Writer’s Life: Five Things a Day

Do you ever get feeling you’re not getting anywhere? I’m one of those people who always has to have a goal. It’s not that I’m competitive, I sometimes wish I was more competitive than I am, but I need to have a project, a goal, something I strive towards.

I always say my life is chaotic and chuckle a little, but it really is chaotic. I have a husband who’s gone Wednesday to Friday one week, Monday to Wednesday the next, and Friday to Monday the one following that. I have a job where I never know from day to day if I’ll be working or not, some days I work 10-12 hours, others I don’t work at all. On top of this, I have four kids, one dog and three cats. It’s how I live, it’s not ideal for me since I’m one of those people who would pack her calendar to bring to a deserted island, but it’s the reality.

Sometimes it makes writing hard, it’s hard to find continuity, it’s hard to keep focus and I often feel as I don’t know where I’m at because I somehow fail to see what I’m doing as a whole. The only thing keeping it together is my indefinite lists, stick-its, journal pages etc.

So this month I’m trying out a new thing – Five Things a Day – to help me keep track of what I’m doing, and so far I really like it.

I was watching a video on youtube by Michelle Chouinard where she showed her writer’s bullet journal, and she was doing this five things a day thing. You can do that about anything you want, doesn’t have to be writing, but it’s to keep track and make sure you do five things every day to move you forward towards your goal.

I stole it from Michelle who stole it from Lawerence Block….so feel free to steal it.

I did one in October as a trial and decided to keep doing it. So here’s my Five Things November tracker. It’s a bit hard to see, but I have writing (of course) plotting, editing, reading, blogging, social media posts because I hate those so they need to go there, mailing to my mailing list, podcasts, info videos etc. You can add whatever you feel like, I’d say, and next month I might have other things in there. I actually have meditation in mine, not really writing related but I put it in there anyway.

And sometimes I don’t do five things, but it’s something to strive for.

Writer’s Life: Preptober Freak-Out

As many of you know November is National (though I would claim it’s a highly international event) Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo. People all over the world sign up to write 50.000 words in thirty days, that’s 1.667 words a day.

You don’t have to be a fiction writer to participate, there are other options – non-fiction, blogging, and I believe there is one for poetry too, though that’s in April (and probably not 1.667 words per day, or maybe it is, what I know.)

You can do anything you want as long as you write. Being in the reading community, I know there are those who do NaNoWriMo book reviews, and why not? As long as you write something, you’re good to go.

I did NaNo in 2015 and 2016 and I want to do it this year too. I told myself there is no way, I simply don’t have the time, but then the other day I signed up. I’m not saying I’ll do 50k in a month but I figured perhaps if I used half of December too… And I told myself to stand a chance I should plot.

I wouldn’t normally call myself a plotter, though perhaps not a pantser either – I usually have a few scenes roughly stretched out, a few cards made up in Scrivener, and then I make up the in-betweens, and most often everything changes along the way LOL.

But this year, since I don’t have any time to waste on coming up with things, I figured I should plot.

I’ve read up on story arcs, hero’s journeys, the sixteen personalities etc and I love doing that. I’ve studied literature at the University and I love reading ‘the behind stuff’. I’ve made notes in my journal, I’ve made notes on stick-it, I’ve drawn a bookshelf with fifty books to represent the 50k words I’m to write (because all the cool girls online have one) but I’m nowhere close to having plotted my story.

Really, two days to go and I don’t know what I’m doing. The consolation; I didn’t the other years either LOL.

Are you writing this year? Add me as a writing buddy! I’m here…I think.

Writer’s Life: Walk into Mordor with me!

“One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor”

 

Hobbiton
CC0 Creative Commons

Or maybe one does… As a writer, I spend a lot of time sitting down. If I don’t write, I plan, waste time on social media, read, organise my stick-its and lists (don’t know if I can blame that on being a writer) etc etc. The only thing I do while standing or walking is thinking and listen to podcasts.

I used to walk a lot, not having a driver’s license it’s how I get around, but two years ago we moved out into the woods and since then my walking has dwindled considerably.

Before I walked to the shop, I walked to work, I walked to playgrounds with the kids, and just about anywhere I wanted to go. Here there are no playgrounds, no shops, no real destination, really. Before it was transportation from one spot to another, now it’s something I do when I can fit it into my schedule, but looking at the raindrops crashing on the window it’s easier to convince myself I need to write instead of walk.

But, the thing is that miss walking, and a couple of days ago I stumbled upon a clip on YouTube about a walking challenge.

 

I’m going to walk into Mordor and I would love it if you did too!

 

Over at nerdfitness.com someone has calculated the distance Frodo and his mates walked when going to Mt. Doom and back and then to the Grey Havens. It’s a short little trip of 1779 miles, and I figured a Monday was a good day to start. To make it a little easier they’ve divided the distance into several parts:

  • Hobbiton – Rivendell: 458 miles
  • Rivendell, through Moria, to Lothlorien: 462 miles
  • Lothlorien, down the Anduin, to Rauros Falls: 389 miles
  • Rauros – Mt. Doom: 470 miles
  • Minas Tirith – Isengard: 535 miles
  • Isengard – Rivendell: 693 miles
  • Rivendell – Bag End: 397 miles
  • Bonus! Follow Frodo to the Grey Havens and return home with Sam: 467 miles

So I’m gonna expose my astonishing drawing skills and show you the spread I did in my journal. Each square represents one (at this point, unwalked) mile, and there are 458 squares. I’ll start out easy by walking from Hobbiton to Rivendell *snort*.

Walk into Mordor challenge by Ofelia Gränd

See you there!


Let me know if you’re walking into Mordor, too.