Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Meeting

Hello all!  Welcome to another Monday Meeting!

Last week, I didn't even come close to revising all that I wanted to.  And instead of packing on the pressure to get it done this week, I'm just going with the flow (thanks, R, for the inspiration!).  And continue forward momentum. Not that I'm in the writing mind frame--spring weather has hit here, and the outside is calling.  But I have my secret weapon--unplugging.  And, Tina was awesome enough to create a room in which to do it!  That's what I love about Tina.  She found this great tool which helped her (and me!) make forward progress in writing, and she wants to share it with everyone.

Here's how it works:

This morning, at 11:45ish EST, click over to Tina's Practice Room, and say hello.  In the comments of her post, tell us what writing or writing-type behavior you are going to indulge in for one hour.  It can be anything at all.  The only thing that we ask is that you commit to an hour without the internet, or other distractions.  Grab your coffee or tea, a snack, open up your word document, set up the online stopwatch that Tina provides for us there on the practice room, and get ready to write.  At 12:00, close down internet applications, and write.  For one hour.  That's it.  And then at 1PM EST come back and tell us about how the hour went in the comments of the practice room.  You don't have to share details of your writing--but you can if you want.  Generally I talk about forward progress, what chapter I'm on, whether I was reluctant to write, and how the writing went during the hour.

Unplugging in small chunks works for me.  I can always make progress in an hour. And I'm always surprised when I start the hour, reluctant to write, and then get into the writing groove, just because I have committed to one hour of writing.   Because I am accountable to someone, other than myself.  And, it's a great excuse to have a real time conversation with other writers.  Consider yourself invited.  I hope you will join us today!

That's how I'm planning on reaching my writing goals this week--one hour at a time.  My goals?  To make forward progress on the revision.  To balance out playing outside with writing inside.  To add some songs to my novel's soundtrack, and to energize myself enough to finish this revision this month.

Other great stuff: Anna is doing a book giveaway on her wonderful blog--check it out!  And the Friday interview this week features Margaret--a wonderful writer focusing on Middle Grade.  I'd love it if you stopped by here Friday, and asked her some fantastic questions.

What goals are you setting for the week?  How do you balance out the draw of nice weather with the desire to write?  Do you ever write outside?  And, if you want to chat more, you know where I'll be at 11:45 AM EST.  Stop by.  It should be a productive hour!  


  1. Thanks for the invite to unplug and go to the practice room! I will try to today. Monday mornings are usually hectic, but I'll try to do this!
    I haven't started on my overhaul of my ms yet, so my goal is to maybe try to do the snowflake method to further delve into the characters and create another conflict or two. I'm just going to see how that works.
    Also, I am going on a writing retreat this weekend with my best friend! So I will hopefully get more done than usual this week!
    Good luck everyone!

  2. Kelly--A writing retreat sounds sooo awesome. I look forward to seeing you today, if you can make it. Good luck with the snowflake method and creating conflicts. Sounds like you know exactly what your work is looking for!

  3. I'm revising this week so I don't know how much I'll have to show for an hour of unplugging, but I might just join in the fun anyway. :-) And thanks for mentioning by contest!

  4. Yay, looking forward to this. You are all so brilliant for coming up with this idea!! I'm already trying to figure out how to keep the kids busy for an hour... We'll see how successful I get - but in any event, I'm excited to try :)

  5. Anna--I think it's fun to unplug in order to talk with other writers about writing. It's good for me to know how similar the struggles are on a daily basis!

    Marisa--I can't take credit for this one--it was Tina's brain child--and, yes, Tina is brilliant!!

    I only have one child at home right now, and a craft and a tv show gets us through the hour. I'm excited to see you there!

  6. My goal this week is to rewrite the first four chapters of my new wip and get the style and tone and pov down before I continue.

    Great idea on the room. Hope you all get a lot done!

  7. Thanks, Heather. And I'm only brilliant when people help me. I think you explain it better than me! And I'm so looking forward to you folks coming! I just realized this morning I hadn't made sure that everyone could come into my new blogspot! It should be okay now but I will probably be on pins and needles until the moment of... Oh I really hope this is good for everyone.

    I regularly get phone calls and knocks on the door during my hour.

    As for my week, I plan to keep working on whatever I can get into. I had an epiphany about fear this weekend. I really have to be willing to fail... Hopefully that will help me get through this block!

  8. Oh and Kelly, that weekend sounds awesome!

    I cannot wait until Anita's spa gets ready. (Ha!) But really I think the practice room came out of that kind of idea. I love writing with people and we all talk about it all the time, why not do it together!!

  9. ahhh unplugging is SUCH a good idea. i just don't think i have the strength.

    love what you're doing, heather. you are made entirely of WIN.


  10. Heather, I hope those chunks of time are productive for you. I sometimes break my writing day into little pieces b/c it helps me focus.

    My goals for the week. I've just finished a big rewrite of that old first novel and feed back from readers is coming in. While I wait and give myself a little distance from the story, I'm picking up a novel I wrote while I was querying Placement. It's called Limits and right now it's a mess of from six different POV's. Haven't looked at it in eight months, should be interesting.

  11. Laura--I like the way you work--getting stuff nailed down before moving forward. And I had a very productive hour of unpluggage!

    T--The fear of failing is just so prevalent. I'm so glad that you are getting a grip on it--you can help me! :) And thanks for the practice room today--such fun!

    Tahereh--I can't unplug at long stretches to save my life. But, an hour--totally doable! Thanks! Good luck with your writing this week!

    Paul--I need the small chunks of time, or else I get totally overwhelmed. I'm glad you've out how to find your focus. You seem to really know what works for you.

    It's tough to wade into a messy project. Good luck with Limits!

  12. Oh, Heather, this week I think I'll need to borrow your one hour at a time approach. It's going to be a buckle-up kind of busy one! :-)

  13. Unplugging in small bits works best for me too, especially during the work week. I try to write for a half hour before work and then a half hour on my lunch break. Then on the weekend I try to write more. Right now I'm finishing up revisions to a manuscript with the idea of cutting 3000 words. I'm almost there.

  14. That unplugging room is great. I like the advice of doing it in small bits. I'm sort of an addict, so I "reward" myself w/internet time only after I get a certain amount of pages done.

  15. Heather - I'll try to join you at some point. I did get some new writing done today - fill in the scene type writing. And a bit of line editing. I'm approaching 60K words on my almost-done WIP!

  16. Hello everyone! The unplugging was great on Monday, and Tina is going to do it again on Thursday at 12 EST. I hope some of you can make it.

    Shannon--sometimes I get the most writing done on the weeks that I have the most other stuff to do (and sometimes, not.) Good luck! I hope you can find a few hours here and there!

    Lola--welcome!! I hope you find some writing time, and feel free to join us Thursday!

    Natalie--It's amazing how productive small bursts can be, if you can quickly get back into writing. Good luck with it this week!

    Lori--I need to reward myself for everything--cleaning, writing, etc. It makes me wonder about my internal motivation... Good luck getting writing done this week! I hope you can come on Thursday--and I know that Tina is open to suggestions about times and days, so make sure to let her know if you would like to come, but can't make the times!

    Kris--Congrats on the forward progress--that's excellent! Let us know if you can't make Thursday--we'll chat about good times for you!

  17. This is a great idea! I used to think that if I didn't have longer stretches of time, I couldn't do anything. Now I'll open my MS if I only have 10 minutes. I can do a lot in 10 minutes!

  18. Elana--it took me a long time to stop moaning about not having a whole day to write. :) I have been surprised in what I can accomplish in 10 minutes! Sometimes I get lost in my writing, and feel like the whole hour is gone, and it's only been 15 minutes. Thanks for stopping by Elana! Good luck with your writing this week.

  19. Late to the party! Oh, well, but I have to say I've had a productive week with a timer. I've already written over 4000 words this week and I can taste victory! Of course, it helps to have a freaking clue where I'm trying to go with this story and I finally managed a breakthrough last week. YAY!