Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Archive for the ‘Project 10K’ Category

Project 10K – Giving Up

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The car broke down, a ceiling fell down, and an elderly relative fell over. The car is fixed, the ceiling should be fixed, the elderly relative can’t be fixed. And then there’s the colleague off sick for whom I’m covering. October was a month full of stress and other stuff; a month where writing went out the window and its importance, or not, was brought into focus.

Why do I write? Because someone a long time ago said I could. I do not have a burning passion. I do not have a natural talent. It’s always fun to weave Thom’s prompts into a story, but it’s hard work meeting the self-imposed deadlines of Friday Fictioneers and the New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild. And that doesn’t touch on the other stuff I have on my to do list that I’ve been working on forever.

So I’m stopping. I’m taking a break. Currently working almost full time and travelling to visit the frail elderly relative we are desperate to get out of hospital leaves no time for writing, reading, and commenting on others’ work, so I’m off. There’s only so much a girl can do.

 

Goals for November

  1. Write nothing.
  2. Evaluate and assess whether I miss it.
  3. Take note of what else I do with my time.

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

November 5, 2018 at 7:35 pm

Project 10K (P10K) October – #amwriting

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September was a month of broken nails and split fingers. On the plus side, my boat-home now has three fresh coats of paint on the sides and front deck. The back deck needs another one coat and the roof probably another two. And my hands will recover in time.

I also did some writing and a bit of thinking. I have an idea for a new book, a complete departure for me, and I have started planning it. Unlike how I usually write, I am starting with character profiles and a story arc. These usually grow organically as I write, but this time I’m trying to be a plotter instead of a panster.

I have also decided to go back to school. I can write, I know that, but not well enough. I have been undertaking a number of online courses and am considering an MA in creative writing and am researching courses. I might go off the idea, and won’t start until next autumn, but I’ve made the decision to look into it further.

 

 

In terms of September’s goals, I approached an editor to read my WIP, and now have up to 12-weeks to wait for a reply. I didn’t get back in to looking at Scribophile regularly, but did read and comment on one piece. I kept up with FF and responded to the OLWG prompts, but not in good time. And starting to write this post finally prompted me to write the ‘writing jobs to-do list’ that first appeared as a goal in August. So that’s a win, even if I didn’t do it until October 1st.

 

Goals for October

  1. Complete character profiles of main characters of new book (KQ).
  2. Draw up story outline for KQ from start to finish.
  3. Write 5000 words of KQ.
  4. Read and comment on Scribophile at least 1-hour/ week.
  5. Participate in FF & OLWG.
  6. If I find a time bomb, contemplate to-do list and prioritise tasks.

 

Goals for September

  1. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers prompts. WIN
  2. Post responses to OLWG Sunday prompts by Thursday. FAIL. I’m changing my goal to making sure I take part rather than giving myself time boundaries.
  3. Login and look at Scribophile 1-hour/ week. FAIL
  4. Finish Iowa HWWF MOOC – submit last three assignments and read others’. Mostly a WIN – I didn’t submit the very last assignment but did have something drafted.
  5. Look for an editor for my WIP. WIN – approach sent.
  6. Create writing ‘to do’ list and put on the sidebar/ a new page, to keep me on my toes. FAIL, although it has been started and will be up in a couple of days.
  7. Have fun and not worry too much about low new word creation. Er…. WIN in that I didn’t worry too much about it. FAIL in that I’m not sure I had fun not worrying.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

October 1, 2018 at 8:01 pm

Project 10K (P10K) – September

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September is going to be another month of modest writing goals. With the air temperature becoming cooler, and hopefully more consistent, the boat maintenance that didn’t take place during the summer (or at any time during the previous two years because we were too busy lazy) has come to the fore. I will be washing, sanding, scraping and treating rust, and painting in any spare moments.

Setting out at the beginning of the month that writing has to take a back seat will ensure I don’t get upset about not getting much done. My brain is in the right place – I can’t do everything; sometimes the outside world has to take priority over my internal one.

I achieved most of my modest goals in August and the first three weeks went well, the last too a little awry. August was a long month and I got to see friends I haven’t in a long time as well as doing lots of walking and eating too much, so all was good 🙂

 

© Flights of Fancy

 

I realised last month that I need to focus more with my writing. I have a number of ongoing projects and need to concentrate on one at a time, rather than doing a bit here and there, to make progress. One of my September goals is to draw up the writing ‘to do’ list that I didn’t write in August.

I will stick with the August goals of participating in Friday Fictioneers and OLWG, and I want to commit to keeping up with Scribophile on a more regular basis. I also need to finish the Iowa University Moving the Margins MOOC. I have watched the talks, read the readings and contributed to the discussions, but I got a bit blocked on the last three writing projects. Ideas are bouncing around in my head. Hopefully during the next couple of weeks I will be able to get the ideas posted and receive some insightful comments from my fellow students who are also still finishing off the course.

 

Goals for September

  1. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers prompts.
  2. Post responses to OLWG Sunday prompts by Thursday.
  3. Login and look at Scribophile 1-hour/ week.
  4. Finish Iowa HWWF MOOC – submit last three assignments and read others’.
  5. Look for an editor for my WIP.
  6. Create writing ‘to do’ list and put on the sidebar/ a new page, to keep me on my toes.
  7. Have fun and not worry too much about low new word creation. J

 

Goals for August

  1. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers prompts – so I get one win. WIN
  2. Post responses to OLWG Sunday prompts by Thursday. Almost a WIN
  3. Keep up with Iowa HWWF MOOC. FAIL
  4. Have fun and gather thoughts for an autumnal push. WIN & FAIL. I had fun. The autumnal push has been postponed for a month.
  5. Put up goal measures/ to do list on the sidebar, to remind myself what’s to come, as I tend to mislay hardcopy versions. FAIL

 

Thank you to Gabrielle for hosting this challenge each month and keeping me planning.

Written by Sarah Ann

September 4, 2018 at 7:28 pm

Project 10K – August – modesty is the word

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My workload in July went up and writing went down. August has less work scheduled and there is time for writing. However, my other half is working from home all month so trains of thought will be interrupted and periods set aside for writing are likely to be kidnapped by different priorities.

Attempts to find an agent for my finished novel are on hold until after the summer. Having received detailed feedback from the agent who requested to see my full manuscript, I am now looking for an editor, as feel I could do with their insight in how to be ‘more show less tell’ in the later chapters. That search will begin in earnest in September.

I have signed up for the Iowa How Writers Write Fiction MOOC because I know I need to improve my writing, but have only completed Week 1 and the course is already at Week 3. I hope to be able to catch up and keep up. To wit, my goals for August are modest and nowhere near 10000-words.

 

© Flights of Fancy

Goals for August

  1. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers prompts – so I get one win.
  2. Post responses to OLWG Sunday prompts by Thursday.
  3. Keep up with Iowa HWWF MOOC.
  4. Have fun and gather thoughts for an autumnal push.
  5. Put up goal measures/ to do list on the sidebar, to remind myself what’s to come, as I tend to mislay hardcopy versions.

 

 

Achievements/ not from July

  1. Give up writing goals. FAIL – I wrote some.
  2. Pull self together and write some goals. WIN – here they are.
  3. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers, as that’s an easy one. WIN
  4. Respond to OWLG prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post – already a fail as today is Thursday and I don’t know what last week’s prompts were. FAIL
  5. Continue editing Nano17 and Nano14 as time allows. MASSIVE FAIL – no words were read let alone written.
  6. Finish the ‘just started’ short stories and edit them once. FAIL – ditto as above.
  7. Put up some bars over there on the right to show my progress and motivate me, because it’s a fun avoidance activity. WIN – we all need a bit of fun.

 

Thank you to Gabrielle for hosting this challenge each month. P10K is a great motivator for me, and I do have fun setting goals and keeping track of my writing. Goal achievement is a little more difficult and very patchy.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 2, 2018 at 11:02 am

Project 10K – July – #amwriting #amediting

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I was all prepared to post my July goals on time, and then the weekend happened and this week started, neither of which I am going to bore you with.

June was productive and good in terms of goal achievements and I was making notes of success as I went along so here’s something I prepared earlier…..

A week into June and I was struggling. I looked at some old drafts of novels that I had planned to submit to new novel competitions, and decided they needed way too much editing to get them to a standard I’d be happy to send off. I decided I needed to concentrate on what I could achieve rather than the remote chance of winning £30000. And then I changed my mind. A couple of mornings were freed up after meetings were cancelled and I got on and re-edited the first 11000-words of my NaNo17 novel, wrote a synopsis, and emailed the lot off. I expect to hear nothing back, but this did refocus the mind on a work that has been neglected since May. The re-edit of the opening words forced me to work through the stumbling block of disconnected thoughts that were words 12-15000, and I was back on track… until the next stumbling block.

Since writing that, the deadline for shortlisted winners to be contacted has passed…… and I didn’t hear anything. I’ve managed to edit a whole 2300-words over the past two weeks.

© Flights of Fancy

Back to earlier…

Mapping my weeks has been helping in that it focuses my attention and I get things done. However, the things that don’t make it from the ‘to do’ list to the ‘to-do-in-this-slot-now-without-excuses’ list tend to be forgotten. There has been no piano or Italian practice, as these have not been scheduled. Moving things from ‘to do’ to ‘to do now’ has resulted in me editing two travel pieces I drafted moons ago and sending them off, probably to hear nothing ever again.

One went nowhere, the other you can read here. 

I submitted my novel to a further 3 agents, heard back from a short story competition that I only just missed out on being short-listed and sent that story on to a publisher who has previously commented favourably on my work…. and who hasn’t been in touch since. I also looked at magazines to submit short stories to and found I have a Submittable account that I’d completely forgotten about, not that I’ve sent anything off. And I started both stories I set as a goal for June.

© Flights of Fancy

 

As I say, June was productive for writing. July has started off badly and so my goals for the month are modest.

