June Rodriguez
JUNE: I have written my list and I am checking it twice. This time of the year most of us are busy with all the holiday preparations and celebrations. With less then two weeks before Christmas my living room floor is dotted with packing boxes waiting to be filled with all the gifts I still haven’t finished up. So it is no surprise that my writing has taken a back seat to these frenzied activities. With a tighter budget this year I have resorted to making most of my gifts and even though this feeds my creative side it is not the creative side I really want to work on. Throw in a dash of family guilt for not fulfilling some time honored function and the holidays can turn into more of a bummer than a happy holiday.

If I can’t actually work on my writing I can still think about it. I will make my own list for after the holidays.

1. Do not start on chapter one again. When you lose count of how many times you have done chapter one you should not look at it again until you have finished the whole book.

2. Do you really know who your characters are? If you haven’t communicated with them in a while maybe this would be a good time to write them a letter or interview them for your local paper. The least you could do is friend them on Facebook.

3. Do you know how your story ends? No! Yes. Maybe. Well, how about writing backwards. Start at the end and work your way forward. Then you will have a goal to work for when you go back to the beginning (not chapter one).

4. Write one hundred words a day! How hard can that be? I can talk to a friend or lecture my children about something and have no problem exceeding that one hundred word mark, over and over again. So why can’t I do it on paper?

5. Seriously put my butt in my chair. Putting my butt in a chair has never been a problem. I do it all the time when I eat or when I am at work. I even put my butt in my writing chair all the time. But, very little of that time leads to actual writing time. I can call it research or networking or any other name (spider solitaire) but it still isn’t writing.

This may seem like a short list but it is a start. You could call it my New Years list but I would like to put it into effect as soon as possible.
DORI: Ah, if only we could put "write a New York Times bestseller" on our Christmas list and have our dreams come true. Sadly, even if Santa did exist this would be a feat beyond his abilities, unless we would be content with a lot of dialogue consisting of "Ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas."

The holidays are a hectic time of year, as June has noted, which has also made it difficult for our Friday critique sessions. Christmas choir concerts, out-of-town visits with family and other holiday activities have made it difficult for us to meet. Not meeting makes it easier to avoid writing. Good news is that the New Year is right around the corner ready with plenty of time, free of holiday distractions, to write. In the meantime, finding some time to write just a few hundred words here and there will not only keep our novels moving forward, but can be used as a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the season.

SARAH: HA!! If asking Santa for an NYT Best Seller title were a sure-thing, I'd give that man a WHOLE LOT MORE than mere cookies for Christmas!! *wink wink*

I've come up with my own slogan to help keep me driven next year! "Writing 'THE END' in 2010!"

I've been getting organized and have carved out a list of goals I want to attain for the coming year. I've posted said list on the wall above my desk to jog my memory when I'm tempted to sneak in a game of Bejeweled! Staying positive and focused are going to be key. We have the "tools" to accomplish our goals, now we just have to roll up our sleeves and get dirty! My rookie year was full of highs and lows. I think a lot of my struggle stemmed from not having a game plan ironed out from the beginning. This next year, I'm locked and loaded for bear! So, rack 'em if you got 'em, ladies, we're going hunting!!
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2 Responses
  1. Ladies, I'm with you all. Let's make 2010 our year to accomplish the big P--Published!

    I never thought about writing 100 words a day. How hard can that be? That's my new slogan "100 a day!" And I'm not going to stop until I attain Sarah's goal..."The End!" So Sarah, count me in. I'm in for the kill!

    Thanks ladies for the

  2. Hi Ginny, Thanks for hanging in there with us. Every time we pick up something new we will talk about it and post it. We like the idea of passing on anything we learn to other writers. With the start of the new year we have more goals in mind.

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