I was thinking about my last post and I realized that maybe you could have found it too heavy and negative. This is maybe because you don’t know what my lists looked like at the very beginning.
I’ve been struggling since I can remember but until I moved to Ireland the lists didn’t include writing duties as I took my dream back only recently- well 7 years ago, as it is.
Plus, it might be that lately I’m a bit negative, I can give you that, but it’s a tough period. Anyway, believe it or not once I tried to write on a piece of paper how long would it take to complete each activity. Even if I kept a minimum the minutes dedicated to each voice in the list, the result was 52 hours per list! I know, it’s unbelievable!
I considered sleeping every second day but, as you have understood, I don’t work too well with hours short of sleep.
So I started to a drastically shortening of the list.
Little by little I was taking things off the lists and then try to spread the activities thorough all the week- since I understood I couldn’t do everything every single day.
But to give you an idea the following is a list, as far as I remember of course, similar to the ones I use to make.
So, in an average day I was expecting from me:
Getting up, showering, dressing
Cleaning the house (That was half size compared to the one I have now)
Cooking lunch and dinner
Studying English Grammar
Studying Spanish Grammar
Studying Japanese Grammar
Writing a blog post
Studying something for research
Drafting a manuscript
Doing some physical activity
And this is a shorter version than I remember for sure.
I think that I can be called the woman of the thousand lists. It sounds like an epic name, isn’t it? But as it happens all the times, at the base of the legend there is a hint of truth!
I’ve always done lists but it’s a complicated relationship. I love them, because they make me feel organized and in control and comfortable. However, at the same time they’re the things that can frustrate me more than anything else. The reason is that I never check all the voices I put into a list. I’ve never had and never will I guess.
The most common comment is that I forget I’m writing a list for a human being and I think that it might be correct. But I promise you, that I try to keep it in mind all the times. My major problem is that I’d love to do so many things that cutting the list becomes an impossible task itself.
Considering that last list was a disaster, the following time I put pen on paper I tried to focus very, very hard on what I really want in life. After that I tried to check first of all what the time I have for me every day is and I was shocked by the result. It happens that the only moment during the day I can claim for myself it’s Maya’s nap, something that can vary from 40 minutes to 2hours, if I’m extra lucky.
Taking into high consideration these factors and trying to avoid the other interests which were screaming in my head to be given at least a minute a month, I think I managed this time!
Surprisingly I can remember what I inserted into the list and how I divided the activities without looking at it, something absolutely not possible before, due to the high quantity of elements in it.
So the essential things I need in order to stay happy and continue to move forward, although slowly, are: writing, reading, studying and blogging.
As I said before the only moment I have for myself are Maya’s naps. So I figured that writing –and after that editing and serious planning and Nano’s session- and blogging –with regular posts, A-Z challenge and drafts included – are to be written during this spells of time.
This means that every day off I have (4 in totals each week) I must decide whether to write a blog post, dedicate it to a novel or to study Orson Scott Card. The latter is a temporary one because I borrowed the book and I feel bad I haven’t had the time to give it back to the owner yet. Eric sorry I’m almost there! Reading the book and not being able to underlining it takes me more time because I need to take more notes.
This leaves the side effects of blogging (mail and comments and visiting blogs), reading and studying aside.
Unfortunately I’m giving up to the fact that the last three voices need to be inserted whenever I have three second and that doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t have backfiring episodes.
So if I keep to be put on the desk on the working weekends I have an hour to sort the emails out and comment wherever is possible (of course if it’s not too busy, because obviously customers come first!).
I can read during lunch breaks, if I decide to skip the meals with my colleagues and in doing so possibly be considered even more asocial that I am at the moment. If I go to bed early, well when I manage to, I can read ten minutes before collapsing. Of course the latter is valid only when my partner let me do so, otherwise it’s like having a second kid needing constant attention.
And as for the study I decided that maybe I can use the smartphone as support, and download books and encyclopaedias on that and bring always with me a small notebook I can use to take notes when I’m using it. Not sure where to put this into the week though! I just thought that less is better than nothing. And I’m aware that it will take me ages but after all, if I’ve been working on my fantasy world for 7 years, 2 or 3 more years won’t harm anybody.
What do you think about that? Because I think it’s awful…sometimes I feel trapped in a cage. And the rest of the times I feel defeated.
If you have suggestions or if you see something I cannot see, please give me your advice!
According to the old yearly plan I abandoned and the new plan that I’ve just made and that I’ll share with you in the next blog, I’m due to finish the Horror Heritage novel I started during NaNoWriMo 2013. Although the yearly plan is changed, completing the draft is the highest priority for me.
The major problem is that I couldn’t remember the first part, as I wrote it so fast.
Because of that I had to reread the first five and half chapters in order to keep going, but I was shocked and it was in that moment that I decided to give myself a feedback.
The biggest problem obviously is finishing the book and then editing.