 

Goals for July

  1. Give up writing goals.
  2. Pull self together and write some goals.
  3. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers, as that’s an easy one.
  4. Respond to OWLG prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post – already a fail as today is Thursday and I don’t know what last week’s prompts were.
  5. Continue editing Nano17 and Nano14 as time allows.
  6. Finish the ‘just started’ short stories and edit them once.
  7. Put up some bars over there on the right to show my progress and motivate me, because it’s a fun avoidance activity..

 

Achievements/ not in June

  1. Edit the remaining 37500 words of my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel. FAIL
  2. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post. WIN in ¾ of cases.
  3. Write two new short stories the ideas for which have been rattling around my brain for ages. ERM – I started both, but didn’t finish either.
  4. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts. WIN
  5. Submit my finished WIP to agents – another three. WIN

 

Thank you Gabrielle for keeping me on my toes.

Written by Sarah Ann

July 5, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Project 10K – June – #amwriting #amediting

with 7 comments

As usual, May has been a mixed month in terms of goal achievement. I have submitted more that three short stories. This comprised three flashes, which I consider only half a story, one to a competition (no success), and two online challenges. I also submitted four short stories of 1000-words plus: one to a competition, two to a women’s magazine, and one for consideration for inclusion in an anthology.


Working to the deadline of the end of the month for the anthology and competition entries, and these being new stories, made me realise what I’ve knew before – that I can’t do everything. By scheduling my time to get short stories written to deadlines I have neglected editing my novel. I therefore need to be more choosy around short stories and balance my time better if I am ever going to get another novel ready for submission.

In terms of submitting my current book, I have approached five agents this month as planned. I’ve heard negatively from two, positively from one, and await a response from the remainder.

I have successfully participated in Friday Fictioneers each week.

I have been late for all OLWG challenges – I scheduled my responses to the last two sets of prompts as I posted this.

I managed to edit a paltry 5% of my Nano17 novel.

 

On the plus side, a renewed focus on short stories resulted in me winning the mystery category in a competition.

 

Goals for June (much the same as May)

  1. Edit the remaining 37500 words of my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel.
  2. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post.
  3. Write two new short stories the ideas for which have been rattling around my brain for ages.
  4. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts.
  5. Submit my finished WIP to agents – another three.

 

Goals for May – summary of achievement/ not

  1. Edit the remaining 39500 words of my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel. FAIL
  2. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post. (I live in hope.) FAIL
  3. Write new short stories/ adapt old ones for short story competitions – enter three. WIN
  4. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts. WIN
  5. Submit my finished WIP to agents – at least five. WIN

 

Thank you to Gabrielle for this motivational challenge.

Written by Sarah Ann

June 1, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Project 10K – May #amwriting #amediting

with 4 comments

April has been good to me and I have achieved a lot of what I set out to do. This has been helped by me starting to map my weeks – breaking the week down into working days and the days into hourly slots that I fill with tasks. (For a technical explanation, the reasons why it works, and some examples click the links.)

To answer Gabrielle’s, of Flights of Fancy,  questions:

1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals? YES and NO.
2. Did you have fun writing? YES, and headaches trying to work out what’s going on in my NaNoWriMo novel.
3. Did the P10K help with motivation? YES. People are checking up on me so I have to perform.

 

 

I set myself four goals for April and achieved two of them fully. Submitting short stories to four competitions has resulted in me being placed in the Top 3 of the Blank Page Short Story Challenge, so I am pleased I got my entry in at the last minute and I am now willing people to vote for my story to win. 🙂 I have also submitted to all of April’s Friday Fictioneer prompts, with a variety of story types, and received some very encouraging comments.

 

 

One of my fails this month was to edit my 2017 NaNoWriMo novel. I lost the first two weeks of April to the Easter holidays and having some time off with hubby, so it is hardly a surprise I am behind with this task. I have also learnt that writing in a stream of consciousness way is a complete pain in the behind when it comes to editing and making sense for a reading audience. I am chopping and changing and about 20% through. However, having started, this is an ongoing goal and I plan to get the first edit completed by the end of this (next?) month.

My other fail was to respond to the New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after they are posted on Sunday. I think I managed this on one out of four occasions and, although I’m thinking about last Sunday’s prompt, I have only five lines of scribble to work with so that might well be a fail of 4/5.

 

Goals for May (in no particular order)

  1. Edit the remaining 39500 words of my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel.
  2. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post. (I live in hope.)
  3. Write new short stories/ adapt old ones for short story competitions – enter three.
  4. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts.
  5. Submit my finished WIP to agents – at least five.

 

To sum up my goals for April, were:

  1. Participate in Camp Nano – edit the 50000 words I wrote last November. I really don’t expect to get this done but I do need to look at this writing again to see if it has legs. FAIL
  2. Write new short stories/ adapt old ones for short story competitions. I have a list of 7 possible deadlines to meet, so let’s aim to enter 4. WIN
  3. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts. WIN
  4. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post. FAIL

 

Written by Sarah Ann

May 1, 2018 at 4:03 pm

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