Friday, January 22, 2010

Writing Advice Day

Okay, I noticed that today was open for writing advice, so I have just one short piece of advice, mostly to myself. Stop getting online to Facebook, email, and the blog and get to writing. Write your required number of pages per day (mine is 7 to 10) and then goof off.

I swear, I have the self-discipline of a four year old! I thought when I got older I'd (1) Wake up early, and (2) Do things on schedule. After all, that's what all the "old" people (back then, almost any adult) I knew did. Apparently they learned something in life that I missed. I'm still planning projects I'll never finish and I sleep as late as I can. I wait to the last minute to do everything. Yes, I know I have some psychological issues, but nothing real serious. :-) If anyone has any advice on changing my slovenly work ethic, I'd be glad to hear it!


Pamela Stone said...

Hey, Vicki,

I used to be organized. I never made lists, yet I got things done. Something happened when I got older and now, even with lists, I don't get as much done. What's up with that?

But I do try to set a writing goal each day. It varies. Sometimes it's to write a scene (page count has never worked for me), or to polish a chapter, or to organize my bullet points for a specific book until they have some resemblance to the path I hope the book follows.

But you are so right. Facebook, email, blogs, and my biggest weakness, instant messenging, all eat away at the time I have blocked out to write. On my most productive nights, I don't even open my browser. Just open my document and write. Then if I get done in time, I might indulge in the web vices. Oh, You Tube is another huge procrastination vice of mine.

shelley galloway said...


Thank you so much for writing the blog today! I meant to write it earlier, but got sidetracked. Today is my critique partner day.

All I can add to your post is that being held accountable certainly helps me. Knowing I need two chapters to give to my group to edit every two weeks forces me to stay on track.

And I give myself a page minimum, too. Right now, I'm doing my best to get 10 pages done a day. I usually stay in my pajamas until they are done. : ) Since that means I don't get to leave the house until I'm done writing, I usually get right to work!

I don't know what to tell you about the sleeping late thing. My husband is from a whole family who sleeps in-nothing's changed his stripes! Maybe you can just work at night?

Hope you have a good weekend,


Rebecca Lynn said...

This is such fantastic advice! It's so hard, too, when Facebook/Twitter/Blog are now a part of building and keeping a good platform. It's too easy to convince myself that I'm working. And even though I am often working, I'm not writing.

I like that. Write first, do the rest later. Excellent!

Thanks for posting this.

Lynn said...

I work a day job so if I'm going to write, it has to be first thing in the morning before I go to work. Weekends I have a little leaway but not much. I have a word goal of 750. But I still get sucked in by the blogs and internet.

Marcie said...

So far I've avoided FB and Twitter. I do get caught up in blogs though. I have to write at night (I get up early enough as it is to go to work), but I let myself have 30 minutes to play on the internet then buckle down to write. I like page count instead of word count. I feel I get more accomplished with counting pages.
Sleeping in allows my mind to be free and who knows what I can dream up for my characters! At least that's what I tell myself is a good reason to sleep in. And sometimes nap!

Linda Henderson said...

I'm not the one to give advice on time management. I have to lite a fire under myself to get anything done. I am on Facebook, but not often. I have people who keep trying to send me farm animals and I'm ignoring them because frankly, I don't want fictitious farm animals starving because I forgot to feed them. That reminds me, I'd better go eat breakfast.

Megan Kelly said...

There's a virus attacking frequent FB visitors. It blocks your computer from going out on the internet--if you can imagine such a tragedy! Since I'm addicted to Farmville, it's really hard for me to stay away, but tonight my computer couldn't access the internet and a quick diagnosis said it wasn't my connection.
Just be warned. Several pubbed authors have discussed this problem on their loop.

Victoria Chancellor said...

Linda, LOL about your farm animal comment. FYI, in back of my house (in the city, mind you) I have ACTUAL farm animals. We have a few acres left over when the development was built about 30 years ago. There are three aging horses, four really sleek black turkeys, and a flock of all kinds of chickens. They are a huge distraction to me because as soon as I open my garage, they all come to the fence begging to be fed.

I should take Shelley's advice and stay in my PJs until I've written my pages. That way I can't go play with the farm animals. And Shelley, I hope I really didn't step on toes. I figured the day was "open" and I was frustrated with myself for goofing off. However, I looked at my last contract again and discovered I don't have to turn in the book until March 1st. Whoopee!

I just love all your advice, everyone. The one thing suggested that won't work for me is to set a time limit of thirty minutes to goof off online. Really? If I could limit myself to a set number of minutes I wouldn't have this problem. :-)

Also, it's good to know that other people have my same problem with getting less done with more time. When I worked full time, I got so much more done. Of course, I was younger then and lots more motivated as I was just starting my writing career. Now I work part time doing financials for my husband's company, where my hours are flexible. More time to goof off! Seriously, not good for me. Thanks again.