>Decisions, decisions

>If – IF – I decide to go ahead with NaNoWriMo, I won’t be able to work on The Beast Within, unless I’m trying to finish it. This is because we’re supposed to start on word 1, page 1 of a brand new story on the first day of the event. The Beast Within is already in my proper schedule, which will be put on hold on 31 October – IF I decide to go ahead – and will be picked up again on 1 December. Other stuff, the day job, the non-fiction book, any other contracted work I get, will already be in the diary during the working day.

Therefore, my choices now are The Fool, Catch the Rainbow or something else. I already have outlines and character sketches and time lines for both of these stories. All I have to do is put my bum on that seat and write. If you voted for The Beast Within, it should let you change your vote. I’ll keep that as a proper WIP.

Diary work
Last night, as a bit of an experiment, I sat down to write Chapter 1 of The Beast Within. I wondered how long it would actually take me to write about 1,675 (round number) words. It was really, really difficult because every time I cleared another page (around 170 words), I was checking the internet via the mobile phone – checking Facebook, checking emails, checking the guestbook, checking my statcounter. Twice I thought, right it’s half nine/ten o’clock, might wrap up and go to bed. But both times I pushed myself to continue until I finished the chapter.

I finished at 10:15pm and it took me just under 2 hours to write 1,599 words.

Without the distractions, if I allow myself 2 hours a day, I should easily manage the 1,675 daily word count. It will mean not going out on a Friday night, but I can schedule in the 2 hours every evening on work days and during the day on days off (Mondays, alternate Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays).

I’ve done it before. All I need do is switch off ALL the phones for 2 hours. I did it for a whole weekend before, surely I can do it for TWO hours – or until I reach my word count.

Lightbulb
While I was writing, an idea occurred to me. I do wish they wouldn’t, but it was such a good idea I just had to write it down … It’s the basic premise for another Marcie Craig story, and I already have my subplot as well as the main plot …

This will be Marcie Craig #5. I don’t understand it when people say they don’t get ideas for writing. I get ideas in abundance. It’s adhering that bum to the seat I have a problem with.

Day job
I took today off because I want to catch up on some of this writing work, and to conserve petrol before pay day. We’re already planning the next magazine and it feels a bit weird as we only had the last one delivered last Thursday. True, it was very late due to someone that will remain nameless (ahem, cough-cough our MD cough-cough), but this will be an indication of how it may be if we get the go ahead to, um, go ahead with what we’ve asked for the, er, go ahead on next year.

Already the magazine is full.

This is amazing. I have to sort everything into page order on the database, speak to the contributors so they know what they’re doing, then confirm everything by email. We’re going to have a tight turnaround this time, due to Christmas, so I’ve told my lovely boss that if he has trouble with the, erm, same trouble we had last time, then *I* will deal with said trouble causer. I’m not scared – I’m a journalist.

More on the day job
I received an unsolicited letter yesterday from a German publication asking if they could do an interview with a member of management as part of a series of articles they’re doing on companies in the north of England. Normally I’d probably know who to assign this to, but my antennae started to vibrate when they mentioned fee.

No, they’re not going to give us a fee, and the report and publication is “absolutely free”. However, there is a charge for reproduction of graphics and photographs … Um, call me a bluff old cynic, but generally we don’t pay you for an interview. If anything, although very rare, it’s the other way around.

So, with alarm bells making a bit of a dull ring, I checked with my boss to see if he’d heard of this particular publication. He had. They’re known for tricking people into buying advertorial.

It went in the bin.

Today
So, today I write. And probably tomorrow too. And I do diary work for November so I can see how many of those 2 hour slots I have available once everything is in. If I’m very clever, I may still fit in some of the schedule – IF I decide to go ahead.

Next job is draft 2 of an article. Easy peasy.

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4 thoughts on “>Decisions, decisions

  1. >I really think you have too much on the go at the moment. Schedule it in NOW for Nov 2010 and then it is written in stone, all other work can then be scheduled around it. Who knows I might even join you then, I'm sure others would. At the rate time flies it'll be next November before we blink.

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  2. >Whipcrack. During your scheduled writing time, you are not allowed to check the internet, work on Facebook, email, anything. Writing time is for writing.Distractions don't just dilute your focus, they dilute your writing. Every distraction spills into the work somehow.All connection devices are OFF.The years I've done Nano, my personal goal is 2500 words a day to front load in case something goes wrong during the month. It takes me 1-1/2 to 2 hours (without interruption). So you should definitely be able to get in 1667 words/day.Does it serve BOTH pieces — your current WIP and the new one you'd start at Nano — to put one on hold, do 50K on another, and then go back to the first? Or are you just splitting your focus to such an extent that you'll wind up frustrated with both?

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  3. >Carol: I can still do it next year as well – with you. :o)Devon: I'm already giving myself breaks in TBW by adding it to the schedule and honing it through drafts 1, 2 and 3 before polishing once and icing it. Just another experiment to see how best I seem to work. Also, 50k would be a good first draft, so there should be an entire piece of work at the end of it – IF I do it. Thanks for the whip, btw. ;o)Lacey: Oh, what are we like? Welcome, and maybe we can do it together, but promise each other not to beat ourselves up if we don't make it …

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