Geeking out and gearing up


Last week, I wrote about my accomplishments in 2013.

Now I’m going to write a bit about what I want to accomplish in 2014.

First, I have to tell you about a few things I picked up.

One of the rewards from my NaNoWriMo win was a 50% discount on Scrivener. So I finally bought the software after being on the fence about it for a couple of years. Jack Whyte’s commendation of the program for research purposes was one of the things that tipped the scales in the favour of purchase. The discount didn’t hurt either.

I’m still working my way through the tutorial and sorting out exactly which project(s) I’m going to use it for, but rest assured, I’ll tell everyone about my experiences when I do start using it.  I know I won’t have anything to add to the conversation considering the cajillions who already use Scrivener, but I’ll put in a few words.

A few months ago, Jenny Hansen discussed how she uses OneNote to support her writing. I’m running a Microsoft box, much to my husband’s discontent, and I have the program, so I figured, why not use it? At first blush, it seems that several of the features of Scrivener and OneNote overlap, but we’ll see how they work together, and if they behave themselves.

I have Evernote too, but I find I’m using the webclipper a lot more then anything else. Again, we’ll see how the various programs work together. Or not.

Writing progress worksheet, ready to go

Writing progress worksheet, ready to go

I nabbed Jamie Raintree’s Writing Progress Template. I spent some time customizing it to my projects, and we’ll see how it goes.

I loved the ‘ding’ moment I had when I finished NaNo. I’ve also been following Dean Wesley Smith’s Writing in Public challenge. I think that I write quite a bit and it would be nice to see that progress reflected in concrete form.

I’ve been having fun with the technology. Yes. That’s the geek part.

Finally, I just purchased the Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents 2014. Guess what I’m going to do with that?

Now for the goals

I took a bit of a break after November’s triumph. I didn’t stop writing altogether, but I focused on getting my last original short story of the year completed and submitted. Oh! And while we’re on the subject – I managed to write or revise and submit 13 stories (3 of them on Dec 31, but I did it) thus meeting Kasie Whitener’s Just Write Challenge! W00t!

I also kept up with my blogging.

This weekend I’m spending time getting things organized and as of Monday, I’ll be back in the writing swing of things.

  1. Initiate of Stone. I’m beginning to hear back from some of my beta readers and so I will be revising the old girl once again based on the feedback I receive. That’s going to be a while in coming back from some readers, so I’ll focus on other projects until I’ve heard from everyone. I’ve decided to hold off serious querying until I get the next revision done. I don’t want to ruin IoS’s chances with too many agents by submitting a manuscript that’s less than ready.
  2. Apprentice of Wind. I’m going to start working on book two. It’s mostly drafted, but I have to assemble a few chunks I cut out of IoS, move them into AoW, and stitch everything together with an eye to structure. Revisions for IoS may further inform the work on AoW.
  3. Figments. This is the YA Urban Fantasy I drafted during NaNo. I worked from an outline I had written a few years ago. Beginning, ending and overall structure need some work before I redraft.
  4. Gerod and the Lions. This is the MG medieval I was working on while I waited for my content editor to get back to me last year. I only have a few chapters, but I have an outline to write to.
  5. Short stories. I still want to write a few short stories and attempt to have them published some time this year. I know I can’t always have as banner a year as I’ve had last year, but I can’t win unless I continue to play.
  6. Blog. I still want to revise/revamp, but my efforts from my first week of leave did not continue. I had other writing on my mind. I still have to update posts and pictures (to use my own or something in the public domain) and may actually be looking at a move to self-hosted WordPress, but I’m not going to put a timeframe on the project. The blog seems to be the first writing to get set aside and I hate making promises I can’t keep. I’m going to try to get back on the review and interview track as well.

This is going to be the first year that I’ve worked on so many things at once. It’s going to be a challenge, but I think I’m up to it. I’ve always been pretty good at switching focus between priorities, and I hope that moving between projects will keep the work, and my perspective on it, fresh.

All of the bits and pieces I’ve purchased or obtained (above) will help me on my way.

I think that being so devoted to one project for so long has been a bit of a detriment. I need to diversify.

I’ll let you know how it all goes.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Geeking out and gearing up

    • Thanks, Marilyn. I do husband my energy carefully, and I have the relative luxury of not having children. I get to be a bit selfish that way. Plus Phil really understands my need to hole up and do my thing.
      As far as the year goes, I hope for the best and plan for the worst. If anything goes half-way well, it’s an ace, and I celebrate. It’s a bit on the negative side of things, but that’s how I roll.

      Like

  1. This is amazing, Melanie! I’m so proud of you for making the time to learn technology and make it work for you. Most people don’t make the time up front, even though it often saves SO much time later. Good for you. 🙂

    And now I’ve got to go scope out Jaime Raintree’s template…

    Like

        • The spreadsheet? It’s good. If you don’t have more than 5 projects and no familiarity with Excel, you can pretty much use it as is.
          If you need to modify it, it’s helpful to know a bit about Excel so you can add columns, copy formulae, and amend the chart to include your new project (s).
          Once you start using it, the worksheet works seamlessly. Just put your word totals in the appropriate project column and the sheet will track it for you.
          Easy peasy 🙂

          Like

Comments are closed.