My Writing Companion (and View from My Writing Spot)
Today began Operation Write – a commitment to write and edit for four solid hours on my non-sub days. I kept a journal of my progress. Was I successful? You be the judge.
The alarm sounds, forcing me out of bed. After exercising, I hurry to the computer. If I don’t get a job, I must begin writing at 8:00am. I’d better read blogs, check up on e-mail, and respond to comments on my blog.
No call. (Huzzah!) I’m showered, dressed, the dishwasher is emptied, and the kids have breakfast. Now I have a little while to do this and that before my “job” begins.
The children and husband leave, so I head to the kitchen to reheat my coffee. Would a little breakfast hurt before I begin? I pour the vanilla granola and milk in a bowl, and head into the kitchen to read and comment on another couple of blogs before I begin. I can’t edit while I’m eating, can I?
Hot coffee and a pile of pages from February’s critique session are on the end table to my right. I pour over the suggestions, making minor changes like wording and clarifying some parts. After two people suggest that instead of saying, “In fact, my insides felt more like steel each day,” I should give an actual item made of steel; I spend ten minutes on the Internet, looking at steel images and web pages. Nothing works. Blog readers, do you have any suggestions?
It’s time for a bathroom break and to add more coffee to my cup. I only have two more sets of pages to go from the original six. I’m proud because I’ve enhanced one scene and added dialogue in two or three places. I go back to the computer and check my e-mail, but I won’t be distracted, so I get back to work.
I’ve finished the changes to, Aura, so I go on my blog to respond to a comment when I notice that Miss Snark’s First Victim on my blogroll has started posting the next secret agent contest*. My stomach gets butterflies, but she’s only posted some, so I haven’t been skewed yet.
I go to her site and respond to three other entries. It’s my obligation to do at least five in order to be in the contest. Then I return to my blog, respond to comments, and look at Brigid’s piece from the comment she left on my last post**.
Now I’ve pulled up comments from my manuscript exchange partner. I’m a little burned out from editing, so I decide to begin writing today’s post for my blog.
I feel guilty for writing the post. Now I’ll stop and get back to work! But another bathroom break first (That’s what I get for drinking all of this coffee). My previous night’s coughing fits along with basking in the warm sun make a nap seem awfully tempting. No, I must edit!
Going through edits is really boring after a couple of hours. Curiosity gets the best of me, so I check the contest again. I’m posted. Gulp. It was only a few minutes ago, so no comments yet. Back to work. Should I reheat my coffee first? Yes, that’s a good idea. On to chapter two!
Jackee’s comments on my manuscript are great. Too bad she didn’t look through this before I sent this out to agents and publishers. I had thought it was done. A quick peek at the contest – still no comments. Are the other writers as obsessed and needy as me? I know, pathetic.
Three minutes over my “work” time and I’ve completed the edits for chapter two. Still no comments on my contest entry. Breathe. I call my husband to finalize the plans to meet for lunch. He’s not at his desk.
My husband calls. He just found out that the insurance company is paying for the roof damage (Sigh of relief). I decided to ride my bike to meet him.
Today was a good start to Operation Write. I’d like the typical schedule to be:
- First hour or two will be dedicated to writing something new (One I get through this pile of chapters that are still awaiting changes).
- The next hour or two will be dedicated to editing my work, depending on how much feedback I’ve received.
- The final hour will be dedicated to editing other people’s work. If I don’t have other work to edit, that time may be devoted to writing my blog or other blog-related activities.
And each day that I’m off, I have to squeeze in some exercise. To me, shaving thirty-minutes off this four-hour block is fine, as long as I can’t squeeze it in later because of chores and errands. I need to exercise to feel good about myself, lose a few pounds (okay, five or ten), and build up some energy. The more energy I have, the better I’ll feel and the more stamina I’ll have to write.
As I hopped on my bike, I realized that I forgot to brush my teeth. Next time, I have to remember to brush my teeth before I begin writing.
*Miss Snark’s First victim blog (I’m number 24, with mixed reviews):
**Here’s Brigid’s piece:
***Check out Jackee’s blog: