Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cleaning Up

Kate Burns

Well, it's back to work time. Not yet back to school time for my daughter (seriously, who wants to be a teacher? I do!), but definitely back to the salt mines for me. Today, instead of doing one more social to-do, I took a large part of the afternoon to get some organization back into my home.

This gets me thinking about the new novel that I am working on. I am 5000 words in, and 'first draft plotted', so to speak, but the post-Christmas reintroduction to routine is a great time to jump-start the work on the novel, clean out the cobwebs of wrapping paper and last-minute gifts, and give myself the gift of steady, organized progress.

As a segue into my work, I am going to take some sage advice and reread what I have written so far, to get into the headspace. Then I am going to schedule -- gently and without breaking myself -- time every weekend to write. I will set a goal of a certain number of words, and build in time to reread what I have written the previous week.

With a full time job, a husband and an eight year old daughter, and several other projects looming in the January-to-March timeframe (including but not limited to: backstage work for a cabaret, a large family reunion that I am helping to host, co-authoring a short story with another author), I need to be both bloody-minded and practical.

I think it's a good idea to set not only some short term goals (word counts, etc.), but some medium and longer term goals as well. I want to do a 'quarterly edit' on the novel -- every 20,000 words, do a read-through and rewrite for continuity, character, spelling and grammar.

I am going to host a writer's retreat. End of February, five women needed. Weekend goal is to write 10,000-20,000 words. $70/writer, great location. Should be fun!

I have not made any New Year's Resolutions this year. But I am going to make progress. I am going to work hard.

It will take resolve.

Happy (and productive!) Writing,
Kate Burns

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