“Gotta Wanna” is the REAL Kickstart

Dear Reader,

When 2016 began, I jumped on board the goal-setting resolution-making bandwagon. I really thought thinking through and writing down what I thought I wanted to accomplish this year would get me started. Interest in my project(s) would provide momentum and keep me going.

Nope. It didn’t work out that way.

Some days, I’d beat up on myself. I was lazy, weak, not good enough, not willing to put the time and effort into getting the job done. Every way I could think of to give myself grief, I did.

Other days, I’d go completely in the opposite direction. Not doing anything to get closer to what I thought I wanted was perfectly understandable  because: I had health issues; my child needed me to pay attention to her right now; other things needed my attention more… The list goes on. And on. And on.

Then there were the rationalizations. For instance, I’d tell myself I had to read/see a certain (book, television program, blog post, email, whatever) instead of writing so I could see how this author did it, because I might learn something important. This was the big one.

Then I figured something out about myself. In order to achieve something, I gotta wanna. Over time, this wanting has to be compelling enough to pull me through or over any obstacles that might show up.

So, “gotta wanna” is at the top of my priority list to really understand. Once I get it, I’ll share.

Warmest regards,

Rosanne

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Bouncing Around in Time

Having a lot to say and being paralyzed by the accompanying mental chaos is almost worse than having nothing to say. I’m sitting here at my laptop not wanting in the worst way to waste your time, but figuring I’d better say something or you’ll forget I even exist (if you haven’t already).

I have three, four, or five areas of writing I’m currently supposed to be working in, depending on how I categorize them. If I break them out for you, it looks like this:

If I look at things from the standpoint of there being three areas of writing to focus on, they are two ghostwriting content sites, which call for non-fiction blog posts, and my own stuff, which is mostly two fiction and one non-fiction works-in-progress (WIP).

If I break things up into four areas, changing up the way I organize my projects, this is what I get: two fiction WIPs — one novel set in the tenth century and one novel set in the twenty-first century, and two non-fiction projects — short pieces I ghostwrite for others and a parenting ebook under my own name.

Separating my writing into five areas organizes my writing by individual project — one tenth-century novel, one twenty-first-century novel, one parenting ebook, one ghostwriting site that presents all different kinds of jobs, and one ghostwriting site that wants only blog posts.

The simple act of looking at what I just wrote makes my brain want to explode. I can’t help wondering, did Stephen King or J.K. Rowling (two authors for whom I have immense respect) ever deal with this sort of dilemma?

So, I drink coffee and dither and start to truly understand the phrase, “paralysis by analysis.” Do I work on one project at a time, full-time, to the exclusion of all else until I finish it, or divide my writing time among all the projects?

Decisions, decisions. I need to decide on my next step. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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Business Plan: Writing Goals Down is SUCH a Revelation!

Dear Reader,

I just learned something. In the course of planning for 2015 I did the math. According to the numbers, I can write the first draft of a book in 81.25 days (65,000 words in a book, 800 good words written in a day). AND I can do it without killing myself with an astronomical daily word count.

I can even slack off for (at least) 8.75 days a quarter and still make deadline. Give it three more months for production (beta readers, cover art, book design, and so forth) and I can publish a book every six months. That’s two books a year.

Before you freak out, these numbers apply only to me. They may be totally wrong for anyone else, whether that be too little or too much. Near as I can figure, though, this represents a decent challenge for me.

What a sobering – and exhilarating! – thought.

So much for excuses.

If somebody had ordered me to write two books a year, my oppositional-defiant-passive-aggressive persona would probably have kicked in and I would have balked at the very notion of doing that. By drilling down to the facts, I found out I don’t have to be a workaholic to get my stories out to you. I do need to be persistent, consistent, and reasonably disciplined in my writing practice. THAT I can do. Mostly because publishing two books a year is more doable than I thought. The fact that it’s my idea doesn’t hurt, either.

Many of us are chased off the idea of starting something because we’re afraid it’s not doable. Maybe, though, just maybe, it’s more realistic than we think. And so what if we don’t finish it in the timeframe we first allotted? Isn’t that what adjustments are for?

Time to jump on the production treadmill. I have a book (actually, lots of books) to write!

Warm regards,

Rosanne

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A reboot? Maybe….

Dear Reader,

This kind of wisdom doesn’t appear on our radar every day. In fact, it generates an “I knew that!” response from most folks. My question is, now that you’ve reached this level of awareness, what are you going to do about it? Let me know in the ‘Comments’ section!

LE360's Blog

I might not know a lot about you personally (okay, maybe nothing) but there’s one thing I can assume with certainty; you’re a thinker. And as you read my stuff, there’s something else I might assume with a high level of probability (but not certainty); you’re a periodic over-thinker. Or worse; a chronic over-thinker.

Nothing wrong with thinking of course (it kind of helps with that whole ‘living life’ thing), but there comes a point in the cognitive process where healthy thinking morphs into unhealthy (obsessive, destructive, weird, compulsive, anxiety-producing, fear-driven) over-thinking. Bells?

In summary…

Thinking: good.
Over-thinking: shit.

The science of Meta-Cognition is an area which explores the notion of ‘thinking about thinking’, (among other things) which is both fascinating and relevant, but to be able to put it into some kind of practice in the real world and create some kind of a positive outcome on a personal…

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I Do It All Myself…Or Do I?

