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( Jan. 18th, 2017 08:30 am)

 

Wednesdays are going to be my week in review, moving forward. It’s a good day to stop and take a look at the last week (Sunday through Saturday) and see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished).

 

Last week, I was sick, so this week in review is not going to be as long as some of them. I lost Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday to the ick that I’m suffering from, so there was no writing. However, I did finally figure out how to do the corner-to-corner crochet stitch, so I got three squares done for my first afghan for Hooking for the Homeless, which was good.

 

Writing-wise, I got … nothing. I wrote blog posts for the week, and that was about it. But that’s okay – sometimes you need to do that in order to recharge.

 

This week, I’ve got the following planned:

  • Pitch a book to a publishing group
  • Write blog posts for the upcoming week for both the Patreon and this blog
  • More squares for the afghan
  • Write the pitch for Well of Dreams
  • Start the outline for Well of Dreams

We’ll see how I do in a week.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

Chateau Miranda, Celles, Belgium

It’s a new year. I’ve already started to do things a little differently – set up a new theme here on the blog, and added a button at the top of the page so you can follow me on Patreon if you’d like. There will be new stuff on the Patreon coming soon, as I’m planning on writing 3 new novels this year: the first Resonant Frequencies book, the first novel-length Pendragon Casefiles book, and the next Advent story for December. In addition, I’m going to start blogging regularly, both there and here, about my writing process, being a writer while having a day job, and anything else that happens to catch my fancy.

 

The goal is to blog here on Sundays and Wednesdays, and on the Patreon blog Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Patreon blogs will be set to Patrons only, so be aware that if you want to see those, it will cost you a minimum of $1 a month. But hey, that’s not a lot, and if you do, not only will you get the blog posts, but you’ll get new stories once a week! Because on Fridays, Patrons will get the next chapter of my new book.

 

I’m not abandoning this journal, so don’t worry about that. And the December Advent story will be held here as well. But it’s time for me to start expanding and taking this writing journey a bit more seriously, and that means getting organized. In fact, some of my first blog posts might be about that.

 

What are your plans for this year? Feel free to share in the comments!

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

 

Yes, I’ve gotta catch them all too. It’s fun, and I need some fun in my life. Besides, it’s something hubby and I can do together. And it’s good for us. I’m Team Yellow (aka Instinct) and if you want to find me, I’m CassieHobbes.

 

I’m also recommitting to writing (again). I’ve discovered that it’s just something that I need to regularly recommit to. So I’ll be in my writing studio, and hopefully I won’t get distracted by the Pokemon wandering around outside. (It’s so hard though!)

 

I’m starting to work on the rewrite of the second Advent story, now titled Winter’s Storm. And I’m outlining the sixth (!) Advent story for this year. This year, it’s going to be pretty interactive, so keep an eye out on the blog! And we’ve got the e-book and audio book of Winter’s Secrets that are coming! So much stuff!

 

Which is, of course, why my brain is suggesting a bizarre post-apocalyptic story. *headdesk*

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

writer

I’m currently sitting in a comfy chair in an infusion room at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, with an IV in my arm, waiting for my next Remicade infusion. It’s raining outside, and as I’m on the 6th floor, I have a lovely view of the parking lot, and the rain. (Hey, at least it’s not snow. I don’t have to shovel rain.) Days like this, when I’m due for my medication and it’s grey, and I’ve had a very busy weekend, I’m usually NOT wanting to do anything. I want to just curl up in my chair and let the Benadryl take me away into dreams, but I’m still working on deadline, so no sleeping today.

I’ve also been re-reading The Artist’s Way – I am feeling…not blocked, precisely, but more unsatisfied. Like I know there is more I could be doing, but I’m stuck in the “don’t wanna” phase. I want to have this book done. I want to have the next book done. I just don’t want to write it.

At the same time, I don’t want to not write. I love writing. I love it when the words flow, and I love it when they don’t, and every page is a struggle, but it’s there and it’s blood and you can see it. It’s a tension within me, and the more days I go without writing, the more I hurt. And it’s a mental hurt, that slowly twists within me to a physical hurt. And I didn’t realize WHY, until I looked at The Artist’s Way and realized I haven’t been doing morning pages or artist dates or really anything other than slogging through life and work and BLEAH, as Snoopy would say. Not the way I want to live my life.

