Sarah Ann Hall

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

Posts Tagged ‘WIP

Project 10K (P10K) – September

with 3 comments

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.

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Written by Sarah Ann

September 4, 2018 at 7:28 pm

Project 10K – August – modesty is the word

with 6 comments

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

with 5 comments

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 – April #amwriting

with 3 comments

© Flights of Fancy

 

March turned out to be more productive on the writing front than I could have imagined. At the end of February I decided to give a month’s notice to reduce my paid working hours come April. The universe had different ideas and I immediately lost my three times a week client, so March provided me with lots of writing time and I was able to meet my goals:

I have finished reading through my WIP.

I have entered some short story competitions and written some new words, albeit not too many.

I have looked at old short stories and started to edit a few.

I am a happy bunny as I go into April, although I do not expect my writing to fare that well this month. The next two weeks are the school holidays so hubby is home and we are entertaining friends and family. Having posted quite regularly in March, I expect my April posts will be infrequent, but I live in hope.

Putting my goals into numerical form with a bar to show how much I’ve achieved has been a great incentive as I’ve seen how far or not I’ve progressed, and I will be attempting to define my goals similarly for April.

 

Goals for April

  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.
  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.
  3. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts.
  4. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post.

 

With thanks to Gabrielle for keeping me motivated and on my toes.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

April 1, 2018 at 5:32 pm

#WorkLifeBalance Revised

with 16 comments

February provided some time for reflection and prospective changes at work forced me to re-evaluate what is important. What do I want to do with my life? As I gallop thought middle-age, I am still waiting to find out what I want to do when I grow up. Where paid employment is concerned I have always gone with the flow and grabbed any opportunity going. I adapt and learn, become good at whatever I’m doing, but am prepared to move on, never having been wedded to the perfect job.

As the focus of my current role changes, to one I am not happy with, I have decided that my writing has to come first. I am in the lucky position of being able to pull back from work for a little while to focus my energy on my words. The last time I wrote full-time I started to go a bit nuts with the social isolation and went back to work because I am a boring person to spend all my waking hours with. Now the balance has shifted too far towards work and I am losing the time I need to write, hence the current re-evaluation. I’m not sure how this will work out, but I know I need to re-focus on my writing to make progress. And who knows, I might even get back to my Italian lessons as well as some long neglected piano practice. I have continued with crochet and, after most relatives and friends received crocheted Christmas decorations, my favourite work colleagues are in line for crocheted leaving presents. Please feel sorry for them.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

March 17, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Project 10K – March 2018

with 6 comments

Oh dear, I’m even later this month although I have been thinking about my Project 10K post for a while, even before the end of February. Of the three tasks I set myself, I completed one and a half:

  1. Participate in the remaining Friday Fictioneers challenges for the month. YES.
  2. Finish reading to the end of my novel so it is pitch perfect again. NO.
  3. Write/ submit some new short stories. YES and NO. I started writing two, submitted one, looked at deadlines and got no further.

© Flights of Fancy

 

So my tasks for this month are the same as for last. However, I have given myself a word target as incentive. Seeing how well I’m not doing will help me focus.

  1. Read through WIP to the end. – 49000 words!
  2. Look for short story competitions. Submit two stories by month’s end.
  3. Contribute to the OLWG challenges in good time and not a month after the prompts appear.

I am stupidly thinking of signing up to Camp Nanowrimo next month so need to get the WIP out of the way and pull myself back into setting goals and sticking to them.

 

To answer Gabriele’s monthly questions:

  1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals? Yes and no.
  2. Did you have fun writing? Yes, writing stories in dialogue for Friday Ficitoneers has been challenging.
  3. Did the P10K help with motivation? Yes, but I should have organised my time better.
  4. Anything else you want to tell us, questions you want to ask? I’ve had a work-life balance rethink, which will be the topic of  soon-to-be-posted post.

Thanks to Gabriele at Flights of Fancy for Project 10K and keeping me on my toes, even if I’m always lagging behind. I’m off to read Chapter 11 of my book now….

Written by Sarah Ann

March 12, 2018 at 2:17 pm

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