Of course, you’d say.
The fact is that finishing this book seems a huge and almost impossible task because first of all the time for me is drastically reduced and secondly I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing.
In my opinion, this story is boring until at least the third chapter and it doesn’t start with the classic “bang” required by the basic of writing, although it might get you curious on a point or two. I wrote a prologue but I’m not hundred per cent sure it can work.
There are many typos and mistakes and broken sentences that Maya could have done better, but let’s say it’s the draft stage and I’m going to fix them.
I know that the plot is good in a way but it seems I cannot get it right; there is something I cannot grasp of this book.
I have loads of doubts and it doesn’t seem the strongest story I’ve ever written but still I know that it’s a story that wants to be told. I fear that on some level it’s a trick of my subconscious trying to get time because it’s afraid of bring at least one book to the next level.
It might be so, but also I had an idea which could have explained where the problem lies: it’s the first person narrator and the present tense combination or this is my feeling about it anyway!
I was so excited about Hunger Games and the way it was written that I thought I would try. The first book I’ve ever written was in first person, it was a journal, but I used the past tense, which made me feel less awkward and freer in juggling with the events. I thought I would try with the present tense this time to build up more tension. But either this system is not right for this book or I’m not good in writing with this style.
I don’t know.
The prologue was great to give a few more details and also to give more depth to the story, but I’m still unsure.
After all I think that even if I manage to finish it, this book will be probably be a standalone and if I believe it right enough, at the end of the process I’m going to send it around looking for editors or agents.
For the rest of story, which might be nice to read, I have another idea that I promise I’ll explain to you in one of the next posts so you can give me a feedback.
But what do you think about what I have just said?
Is there anyone else feeling like me in front of his or her book?
Am I too harsh?
I’d love any kind of advice you can share with me in the comment and thanks in advance.
So after watching a heartbreaking episode of Breaking Bad I decided to stay with Maya even more. And today instead of a normal post I’ll show you this!!! This is her first baking session! She picked the shapes and cut some of them and also urged me to put everything in the same baking tray!!!
Mrs Myself decided to take part of the following post, there was nothing I could do to stop her.
Why should you? They’re happier to listen to me for sure!
A few post ago I told you my plan for 2014.
As it usually happens I might have done a few mistakes of judgment! I wonder when I’ll manage to make a plan that suits me perfectly!
Shut up Franny, perfection doesn’t exist!
It seems that I’m struggling to understand that for now Maya takes the most of my time. I mean, I’m aware she’s my priority but still I struggle because I’d love to do more of writing and reading.
Yes, you don’t understand, you idiot!
Second problem is that I have to understand that I cannot have everything immediately- to be honest this is a problem I’ve always had.
Don’t you think it’s time to sort this out?
Thirdly, sooner or later I’ll have to convince myself that I need time and effort to get what I want. Although it seems that some people have splendid innate abilities and that doesn’t apply to me, it doesn’t matter. I am who I am!
People don’t tell you everything! And if you don’t convince yourself, I’m going to strangle you!
Anyway, according to the plan I was supposed to start studying Asian countries, to finish jotting down my world building and late during the month I added the reading of the first five and half chapters of Horror Heritage, as I want to finish it this month and I couldn’t remember much.
I said it already and I won’t tell you again!
As you can see, although I managed with difficulties to check all the voices in the list, I’m changing the original plan, simply because I realized a couple of things.
The first one is that, if I want to finish the book, I need to know what I wrote in the first five and half chapters.
You all know that if you write something, in particular quickly, you seldom are able to recollect all the details! So that was an extra bullet point to facilitate the task of keep writing!
Of course! If you only had more time!
Second, as my friend Jo was pointing out in the comment of my previous post, it was impossible to think of doing such a big research in such a small amount of time. As I said though I don’t like waiting but good for me that at least I know when to stop!
I’m not sure you know that! And anyway, you aren’t able to do lists, why do you keep trying!
Since I have a fair idea of the countries I want already to use I think that I have to find a few more that can inspire me badly.
This is the beginning of the end!
So to make the choice in a shorter amount of time I decided to select some criteria to facilitate the task. I printed the list of the country of the world and I use random website to have a look at the folk tales, customs and traditions. If they inspire me I check the country in the list and then I’ll go deeper into details later on.
Great plan! Yes, of course!
And yet I’m changing again my mind because this seems a bit confusing as well. Likewise I’m trying to change the whole yearly plan for the same reason.
And of course you’ll change and you’ll change and you’ll find yourself in the same condition once more at the end of this train of thoughts of yours!
So that’s the summary for last month. What do you think about that? Should I stop writing lists? Should I keep trying? Have you any advice at all for me?
I’ll see you soon with the new and, hopefully, definitive plan and with my notes on the first part of the Horror Heritage personal feedback!
If I were you I’ll skip the next two or three posts!!!