Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Writing Tools

I've set up the tools for my stop whining/start writing (TM) fall campaign.

I have a four-month white board calendar where I'll post the goals for each day/week/month starting Sept 1. I haven't completed it yet because I'm having a practice run for this week and I'm hoping to have 8,000 words written on my current MS by the 1st. Yesterday, I was successful. Today, I haven't completed my words so instead of enjoying the beautiful evening outside I will be sitting at the computer with my hands on the keyboard. It's a love scene, though, and I shouldn't have too much trouble because I love writing them.

The next tool is my new digital timer. I'm positive this is the tool I've been missing. And it's the ticket to happiness! Okay, maybe not to happiness but at least the key to keeping myself focused and on track. It has two timers you can stop and start if you leave your desk. So, if my goal is to write for 3 hours and I need to leave to do other things - wash, fix lunch, watch Oprah - I hit the pause button and then hit the start button when I get back.  It also doesn't make the tic tic sound like my big red tomato timer so I can take it out in public.

The next tool is the alarm clock ( the one on the left isn't actually mine, mine is dusty with wires hanging out it) set this morning for 6am. And my cell phone which is set for 6.10, 6.30 and 7.00. Now, I realized this morning as I turned each of them off and finally dragged myself out of bed that if I was truly committed to getting up early in the morning and writing, or exercising, I would set the alarm clock for 6am, place it far away from the bed, and turn on the loud beeper - instead of the easy listening music that I wake up to - and fall back to sleep to. And for some reason I often wake up when the music shuts off, not when it comes on.

And this is my Vision Board. Yes, it's blank. And much as I would like to claim I put it up yesterday, the fact is I hung it up above my dresser more than a year ago. However, I plan to complete it this week with all my writing visions.

(and yes, all my walls are white - accept for the girls' rooms because they refused to allow me to paint them when I suggested "linen.")

The final tool is  Starbucks - not so much the coffee but the fact that I'm away from all distractions on the home front. And sometimes I get to chat with other writers - just a little, not too much. Of course, there's another one closer to home where fewer writers go so perhaps I should go there instead. Ooh - that's a tough one. I so enjoy chatting about writing. Okay, slapping my own wrist.

Write don't talk about writing.


Janet said...

I love your campaign, Anne! Are you allowing followers or are you drinking the kool-aid by yourself?

I'm jealous of your four-month whiteboard. Where did you get it? And while I'm being nosey, where did you get the fancy timer? I have a kitchen timer, which works wonderfully when I sit down and set it - but taking breaks just can't happen with that ticking tracker!

And, I, too, am trying the early morning routine. I hate mornings, but if I could drag my sorry butt out of bed at 6, put in a couple of hours at the Day Job before going for my run, I'd be hours ahead of the game. So much so that I would have afternoon writing time. Did I say I hate mornings. And the snooze button is my best friend - I can go forever with that 9 minute sleep interval.

I hope you post about your vision board - fascinated with that. And I have to find a Starbucks equivalent here if I'm truly going to be a 'follower'.

Good luck with your campaign - sounds like you've got a fabulous start. I'll be cheering you on :)

Anne MacFarlane said...

Janet, I would love some followers! Hmm, only place I've ever led anyone before is astray

I bought the four-month calendar at Staples - it has a two month one on the back which is cool, too. And the timer is from Walmart. I think Susan Elizabeth Phillips posted about using one on facebook and I thought if it was good enough for her...

I'll post a picture of my vision board when it's completed - should be this weekend.

We have a couple of indy coffee shops close by that I plan to check out over the next couple of months. As long as it's a coffee shop, it'll do the trick.

Kelly Boyce said...

I think that's a great idea, Anne! My bulletin board is still sitting against my wall. I really need to get it hung up.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Kelly, hang it up and send me a picture! I still don't know what I'm actually going to put on mine - other than it's writing related - and might involve photoshop.

Cat Schield said...

okay, I probably shouldn't admit this but I borrowed book covers and wiped out the authors names and the titles and replaced them with my own as an aid to help me visualize getting pubbed. I put them away about 2 years ago because looking at them and not having any success got too painful. Maybe I should drag them out again.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Cat, I like that idea! My name and title on a book cover. I could do that with photoshop!

And yes, I know what you mean about somethings just being too painful to look at. You can persevere and work hard and want it as much as anyone, the fact is - you can't really control if it happens for you or not.

Michelle Helliwell said...

Anne - sounds like you are off to an awesome start! My lovely little writing desk is one again piled with crap...reading this makes me feel that urge to clean it up and get moving.

Mornings are a no go right now for me (my toddler is my alarm), but carving out my evening time will be my goal for next week.

I'm keen to see how the vision board works out too - let us know how that works out for you.

Good luck!

Anne MacFarlane said...

Michelle, when my girls were toddlers I felt successful if I managed a shower every day. I'm amazed at anyone who can write with young children.

Deborah Hale said...

Sounds like a terrific campaign, Anne and what a great time to start (though the heatwave can't have helped!) I'll be cheering you on. Would love for you to do a future ed session at RWAC about all this.

Also I'm dead envious that you can write love scenes quickly. For me, they always bring my progress to a screeching halt. Maybe that should have been my clue long ago that I'd be better off writing inspirationals. ;)

Anne MacFarlane said...

Deb, I try to put the love scene off as long as possible so when I write it there is so much pent up desire and emotion - which makes it fun to write. I usually only write a couple of love scenes in each book, though. Anymore and I feel like I'm repeating myself.

Stella MacLean said...

I suffer from timeritis, which means that as soon as I set a timer I get the jitters, and start looking for excuses while I focus on the timer ticking away. So, my solution at the moment is to put the timer in the room next to my office and try to concentrate on writing the next scene....about fifty percent success rate.

Anne MacFarlane said...

LOL, Stella, my youngest daughter would practically have an anxiety attack if I used the timer for her chores.