Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting It Done

I posted a bit ago about getting my writing done on my new work-in-progress (WIC), and how I wasn't getting any new writing done. So, I made myself an August resolution. It's not January 1st, but that's okay.

I put writing on my new book a priority instead of the last thing on the list. I also redid things so that instead of having a gazillion new emails from the weekend when I came to my computer on Monday morning, I would check emails a couple of times during the weekend. Now that may sound like a "duh" but I try to keep the weekends as family time.

But working through the emails during the weekend has worked for me. I also check them once before going to bed (reading) for the night. That seems to help, too, so I am overall pleased with my progress. And, instead of obsessively checking my emails every five minutes, I wait for a couple of hours, then check, and so forth.

I also am labeling my gmail emails that come through, and setting up files for them, so that I can keep track of the important ones.

In addition, I now have a "to do" pile, which I didn't really have before. Things were kinda scattered. It is for those things I need to get to, but aren't all that important, like typing a label for a file folder, or filing items. I go through that stack about once a day. On the more important side, I have my teacher's guide that I'm creating for my book, Guardian. Also in that stack is my current WIP folder, which I am pleased to say I'm getting to earlier.

Also (yes, I'm not done, yet), I joined Lea's challenge to write a novel from September 7 to October 7, 2009. That's caused me more butt in chair (BIC) than I had before, so I'm pleased about that, too. And, I'm writing more.

So that's how I'm getting it done. How about you? Any tips?


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Hi Katie. Good post!

In the beginning, I used to file every single email into a special file. About ten years later, I realized I never once rechecked those files. No time. Today, I have 1/4 left. These ones are important references that I'll need later.

I read my emails first thing in the morning. First I read the ones that pertain to me. Then I check my blog and visit all the new posts under My favourite blogs. I usually leave a comment or two.

I belong to several writers's groups. I crit the first chapter on each list. In between that, I do up the kitchen dishes, make sure Grandma has taken her pills, and then do the floors. Most days I throw in a load of laundry.

Then I edit my WIP. I start by reading over the last edited chapter, get my momentum, then line edit until someone interrupts. Usually it's the sun shining in the windows.

When I can't bare it any longer, I grab 3 autographed novels from online friends, take them outside to my comfy lounger, set Grandma up in the chair next to me, then a chapter from each novel.

Lunchtime, I fix Grandma (she's 93) something to eat, grab a snack, then get back to my edits. If someone calls, I grab my cordless phone and fold laundry while I'm gabbing.

It just occurred to me why my neck is killing me and why I'm not sleeping at night. I keep forgetting to take time out to meditate. Luckily, I pray before I get out of bed in the morning, or I'd really flop my way through the day.

lol, can't you always tell a writer from a reader: we never know when to shut up.

Cheryl said...

Great advice Joylene. I offer several time management articles on the Writer2Writer website if you're interested.

I personally use weekly to-do lists, which keep me focused. Right now book tours are front and center, as they help pay the bills; but I've started with two critique groups again, so that I am motivated to write. I didn't take Lea's challenge, but I am working with my friend Jean of StoryCrafters at she's using it as a way to help prepare for NaNoWriMo.

Good luck!


Donna McDine said...


Great minds think alike...LOL. To Do Lists are definitely key for me. It helps keep me focused. I also have my Task List in Outlook reminding me of important dates also, which gives me a double boot to get things done.

Am also signed up for Lea's challenge and it certainly is helping me to stay more focuseds on finally finishing my first draft.

Joylene...terrific point about not saving emails for too long. I tend do this and 99% of the time I never refer back to them.

Wishing you all success,

TerryLynnJohnson said...

No tips, but I love your outlook. Inspiring.

Unknown said...

How do book tours pay the bills? I'd love to do that. I've spent too much time lately procrastinating so it is time to put nose back on grindstone. I did my Edison/Westinghouse speech for Toastmasters, wrote one of two speeches (I write, they give me the info so that it is organized), for the humourous speech contest. I can't enter since I'm hosting the club contests.

Anyway, back to the post. It has given me some ideas of how to organize things a bit here.

Good post.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Good for you, Katie. Count me in with the list makers. I have a to do list of things I need to complete for the week then I make one for each day. My WIP is usually first in the mornings. I alternate between the three I'm working on now.

Then in the afternoon I try a bit of promo most days and personal stuff: Sunday school lessons, errands, etc. I check emails morning, noon, and evening.


Maryannwrites said...

Sounds like you have made great progress in getting focused, Katie. Good for you. But I am amazed at trying to write a whole novel in a month. Yikes. I can barely get an idea formulated in a month. :-)