Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Thoughts - 2011-01-30


Sunday, January 30

Well, there went one of my resolutions for this year. I did not think I would break it that quick but I did. What am I talking about? The resolution that I made to post something to my blog twice a week. I missed two Wednesdays and a Sunday. I hope I do not miss any more.

Needless to say, I have been working on my goals for this year. One of these was to search through my 2010 journals to lookup story and article ideas. So far, I’ve made it through to October of last year. That leaves November and December journals to go through.

So far, I got 62 pages of information pertaining to article ideas and 59 pages of information covering my story ideas. I placed each in its own file so that I can go through them at a later date.

As I write this, I have spent the at least 4 hours going through the file containing the article ideas. I eliminated 12 pages from that file and come up with at least 17 articles. My goal was to come up with 12 article ideas before the end of the month. I surpassed that goal. One reason is that I came up with a few additional ideas for articles while I worked on the file. That leaves another 40 pages of ideas to go through and build.

Another goal I am trying to complete is to complete an article before the end of the month. I am close on that one. I worked several hours on one this past Friday. Will be working on it some this afternoon as well as tomorrow.

This one I plan to put in as a tip sheet to my chapter’s conference booklet. On March 11 & 12, NOLA STARs will sponsor their annual Written in the Stars Conference. As part of the conference, Nola Stars members submit tip sheets that offer writing tips in the form of an article. Mine will be just one of many articles that the booklet will contain.

I hope to tell a little more about my article on Wednesday. How are your resolutions holding up?


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Re-evaluation

Sunday, January 16

Today started off with pen and pad in hand. I started re-evaluating my weekly goals in order to get my year off to a good start. This week also had me looking through my notes to find article ideas that I wrote down.

Today, I start off with ten things I want to complete this week. Starting off with the most important and working my way down to the least. When I get them done, I will select another ten to work on. My ‘to do’ list is starting to look quite long. If I don’t watch out, I can find myself overwhelmed. At that point, I usually shut down and not get anything done.

That is why I pick the ten most important one first. That way, I will not find myself in a rush to get it done when the deadline for that item approaches. I want to get to where I can complete my projects with several days or maybe a couple weeks to spare.

The main thing is that I want to get to the point where I don’t feel like I am spinning my wheels. As for my list of articles, I have three so far. Two of the articles are on backups and one is on grammar. I will be looking into a couple more grammar articles and some on martial arts as well.

Now, time for me to get back to work.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Resolutions - Finis


Wednesday, January 12

Along with my fifteen writing related resolutions this year, I have a variety of other resolutions which I plan to keep up with. They include resolutions pertaining to my blog, to my health, to my web page and to my computer.

The main resolution to my blog is to write it one to two days before I post it. The purpose for this is so that I would not be rushed in writing the post. The other two resolutions are to write and post to my blog twice a week and to accept calls for being a guest on other blogs.

As to the resolutions for my health, they all are pretty much the same as before. The main health related resolution is to work on losing a pound a week. This way I should lose about 8 to 10 pounds by the time my first conference comes up in March. Another resolution is to rebuild my martial arts skills and using these skills as part of my exercise routine.

On my web page, I will need to re-evaluate both my personal and professional web sites. Both sites need to be rebuilt. The program I chose to use is something called Joomla. After perusing several pages built by the program, I decided I would give it a try.

This brings up my computer resolutions. In order for me to use Joomla, I need to learn how to use the program. To do this, I decided that I need to clean up my hard drive by removing some of the unneeded software. Over the last couple of years, I have installed programs and removed them. This process trashed up my registry, and I feel they are causing problems. I’ve tried to install Service Pack 3 for Windows XP and can’t.

Due to the amount of information on my hard drive, I chose to purchase another hard drive for the fresh install of my operating system. I then plan to load key programs that I know I will use.

Once I get my computer set up the way I want it, then I will start the next set of resolutions which include learning how to build a database in OpenOffice and to build a web page using Joomla.

So, for the next year, I plan on enjoying myself a bit more and looking toward life with a little more wonder. Then make sure I note the thinks I find while I let my mind wander. I am looking forward to my adventures this coming up year. How about you?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011 Resolutions - Part Deaux


Sunday, January 9

Today, more of my resolutions and some fine tuning of a couple that I have made. It’s my understanding that the more detailed and precise I make my goals, the better chance I have of accomplishing them.

With that being said, Resolution Seven needs to be fine-tuned. My deadline to come up with six ideas for articles will be January 15. I hope to come up with all 12 ideas of articles before the end of January. Coming up with ideas is not the hardest part. The hardest part is placing butt in chair and fingers on keyboard.

