that I wasn't planning on doing but am glad I gave them some time.

On Friday I participated in two #writeclub sprints, even though that is no longer a goal this round, and I ran a couple sprints earlier in the week, too.


  • Min. of 2 hrs/day on pseudonym's WIP2 - MOSTLY. Worked on the fellowship app Monday & Tuesday but went back to the WIP2 on Wednesday & gave it at least two hours a day Wednesday-Friday. Yesterday I kind of pooped out, I guess. Well, actually what happened was that I'd fallen behind on some business-related tasks and spent most of Saturday catching up, and then I was too tired to work on the WIP. But will give it a couple hours today and then I plan to give it 16 hrs/wk through April 29 - except next weekend, when I have company in town - in accordance with my new project plan.

16 April 2014

Writing prompt 42

Happy Wednesday! It's time once again for the weekly writing prompt.

Yesterday I surprised the heck out of myself by not only submitting an application for an emerging writer fellowship but then also submitting a few poems to a literary journal. I'm not sure why I couldn't do that during the previous round of ROW80, when it was actually a stated goal, but whatever, I'll take it.

Anyway, the experience of submitting reminded me that I've had the idea before to use the upcoming themed deadlines in the Duotrope newsletter as a source for writing prompts/inspiration if I ever need it. (If you don't have a Duotrope subscription but you want to submit your fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction to lit journals and mags, I recommend that you sign up asap. It's awesome.)

So that's where this week's writing prompt comes from. Can you guess what it is?

Orig. image from fatfaceandme.com

I do so love me a good ninja tale.

This week's prompt is from Twit Publishing, who are looking for submissions for their "collection of short stories, poems, history, essays, novellas, non-fiction, and instructional essays about NINJAS!" But you have to hurry; the deadline for submission is this Friday, April 18.

So what are you waiting for? Start writing about ninjas!

15 April 2014

Keeping in the write shape

As I mentioned in my Sunday post, one of my coaching clients wanted to know what strategies I use to keep myself motivated to write. I see this as being a little different from the questions I'm raising and answering in my series of posts about writer's block; this is more about ways I make sure to take care of myself so that I have the energy to write. It's about keeping in the write shape, if you will. (Haha, yes I'm horrible at puns.)

Here are some strategies or tools I use to help me write.

#writeclub on Twitter; sometimes I participate in Friday's sessions, moderated by @FriNightWrites, but more frequently I use the hashtag when I need someone else to help keep me accountable. Or just to know that I have company. I've met many a writer through this hashtag, and I am, in fact, drafting this post right now while running a #writeclub sprint. 

Get up & move around for 15-20 mins. I might take a walk or a shower, play with the dog, do tai chi or qi gong, wander aimlessly around house looking out windows...the point is just to stand for a bit.

13 April 2014

ROW80 2014, Round 2, Week 1

 "A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."

Oh, lawd. What do I want to say about my writing life this week? Well I've been working on my pseudonym's WIP2 and then on Friday night I found out about the A Public Space Emerging Writers Fellowship, application due this Tuesday, so my focus has shifted til I get my application in. I wanted to start applying for fellowships and residencies this year; this one seems like a great one to start with because they offer six months of mentorship as part of the fellowship package, which is something I have not seen elsewhere. Awesome.

I also got a great question from a coaching client about what strategies I use to motivate myself to write (blog post coming soon), and I had an epiphany of sorts that one of the reasons I persist in the path I've chosen is because my belief in possibility is so strong; if I didn't believe that it were possible for what I write to make a difference to someone else and that I can make at least a partial living off writing exactly what I want to write, I'd sink into a depression born of apathy - as surely as Artax sank into the Swamp of Sadness - and stop writing. Luckily, I have been gifted with just the write brand of optimism/determination/stupidity to allow me to push on. Also, having supportive friends and family really helps. Thank you, friends and family. You are all kinds of awesomeness.

And now for this week's ROW80 check-in: