Eat Dessert First

I started writing my Draft That Must Not Be Named with this quote by Ernestine Ulmer in mind.

“Life’s uncertain …

eat dessert first.”

It hits the core of my story because:

  1. My MC has an uncertain life
  2. Her family has a restaurant that only serves desserts
  3. It tells me what I need to hear (over and over again)

I’ve always known I was a writer. I have been writing stories since I was four and never really stopped. I strayed away sometimes but always returned to putting words on paper.

So Irene (yes talking to myself here) why am I waiting to really pursue this goal?

To be honest: a part of me is afraid to fail. More honest: I’m trying to trick myself to not be me.

Which is stupid and crazy, but true. Maybe I’m trying to protect myself, or others, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t outrun myself.

So where am I?

I’m at a point in my life where I can face myself and no longer pursue time-consuming things that prevent me from writing. I have a job I like, a job that gives me the freedom to balance my life. Writing is going well. Editing is going well, my draft is turning into a story, it’s fast paced, surprises me at times and is really NOT BAD.

I guess it’s time to stand still, examine my surroundings with a fresh eye and eat dessert.

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North

I was going to name this post The Avocado Project part 2, but decided against it because nobody is interested in knowing how I killed my first attempt at growing an avocado plant by water depravation. Apparently they don’t last very long without it. And besides, I never got around posting part one, because I forgot (so part 2 is actually a stand alone and could be named part one, hmm..).

Since you’ve come this far, it probably means you are interested in my avocado project and I want to reassure you, there will be pictures if I succeed.

For those not interested in the avocado project : I’ll probably won’t.

For those who don’t like avocados: go away. I don’t like you. (kidding, please stay, pretty please)

Anyway, I was thinking about motivation, and how I can make myself do things. And by things I mean WRITING things.

It was triggered by this spot-on post by Alikay Wood. Like her I have the tendency to be lazy. In my defence: in previous lives I most definitely was a very fat cat.

How am I going to trick myself to do more of this writing thing. The first step is to pinpoint what has worked for me in the past. And I can think of one thing: grades. I like getting good grades. But I mostly like them when I didn’t work hard for them. You see?

I have a serious problem.

So what would help me achieve my I-want-to-write- for- a–living- dream ? It seems I need to be accountable and proclaim my goals to the world (or to anyone who wants to listen). Blogging also helps. It helps me focus on the path I want to take. It’s very super-easy to get distracted with life, but I have so much fun writing posts and reading those of others. It gets me in the mood for writing.

And that’s important. Because writing is my North.

Sometimes I’ll stray to the West or South on a different path, pursuing other life-things, but my inner compass always gets me back on track. Pointing in the direction I feel most comfortable and happy.

North, where the writing lives.

 

Sidenote: the word ‘very’ is like vermin but I’m on to it now. No more sneaking in between words. If you spot one I missed. YOU NEED TO TELL ME.

Breaking Down April

No, I’m not breaking down.

This post is to evaluate the goals I set for April.

Before I do this I’d like to underline that these goals were just there to give some direction and also to make me put in words what I wanted to work on in April.

As a reminder this was April’s Project:

1 – Make Plot Outline (for Editing Purposes)

2 – Edit First Draft (Obvious)

3 – Create Synopsis (Kind of dreading this one)

4 – Write a couple of blog posts (Because it is fun)

5 – Start short story/ new story (To distract from point 2)

And

Make a blog post about my writing challenge to see how many hours I spent writing/ how many words/ how many chapters edited.

I finished or started the things in green, but didn’t do the things in red because I wasn’t as quick in revising/editing as I thought I would be.. After one week of campnano I changed my goal to hours instead of words.

Let me break my April writing down for you in days:

Date

 

Hours What/why?
April 1

 

0 Because of hangover after birthday party. (I turned 34 on 31st of March)
April 2

 

2 Cut things. Also keep shifting things around in chapter 1 and 2.

 

April 3

 

2 Day job. Added some but also cut things. Moved things around.

 

April 4

 

2 Finally started editing for real. Chapter one mostly
April 5

 

2 Chapter one revised/edited
April 6

 

2 Chapter two revised/edited

 

 

April 7

 

2

 

One tiny blogpost. Chapter 3: delete/ repeat. Added some.

 

April 8

 

Weekend (0) House painting /chores ☹
April 9

 

Weekend (0) House painting/chores ☹
April 10

 

 

3 Tinkered again with chapter 1 & 2, and send it to someone to read.
April 11

 

 

4,5 Returned to chapter 3, added/cut/rewrite
April 12

 

 

1,5 Chapter 4
April 13

 

1 Looked things up/ get in touch with writerly feeling
April 14

 

1 Wrote Blogpost
April 15

 

1,5 Chapter 4 done, needs more revising in next draft but okay for now. Need forward momentum so on to chapter 5.
April 16

 

2,5 Chapter 5 started also some reading on WordPress reader to look for interesting blogs to follow (also known as procrastinating)
April 17

 

Minutes Easter things
April 18

 

Minutes Work and birthday party prep
April 19

 

Minutes Kid birthday party/ housecleaning/grocery/ watching Luther, because: Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson😊
April 20

 

Minutes Work and stuff
April 21

 

3 WordPress and a bit of editing.
April 22

 

3 Chapter 5 !
April 23

 

0 Work and stuff
April 24

 

4 Chapter 6
April 25

 

0 Kids vacation, went to a zoo
April 26

 

1 Kids vacation, zero concentration
April 27

 

4 Chapter 5 & 6 Done
April 28

 

4 Started chapter 7
April 29

 

2 Chapter 7/ WordPress
April 30

 

2 Chapter 7 done

What have I learned about my process this month? Well I’m a slow starter for sure. It took me FOUR days to realize that if I wanted to improve this draft I actually had to sit down and well, DO SOMETHING. And with that I mean, FOCUS and put words on paper. And even worse: delete everything that doesn’t work. (Which also took time, because I only really cut things when I send my work to someone else).

So by the time it was April 4th I had that realization and in the days that followed work was done. But then the weekend came around… In which I promised to help to paint and didn’t get around to write much. This is also true for work days and days when the kids are free.  It was a very busy month with loads of obligations but I still managed 50 hours.

Of course I could have done more, but I don’t mind. I like being hooked on watching Luther, going to the gym, meet friends, have dayjob (not liking that one), having 4 kids to entertain on occasion, having a relationship, read books.

And I’ve found some writerly friends! Some say Campnano is very different from the Big November Thing, and that’s true, but I really liked my cabin.

I would have worked on my story anyway but I’m glad I’d a group of people doing the same thing, dreaming the same dreams, fighting the same insecurities.

For May I’ve decided to just keep on keeping on. I learned that if I’ve longer stretches of time I get more work done, so I’m trying to get those this month.

May Goals:

  • Continue Edit on The Draft That Must Not be Named 😊
  • Make a Polaroid branch and blog about that project!
  • Blogpost about editing process part two
  • I’m going to Copenhagen this month, so expect a travel post by the end of the month (probably just pictures, because well Copenhagen!)

Ciao!