Now, here are a few more of my writer’s goals that I did not include in my last post. To that end, Resolution Nine: to participate fully in “The Weekend Novelist” project. I belong to a loop on the Internet where the members will spend 2011 writing a book on weekends.

Resolution 10: To participate in Script Frenzy in April. This will be my first foray into writing script. My goal for this is to prepare three 30-minute audio plays as well as building a movie script. One of the first things I need to do is study the format of scripts. I know the format for audio plays are different from movie scripts.

Along that line, I plan to participate in JulNoWriMo (Resolution 11) and NaNoWriMo (Resolution 12). This will be my first year participating in JulNoWriMo. As for NaNoWriMo, this will be my ninth year.

Resolution 13: To organize and begin writing on my short story series. I have this short story series that has been calling for me to work on. This is a project for the latter part of the year. I want to finish my first book before I dedicate time to this one.

Resolution 14: To go through my 2003 and 2004 NaNoWriMo projects. These two projects are almost written. What I need to do is build an outline using what I have written and arrange the scenes. I plan to separate and label each scene in order to build an outline. Out of both projects, I believe I have three novels or two novels and a novella.

My final writing resolution, Resolution 15: To keep up with my duties to North Louisiana StoryTellers and Authors of Romance. My main goals as secretary are to make sure I complete the minutes the Sunday after the meeting and to rework the groups Policies and Procedures. As newsletter editor, I shall send the newsletter out at least one week prior to the monthly meeting. And, as loop moderator, come up with rules for the Nola Stars social loop.

Now, I have other resolutions that I plan to carry out this year. I may opine on them in a later post. Now, it is time to go through my resolutions and see if I can build more specifics and deadlines.

To do this, I have gotten a wall calendar where I note my deadlines. Since it shows a month at a time, I can see what is coming up at a glance. This sounds like a good subject for me to blog about as well.

I hope your year is starting of to a good start. Mine is.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year’s - My Resolutions


Wednesday, January 05

Today, I plan to cover the goals I want for the following year. On Monday, I sat down with pen and paper and wrote down 13 writing goals. Since then, I added a few more. Now, I know I have much on my plate. So, in this post, I plan to go over the most important ones.

The most important resolution: To go through and assess my story ideas. I found that over the years that I have come up with over a hundred ideas if not more. I need to assess these ideas on story size (short story, novella, novel, articles, audio and/or movie script), story type (Sci Fi, mystery, suspense, etc.), and importance (what level of work I intend to do on the story).

To do this particular resolution, I need to work on another resolution. Resolution Numero Two: To catalog all of my stories in a notebook or database program as to story sizes, series, story type, when started, when finished, when and who sent to, progress on the project.

Like I said, I have a bunch of ideas in my computer. Some of which I have not thought about for years. I want to get my act together and build something physical that I could look at that tells me what I have. This will include a short description of the story.

My Third Resolution: To update my series bibles. I have two or three series in which I have multiple ideas for books. The current series I am working on has at least 12 books or ideas of books and two short story series partially planned out. I need to build a timeline and standardize some things between the books and short stories of that series.

Numero Four Resolution: To finish editing my first book and submit it. I finished the first draft of my first book this past summer. In doing this, my goal to complete my second edit will be March 1. June 1 will be my goal for completion of that book. That includes a third edit.

My Fifth Resolution: After finishing the third edit, I will break down and allow my work to go out to some associates for critiquing. Since I will be too close to my work, I may miss some critical aspects pertaining to my book. This too will be done before June 1. I hope to place it in the hands of an editor or agent in June.

My Sixth Resolution of the year: To write a minimum of 7,000 words toward my writing projects a week. I will shoot for 14,000 words a week but will remain a realist. I know I can get 1,000 words a day without any problems. If I get more, then great. At that rate, I can get 300,000 words in about 300 days. That is my goal for this year.

Resolution Numero Seven: To write an article a month that writer’s can use. Whether the subject deals with writing, plotting or even computer issues, I hope to enlighten my fellow writers by providing an article that I hope they can use.

My Eighth and Final Resolution I plan to cover today: To read at least 50 books this year and write reviews of them. This may include some re-reading of some books. I need to read more books because I know it helps me on building my books: Not the story idea but the sentence, paragraph, scene structures. When I read well written books, the writing structures in my stories improve as well.

I hope to keep you informed on how I do on the above resolutions. I have more resolutions that I will post on Sunday, but I do not like to write long posts and this one is getting quite long. Let me know what you have planned for your New Year.