Thursday, January 1, 2015

What's in Your (Writing) Wallet?

We’ve all seen the credit card commercials that tell us we’re so much better off with one card than another. One gives us cash back or travel rewards. Another one might have lower percentage on unpaid balances. And another might have a higher credit limit – or none at all. What they fail to mention is that no matter which one we use, we’re still spending money in order to get those benefits. Sometimes we’re spending money we don’t have, which is never a good thing.

As we’re beginning the new year, we as writers take stock of our writing goals. We might have partially finished writing projects, or we might have ideas that we have yet to put on paper. This year I would very much like to complete three different books that are sequels to books on my backlist (all three are started and in various stages of completion) and another small project begun at my publisher’s request (I always try to accommodate those direct requests!). Those four projects are at the top of this year’s to-do list. And then there are those things that are simmering in the back of my mind – those “someday” projects.

What we actually get done depends on what’s in our writing wallet: time, determination, energy, and resources. Some of us have more time than others but lack the energy or the determination. Others of us have the energy, but need guidance and resources. At my stage in life, time is less of an issue, but sometimes my plans are derailed due to any number of things: breaking news, a good television show or movie, emails, and of course, marketing. Most of these are easily solved. I know I would get a lot more done if I’m not sitting in front of the television.

The smart thing to do would be to create and office space away from that distraction, with no phone, no internet, and no food! I can only imagine how productive I would be if I spent several hours each day there, oblivious to the world around me, immersed in the world inhabited by my characters. But of course, that would be unrealistic. I don’t want to be inaccessible to my family and friends, and I like to know what’s happening in the real world. As in all things, moderation is the key. As long as I devote some time on a regular basis, I’ll get the majority of my goals completed.

GRRWG’s Winter Nano challenge is coming up, so I’m going to spend time this month planning scenes that are needed in each of my unfinished projects, and then each day I’ll try to tackle one. I consider this challenge an important part of my writing wallet – it’s a tool that has served me well in the past, as long as I have a definite goal and plan in place.

So...what’s in your writing wallet?

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