Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Meeting

So.  *sigh*  I had a little meltdown at the end of the week, when I put too much pressure on myself to revise.  Lesson learned.  I spent the weekend healing from it, and am now, slowly getting back in the saddle.

My goals for the week are to build my momentum back up, and to not assign myself unattainable goals. At some point last week, I decided that I would get one chapter a day done, and that was too much.  It may not seem like too much, but I'm averaging one chapter in about four hours, and that is too much time to devote to writing, based on how much time I need to spend with children and husband and laundry. :)  So, seriously, lesson learned.  What I couldn't have predicted was my brain leakage from the stress--stress that I applied myself.  Jeez.

So, instead of entertaining you with a fabulous post, I'm just going to get back to my writing.  And if you need some alternate form of entertainment, here's WIBIJ!  An hour jam-packed with the most fun you could have in the blogosphere--game starting at 1PM EST on Wednesday.

I'll even lend you my own personal Storm Trooper to keep you on your writing goals this week--and to make sure that you don't get in over your head.  (Okay, for any of you Star Wars geeks out there, I know this particular character is not a Storm Trooper.  However, I'm old school Star Wars, and I am pretending that I, II, and III, never actually happened.  Horrible movies.  Anakin who???)

So, what lessons have you learned about your limit for writing each week?  What happens when you cross your limit? Do you apply unnecessary stress on yourself?  How do you heal from that? (I think I read three books this weekend.)  What are your goals for the week?  And, most importantly, will I see you over at WIBIJ on some point on Wednesday?  The Storm Trooper insists on your presence! :)    

26 comments:

  1. Sorry the week slammed you! I do better without goals persa- instead to just make sure I move forward both on my art and writing each day- anything- especially when you have young kiddos- so I'd pat yourself on the back if each day- you are able to do something-eventually it will get done.

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  2. One chapter a day would be way too much for me. I usually set a 2 pages a day goal .. sometimes raised to 4 or 5 if I have a looming deadline. But, overall, I can do 2 pages a day/5 days a week and not have my brain be completely frizzled. Plus, I find that the ideas come more freely when I leave myself ponder time in the day.

    Glad you have found a balance here ... hope you can get back to having more fun with it all :)

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  3. A chapter a day is a LOT. No wonder it frazzled you. Glad you have a handy storm trooper to help enforce your newfound balance. :)

    (And I'm with you in the I, II, III denial. They are forbidden movies in our household.)

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  4. Bwahahahaha! I've fallen into the "one chapter a day" trap. After drafting, where one chapter a day is a cakewalk, you think, "So, yeah. The main idea is there. Totally doable. Okay."

    Not.

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  5. I always think momentum has got to ebb and flow. Sometimes I have got to throw myself into the writing and in fact I do get the chapter-a-day done. For maybe two days, and then I can't. That is always how everything is, something works for me until it doesn't. H, you are smart to change tack when you need to and take the breaks, and to push yourself when you can. You'll probably be pushing yourself before long and then taking another break after that. It's all forward motion.

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  6. I was disappointed in I, II, and III as well. That's a cool helmet :)

    I usually get one chapter done a week. One a day would drive me bonkers!

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  7. Sorry to hear that. This happened to me this weekend too. I think I need to slow down before I burnout. Good luck!

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  8. I think we've all done that to ourselves at one time or another! Join the club! I do what you did and sit back and read and take a mental break. :)

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  9. Setting attainable goals... uh, yeah, I think I need to try that this week, too! and Wow, a chapter a day... that makes my head explode just thinking about it!!

    Good luck this week, hitting your goals!

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  10. Ha! I was going to correct you on the misusage of Stormtrooper, but I see your point! (my son always corrects me, and I have a similar Star Wars trooper that runs around the house). We are Star Wars geeks to the max.
    You poor thing stressing yourself out. See, that's one thing I need to do more is put pressure on myself. No goal this week, but next week we will be in the car traveling so I'm going to try Dramamine to see if that helps so I can read/write in the car (otherwise I get carsick when I read/write). I will get lots done trapped in the car then! I'm going to start an overhaul on my ms with suggestions by Marietta.
    Good luck to you! And thanks again for the interview on Friday. I felt like a big shot celebrity for a day! :)

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  11. Julia--I normally am a big proponent of the any forward motion is good forward motion! Thanks for the pats on the back. I agree about how difficult if can be to get things done while raising kids. I'm definitely being nicer to myself this week!

    Tess--it was actually good to find my upper level. I can make more reasonable goals now. Your goals sound just about right! I am having more fun this week.