43,747 words so far on my 21st-century novel. With Halloween only eight days away and NaNoWriMo starting in nine days, the momentum of the year is speeding up big-time. I’m bound and determined to get the manuscript of Ghostly Reunion into the hands of my Reading Team by November 1. I think I need more coffee…

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Five Stars for a Fellow Author

Because I had the temerity to actually write down my opinion of another writer’s work, I was invited to review the next story in the series. Yes! Here’s what I had to say about it:

Book Title: Blast From the Past
Author: J.E. Fishman
Publishing details: © 2014 by Verbitrage, LLC, Series 5.

Overall: A terrific story! Equivalent to five stars on Amazon.
Synopsis: Kieran Lehane is a NYC Bomb Squad detective with a canine (K-9) partner, a Labrador Retriever named Georgia. Ten years previously, Triangle Airlines Flight 699 was blasted out of the sky by a terrorist bomb, killing the 227 people on board. Now, just days before the ten-year anniversary, Lehane is certain the terrorists will strike again. Lehane is using personal time and resources to conduct what he considers a proper investigation. Trouble is, more than one very powerful person doesn’t want him to find out what really happened…
Story: Terrific! Engaging characters, intriguing story line, unpredictable plot twists, and a nice line in cop banter.
Writing Style: Smooth and polished.
Physical Presentation: I have been told more than once I am too picky when it comes to grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, formatting, editing, and revising. I found nothing in this ebook to pull me out of the story, which I consider the only important criterion when it comes to errors. Everything except the cover (the figure of the man was too old and jaded-looking to be a credible portrayal of the hero), pulled me into the story experience.
My Kind of Read: Right up my alley. Well-balanced, nicely-paced storytelling, great writing, and characters I want to know more about. I highly recommend this book, and impatiently await the next in the series.

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Teamwork and Balance

Dear Reader,

Yesterday, I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. watching a three-part documentary on the Women’s Movement. Back in the sixties I wasn’t old enough, or action-oriented enough, or savvy enough to participate in the demonstrations, sit-ins, or freedom rides. In my opinion, I have an enormous debt to pay to those who spoke up for women. Because of their determination, I have choices. I don’t take advantage of all of them, but they are there if I ever want to.

To me, though, a crucial element for success in the twenty-first century has yet to be expressed. And, to me, it’s a ‘well, duh’ insight. I’m referring to the interaction between men and women. We need each other. We are equally important to each other. We are different but equal.

Women can do some things men cannot do. Men can do some things women cannot do. As a team we are unbeatable. BUT! Let one member of the team get the idea they are more important, or their ‘side’ is more valuable and the team disappears. This kind of thinking opens the door for oppression, depression, discrimination, resentment, and violence.

What’s so hard about considering the point-of-view of another living thing? Hmmm????? When hearing another person and respecting where she or he is coming from becomes automatic in our dealings with others, we may have a chance at peaceful and prosperous co-existence.

And, yes, I really do think it’s that simple. Not easy, but simple.

Warm regards,

Rosanne

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Update: My Latest Projects

Dear Reader,

I haven’t forgotten you, honest! The last two months or so has seen me branch out in a few ways. It’s important for me to find the fine line between “just writing” and leaving everything else to the kindness of others, especially Janice, and doing everything myself .

I have three types of projects in the works at the moment. I think I’ve hit my limit in the writing arena:

1. One novel set in the 21st century. A little more than halfway finished. Reading Team invitees picked out, but not cast in concrete, so if you’d like to be a beta reader, let me know via this blog, my Facebook Author Page, or my Google+ Author Page.

2. One novel set in the 10th century. Not too far into this. The characters keep changing their minds about whose story this really is.

3. Freelance writing assignments. This is ghostwriting, pure and simple, but it provides a little cash and allows me to get paid to research and write. I’m learning how to write faster, too. Deadlines, and all that.

I have added a few other activities to the mix. Improving my website. Starting the elements of building an emailing list (MORE research needed!), devouring marketing info.

Pulling my hair out.

Until we meet again…

Warm regards,

Rosanne

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Working on Multiple Projects Needs a Split Brain!?

Dear Reader,

My respect for writers who juggle more than one project of more than one type of writing (fiction, non-fiction, long piece, short piece) has grown considerably in the past week.

I have signed on to three freelance Internet writing sites and am making myself available to write articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and nonfiction ebooks for client companies. At the same time, I’m trying to keep up with my novel-writing projects. “Multi-tasking” has taken on a whole new meaning. The mindsets involved in writing short and long pieces are two very different things. Longer pieces allow you to delve into background, explore more complex situations, and provide more detail on whatever subject you’re writing about. Shorter pieces force you to be concise and to the point, even when you’re writing in a conversational style.

Both fiction and nonfiction require research to add to their believability. Fiction research is subtle; it adds, among other things, depth and richness to the story and is more or less in the background. Nonfiction research, on the other hand, is in your face with facts, data, and information that needs to able to be readily verifiable. In fiction, it doesn’t have to be true, but it has to make sense. In nonfiction, it doesn’t have to make sense, but it has to be true. 

I have already learned I have a lot to learn. But that’s a big part of why I love the writing gig. So! I’ll keep writing, learning to multi-task, and re-learning how to write to deadlines. I do hope you’ll keep reading.

Warm regards,

Rosanne

 

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Learning About Flash Fiction

Dear Reader,

This morning I stumbled across the phrase, “flash fiction.” I had no idea what it was, so my curiosity – and ignorance – prompted me to research “flash fiction” in depth.

Several hours later, I am pleased to announce I have a working knowledge of what flash fiction is: a very short (usually less than 300 words long) story.

I have always tried in my novels to make every word  pull its own weight, but flash fiction writers take this concept to a whole new level. So far, my favorite flash fiction is a six-word story by none other than Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

I’m going back to the drawing board, now, and figure out how to say more with fewer words.

Warm regards,

Rosanne

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