Part of this was what happened this weekend. Birka was this weekend, and it was a mixture of sad and happy things. The sad was going by the empty chair outside the merchant hall that someone had written “Uncle Olaf’s Chair” on, since Baron Olaf, who started the event and was almost always there, passed away suddenly in December. The happy was two-fold – I was feeling well enough that I didn’t need to “recover” so much from running around for two days straight, and I was inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent, a service order in the Kingdom. My whole family showed up! It was awesome! And best of all, my mom passed along her medallion to me. I will cherish it.

But it showed me that life is fleeting, and that you can’t make excuses, or one day, there won’t be any more time. So morning pages are going to start again. I’m going to plan an artist’s date for myself, even if it’s something as simple as going to the library and browsing the books, or going to Gibson’s and coloring in one of my new coloring books by myself for an hour. It’s time to start refilling the well.

I start editing a new piece for a friend this week too, which I am SUPER excited about. And I’m putting together a website for another favorite project that I’ll be able to link to soon, I hope. I need to finish the Winter’s Secrets rewrite, and then it’s on to working on launching a Patreon project. I have plans, and I don’t intend to not work on them.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

Of course, this could be titled “Why can’t Val do anything on a regular basis?” I seem to have issues with regularity, and I wonder why.

 

It could be that somewhere in my dim, distant past, something linked “a regular routine” with “boring” and I HATE boring with a fiery passion. And yes, I know that routine doesn’t have to be boring. I just don’t seem to be able to stick with it.

 

However, I am not a quitter, and so I’m trying again. With some differences, of course – if it hasn’t worked before, why would I try the same thing? Also, see boring, above. This time, I’m leaving my laptop at the studio, forcing myself to go in. And I’ll be doing my blog updates at the same time as my writing – they may not be long, but dammit, I’m going to update! Starting today.

 

I’m on the tail-end of pneumonia (yeah, in the summer. I’m talented, what can I say?), and I’m coming off a low that is partly sickness, partly sadness, and partly frustration. My new goal is 250 words a day. I’m on the Magic Spreadsheet again, and I’ve got a couple of projects that I’m working on. I have an editor for Winter’s Secrets, and one of the projects in the queue is the wedding of the summer – Molly and Drew are getting married on July 25, and they hope you’ll be there for it! There’s a 6-day Summer Advent story that will be going on, and there will be at least one prize (come on, you want one of their wedding favors, don’t you?), so keep a look out for that!

 

Okay, I’ve got a lot to do today, so off to the word mines!

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

In a way, I’m lucky.  My day job doesn’t come home with me.  I go in, I deal with people, and I go home.  It’s not something that I can bring home, nor is it something that I have to really schedule (lucky me, my day is scheduled for me).  So articles about how to “work smarter, not harder” are ones I read with an eye towards my second job – writing.

 

What brought this up?  I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately.  I belong to several writers groups, and all of them feature folks who write faster than me.  I don’t write fast.  A good day for me is about 2k.  I’m not someone who is going to be regularly pulling a Lowell (10k in a day) or more.  I don’t win NaNo on Day 3.  And sometimes, watching these word counts, I feel (a) jealous; (b) like a fake; (c) like I should be doing more; (d) a total failure.

 

Now, before everyone rushes in to tell me it’s okay, trust me, I know.  I’m not a failure.  I’ve got a full series published.  I can finish stories.  I know I’m not a fake, and that everyone writes at their own speed.  But it also got me to looking at HOW I write, and what I can do to maximize the writing time I have.

 

I confess, I’m an internet junkie.  I love to have a writing chat room up while I write, and I’m constantly checking Facebook (I fell off the Twitter wagon when I didn’t have an Android phone for a year, and still haven’t really gotten back into it).  I’ll write with the TV in the background.  I’m a true multitasker – which really isn’t good.  (Case in point – while writing this blog post, I’m eating breakfast.)  And I’m sure it affects my writing.

 

One of the things I recently read (and of course, now I can’t find the link, oh well) was talking about scheduling rather than making a to-do list.  I don’t do this, because I am terrible at estimating how much time something will take me.  Seriously.  So what do you do when you’re me and terrible at something?  PRACTICE!

 

Starting tomorrow (because I will be out all day today, hence the blog post while writing breakfast before I run out the door), I’m going to start scheduling my time, and then seeing how close I came to it.  I expect the first few weeks to be hysterically inaccurate, but that’s okay.  That’s how I learn.

 

How do YOU maximize your writing/crafting time?  Any hints?

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

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