    Karen--I'm glad that everyone is chiming in to say that a chapter a day is a lot to revise. It makes me feel like I'm not totally slow at the whole revising thing. And, I'm embarrassed to admit that I like the animated Clone Wars that my kids watch. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. I'm totally undermining my previous denial of I, II, and III.

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  12. Laurel--Phew. So relieved that the general consensus is that my goals were too lofty. Not that it really matters, but it's good to feel understood. :). I miss drafting!! I can't wait to finish the revision and get back to it.

    Tina--I like the image of waves. And ebbing and flowing energy and creativity. I have to remember that I can't put my progress into a straight line. I definitely don't work that way. Thanks for the reality check!

    Aubrie--that helmet is super cool. And it says things in a very deep clone trooper voice like "general, we're under fire!" and "I have a bad feeling about this, sir!" And, its even better when my daughter wears it above her princess dresses. I think I can do one chapter a week. That's a good pace.

    Christine--bummer about feeling close to burn-out. I'm glad you're slowing down. I don't know what I would do if I did burn out. This weekend was a nice break for me.

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  13. Laura--I'm glad I'm in such good company. I read like books were medicine this weekend. And it worked!

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  14. Marisa--I'm pretty sure my head did explode. And, I didn't even realize what the problem was for a few days. I'm really quite dense sometimes. Thanks! I am wishing you a great writing week as well!

    Kelly--I find that Dramamine works for many different things, including the stomach bug. I hope it helps you! It doesn't sound like you need help setting goals, since you're querying things and revising. It sounds like you're all set. And--thanks to you for the wonderful interview on Friday. I'm glad you had fun--I did!

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  15. Oh my. I'm nervous. I'm readying myself to start the revision process -- I've got to print out the whole ms tomorrow. I'm not even sure where to start. I can totally see myself doing the same thing you did. Glad you pulled it back together, Heather. And thanks for sharing!

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  16. Kris--I normally just set my goals by time--"I'll unplug twice today and do an hour before the kids get up =3 hours of writing" This is good because you really can't fail as long as you put the time in. I won't make the mistake of goal by chapter again! And--you'll be fine. And if you start to hyperventilate, let me know, I'll talk you through it!

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  17. Heather, I've definitely been there! I'm the queen of putting too much pressure on myself and getting frustrated when I don't reach my goals. Now, instead of setting deadlines, I set broader goals. I aim for the end of the month instead of the end of the week, etc. And if I don't make it, I try to push along until I do. But it sounds like you're making amazing progress despite your time restrictions - keep on plugging along and you'll get there!

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  18. Hi Heather, finally here for the meeting. My goals ebb and flow, depending on what I'm working on. When I get overwhelmed I take a step back. The revision I'm working on now is going way slower than I thought it would and sometimes it feels like it's not going anywhere. Sometimes I give myself chapter a day goals if I need some extra focus, something to actually get me to my computer if I have a lot of things competing for my time.

    So, this week I'm working with my hard copy, basically making a big mess of my novel, which I think is essential in order for it to get better.

    I hope you heal up from your melt down.

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  19. Heather,
    Amen to realistic goals! Life takes over and sometimes that's a good thing. This week, I'm taking some days off and moving on from revision to that new, unfinished book. Woo-hoo! Best wishes to you in meeting your goals!

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  20. I am the queen at setting unrealistic goals for myself. I do better when I make a list of attainable goals at the weekend (I usually don't write on weekends, as it's my 'off time')
    and then I tackle them on Monday. I did well yesterday...finding it hard to get motivated today. And I miss Jon *WAH!*

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  21. Anna--thanks for the vote of confidence. I've been finding out wonderful things that do work for me, and a few that don't. I'll find the balance yet!

    Paul--I feel better already. I think just admitting that the one chapter a day plan was too much was enough to relieve the stress. Plus lots of reading. I'm glad to hear that you're making a mess of your novel. That sounds like you're heading in the right direction!

    Good luck this week!

    Lori--Woo-hoo for drafting! Have fun. I hope you have a great writing week!

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  22. Dena--that sounds like a very productive way to write. Good luck meeting your goals this week. And, seriously, where in the blogosphere IS Jon???

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  23. I like your little storm trooper! I might need to borrow him sometime.

    Shelley

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  24. Shelley--I'm partial to my storm trooper too, but there are days when I'd be glad to lend him to you! ;) For a while, anyway.

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  25. wow, a chapter a day? That's a lot of words. I'm happy with 1,000 words a day, some days I'm just happy to finish a scene!

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  26. Marcy--I'm great with a chapter a day when I'm drafting, but when I'm revising, I'm much slower! Welcome!

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