February's Inspirational Quote

"One Hour at a Time"
~ Laurie Wallmark.

Dear Laurie,
You might not recall saying this and perhaps I won't remember the specifics but you are our inspiration for the rest of February and maybe even March.

You and I were on the phone and talking about how hard it is to write a novel and as usual I was whining and feeling sorry for my long-a$$ journey. And you told me about how you were working and how busy you were so you wrote your novel one hour at a time. Astounded I said, "You wrote your novel one hour at a time?" And you said, "Yup." And I thought, "Wow... ... ..."

Often times we think we need - or I think I need - huge chunks of time set aside so I can write. Do you do that too? What if we gave ourselves one hour of each day? If it turns into two, well then fine, but if not, at least you still had your One Hour at a Time. So that is the motto of the month, thanks to ours truly, Laurie Wallmark.

We love you, Laurie!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

So, as you may or may not know, Cathy Daniels and I have decided to become writing buddies for one another this summer. Our common goal - to finish our MG fantasy novels.

Each week we phone conference and talk about any triumphs or tribulations, brainstorm where needed, and help set weekly goals for the up-and-coming week.

After each conference I am going to post my weekly goals. I find that when I post something I become accountable for it. So, here are my weekly goals for this week...
  1. re-read my middle grade novel to become better acquainted with it. It's been a while since I've read it from page 1 to page 85. It's also been about a month since I've worked on it seriously and I feel reading it will help freshen things up.
  2. While reading, take notes for improvements for the next draft. But no messing around with it this time. I keep changing and making big edits and I believe this is why I haven't finished.
  3. Make a daily schedule with my kids so I can include time to write my novel, time to view houses and write my copies (the freelance work I do), and time for us to have fun together or with their friends.
So far I have already tackled number three. It felt good to have the girls be a part of this planning and they felt good to have input into our summer. A win-win situation.

I always struggle in the summer because there is so much I want/have to do. I want to write. I have to work. I want to be with my girls and have fun together. When I write, I feel guilty I am not with them. When I am working I feel guilty I am not with them. When I am with them, I feel pressure I am not writing or working. So coming up with a schedule showed all of us there is plenty time in the day to do all three.

I am going to be waking up early and getting my creative writing done while they are still sleeping. They have a more relaxed bed time in the summer which means they are sleeping later in the morning. Plus, it is vital for us writers to know what time of day we are most effective. I write best in the morning. I must write as soon as I wake up and keep at it till lunch - during the school year, that is. In the summer I won't write until lunch, but this way, at least I still write in the mornings for two and a half hours and the house will be still and quiet - another necessity.

The bonus is, I won't be riddled with guilt that I am not with the girls because they will be sleeping anyway.Then we decided on a two hour chunk of time they would want me to do my copy writing and what activities they can do while I work.

Once all this was figured out, we found we were left with the whole afternoon and evening to be together so we can do all the fun things we love to do together in the summer... go on bike rides, go on adventures, have friends over, throw a pool party...

Life lesson #679: it's never fun to go through the pain and struggles of life, but you always come out the other side with the most growth and learning. After all this is what we do to our MCs too, right?!

a flower from my garden...


Cathy said...

Wow. You are so proactive! My weekends are always a blur and I'm sitting here on Monday morning, after our talk on Friday just trying to get me head on straight.I have a whole list of must do's before I leave on Wednesday and all I want to do is write. Schedule, yes! Make a schedule with time for that in it and I will feel better.Already I'm smiling:)

Sheri said...

You're so funny - OK now as your writing buddy, I am going to say, come on you can do it, one step at a time, get yourself organized first, and then foloow your plan.

As your friend I would say - trying to write before leaving for a big vacation? What are you crazy???

Jeanne said...

Now I must say ...this sounds quite a bit like the plan I'd suggested :o) - planning on writing and letting the kids help you have your summer, too, while having a fun summer with them. There ya go - that wasn't that painful!

Sheri said...

WEll, Jeanne, it was after your encouraging emails taht I decided if I write in the mornings when they are still asleep, then I have nothing to feel guilty about.

So thank you.

Jeanne said...

And you are SO welcome! Happy, guilt-free writing!

Patricia Koelmel said...

Sheri ... I haven't visited the website recently. Just had a birthday and also was so bogged down with planning Art in the Open for the museum, I had time for nothing else.

So I just read your blog. Great plan of action! I couldn't be happier for you. You are such a talented writer and need stay motivated and focused. I look forward to hearing all about your progress. Good luck!

Sheri said...

Thanks Pat. And happy birthday!

LEEZY said...

This is a great plan. What a cool idea. I feel I need more structure in my life wanting to do lots of similar things as you mentioned to make it all work. So thank you for inspiring me!

Bravo — I can't wait to hear how your plan of action is coming together — AND your writing!

I admire you for creating a novel, period. I am so not there. My pathetic attempt at a YA ended at page four and I just can't get beyond it. Funny how my PBs are all about four pages long — go figure.

Sheri said...

Leeza, You're so funny - "all my PBs are about 4 pages long..."

Don't be hard on yourself. It is just not the time yet for your YA to come out. I hadea few pages of OW written on napkins for a year before the story ever fully unfolded and then I began to write.

It still goes through stages of silence (as it is now) and rambling where the pages flow.

Besides, I marvel at the ability to tell a story in 4 pages! That is something I cannot do!