Filtering by Tag: dana

IWSG: How Long is Too Long?


The first Wednesday of every month is reserved for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group (unless I forget). In these posts, I write about my insecurities as a writer. Make sure to check out all the wonderful bloggers participating!

I have this app on my phone called Timehop. Basically, it scours the internet each day for things you've posted on the same date in previous years. It's kind of cool and mostly I enjoy the look back (especially today's update from last year: "Dropped off the last rent check today. Can't wait to make that first mortgage payment!). But lately, I've been getting updates like:

"Finished Chapter 17 today! Onto the next chapter."


or

"I rewrote my outline. Now, maybe I'll finish this thing by the end of March!"

The problem with those updates? They're from 2 & 3 years ago, and are about the same book I'm working on now -- which, for the record, I had been working on sporadically for at least 4 years prior. Actually, now that I think of it, in April, it will be 7 years with Dana, and I was definitely working on this novel when we met. You guys, that's a LONG time.

So, my question for today is: How long is too long to work on the same project?

When should you decide it's just not gonna work and set it aside? When do you start on something new?

Now, I'm not completely bummed that I'm still working on the same book, because in the last year or so I have made leaps and bounds with it. This is the best it's ever been. It's finally becoming what I have wanted it to be from day one.

But those Timehop updates, they do make me wonder. What might I have accomplished if I'd let this book go?

What are your thoughts? How long have you been working on your current WIP? When should you give it up and move on?

2011: Year In Review

Here we are again. Another year older, another year wiser?

Well, another year older, anyway.

I'm sitting here, looking back on 2011. I can't believe it's coming to an end in a matter of days. New Year's Eve always makes me sad because another year has gone by. On the other hand, the brand new year is like a fresh start, a chance to make good on the things you said you'd do the year before but never got to.

Which leads me to the tried and true Resolutions portion of this post. Last year, I made a few

resolutions

:

1. Complete NaNo '10 first draft.

2. Finish revising NaNo '09 novel.

3. Read at least one book a month -- it's less than I read this year, but with school, who knows how much time I'll have.

4. Blog semi-regularly. At least twice a week!

5. Write every day -- even if it's only a hundred words scribbled in my journal!

So, how did I do? Well...I finished my NaNo '10 novel, but I didn't touch '09's. I had less time to read than I anticipated, especially in the summer, but I squeezed a few books in here and there. The last two are epic fails. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I've been more absent than here this year. I successfully completed the A-Z Blogfest, which was fun, but other than that, I posted sporadic updates. And I most definitely did NOT write every day. Nope That didn't happen.

But let's take a look at what DID happen (if only to make me feel better about myself):

1. I revised the novel from NaNo '10 - twice. AND shipped it off to beta readers. I'm really proud and excited about this. This particular novel has been stirring around in my brain for upwards of 5 years. I wrote a couple previous drafts and let them fall by the wayside because something just wasn't quite right. But I chose it for NaNo last year, changed the POV and pushed through it. And what I ended up with is the best thing I've ever written. I've seen what I can do and I can't wait to take what I've learned from this story and apply it to something new. Also, I'm excited to polish this one up and maybe dip my toes in the waters of submissions.

2. I completed 3 semesters of school and now I'm two classes short of my Associate's (finally). AND I'm holding down a 3.89 GPA. Not too shabby, right?

3. I decided what I'm going to school for. Once I finish up my Associate's, I'm getting my Bachelor's in Communications. God knows where I'll go from there, but at least I've got a general idea, right?

4. I conquered my fear of driving and am ready to finally get a gosh darn driver's license. I refuse to be a weirdo any longer!

These last ones aren't accomplishments, but they did help make 2011 a fantastic year:

5. I attended the best concert of my life and got to meet the most amazing singer ever:

 

So, all things considered, 2011 was a pretty great year for me. For once, I'm definitely looking forward to the next year!

What about you? How did 2011 treat you? Do you have any resolutions?

Rainy Day

It's a rainy, gloomy day here today. The sound of the rain hitting the roof is soothing and has me longing to crawl into bed and stay there. Sadly, I have to work today. There will be no lying in bed, listening to the rain. Not this morning.

I do, on the other hand, have an hour before I leave. Now, a logical, driven person would use this hour to get something accomplished. Maybe pull out Chapter Three and forge through the messy revisions. Because once Chapter Three is done, I can move on and, I suspect, the rest of the book should be a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze. But far easier than the first few chapters. Odds are, though, that I'll find a million and one things to do before even looking at my book. And by the time I pull out a pen and notebook, or pull up Word, it'll be ten minutes before I'm set to leave for work. That's just how I work. At least these days, anyway.

In addition to the soothing soundtrack of the rain, I've got the new cd by Sara Bareilles playing. At the moment, this is my favorite:



I love Sara's voice. And, boy, does she have a way with words. Nothing feeds my muse better than good music. It's almost like enjoying the most amazing meal you've ever had -- without the calories.

While I'm in a sharing mood, Dana (who I've mentioned here before) has started her own blog. As a disclaimer, I feel I should mention that what she writes is intense and somewhat graphic. It's sort of a stream-of-conscious, letting-it-all-out kind of writing, an intimate look at a very difficult subject. If you're okay with that kind of thing, hop on over and take a peek -- Broken Illusions

Alright. I've squandered a little too much time on the interwebs for the day. Off I go. Let's hope I get something accomplished!