Month: July 2014

Summer’s almost over

3 more days… then it’s back to waking up at 5am! I’ve been desperately trying to get my sleep schedule back on track, but I continue to struggle to pull myself out of the bed before 10am. At this rate, I’m not too hopeful about correcting that by Monday, but that’s what pre-planning week is for,  getting used to waking up… that, and going to meetings, and getting my classroom set up, and preparing my syllabi, and blabbing away at open house, and getting ready to meet 150 bright eyed 14 year olds on August 4th.

Summer has gone by pretty quickly. I didn’t do, or go anywhere particularly special, but I can’t complain. It was a good break. I am disappointed in how incredibly lazy I’ve been. You’d think, with 6 weeks off, I would at least keep my apartment pristine and work out regularly, especially considering that I didn’t go out of town, at all. Nope, I spent quite a large amount of time sitting on my bum. I can already imagine the burn I’ll feel in my calves and feet when I go back to standing on my feet a minimum of seven hours a day. Granted, I wasn’t doing absolutely nothing while lounging on the couch. I’m very proud of the time I’ve spent working on my manuscript and I’ve been doing very well in grad school. This week I was even able to get a head start on some back to school stuff. I just have to find some balance. Gotta make time to clean, time to eat, time to read, time to study, time to write, time to work, time to take care of myself, and time for friends and family. I’ll be a stressed out mess if I can’t develop some kind of consistent routine.

This weekend will be particularly busy as I try to get my life in order before Monday. I’m still trying to hit 30,000 words by Sunday as well. With a current word count 26,538, I going to have to have a couple of spectacular writing days. :-/

Wish me luck!

-ED

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Reading Challenge?

I need to read more.

I love to read, but I don’t do it as much as I’d like or should. I’ve probably read far fewer books than most aspiring authors and writing my first manuscript has definitely exposed a need for me to read more, but not just casually. I need to read attentively, making note of style and pacing.

Since I’ve been all about goals lately, I thought I’d set a reading goal to be accomplished by the end of the year. I’ll be extremely busy (grad school, teaching, coaching, writing) and I’m not sure what a reasonable goal would be, so I may tweak it as time passes. Right now, I’d like to read 10 books by December 31st (counting The Spectacular Now, which I started last week).  As a teacher, this last week and a half of summer, fall break, Thanksgiving break and the first half of Christmas break will surely knock out 5 or 6.

I imagine that most of the books I choose will be popular YA fiction, one because I’m writing a dystopian YA novel and two, because I teach 9th graders and I like keeping up with what they are reading, plus it gives us a good talking point other than biology now and then (even better if the book ties in with biology). I also want to do a few rereads so that I can take a closer look at some old favorites, but I won’t count any of those toward my 10 book goal.

Yay for goal-setting!

-ED

P.S. Something sure felt nice about reaching the 100th page of my manuscript today (25,899 words). 🙂

Bookmarks for landmarks! #2

Finally! 20,000 words! It took longer than it should have (24 days to be exact, which averages out to a little over 400 words per day) but I’ve reached my second mini-milestone. Yesterday I popped into a Starbucks while my boyfriend went on a big job interview down the road. I was able to pump out 1,900 words in an hour and a half. Maybe a change of scenery needs to happen more often.

Bookmarks for landmarks

Bookmarks for landmarks

Now it’s time to set a new goal. Doing this actually brings me some joy so 🙂 🙂 :). I have to go back to work July 28th. I’m feeling pretty excited about the start of a new school year but I’m definitely set to enjoy the rest of my break. I have 19 days before my days get pretty hectic; you can count on a separate post about how the heck I’m going to keep up writing while in school, working full time and coaching sports. Anyway, these last 19 days will not be obligation free either. I’m taking two summer graduate courses that end on the 31st and I have every intent to complete all my assignments before I go back to work too. That noted, I’m shooting for another 10,000 words. I know I won’t get there by writing everyday, especially when the school work piles up, but all it takes is a few very good days and I think I’ll have some of those.

(more…)

The struggle is real

I’ve had a rough time writing as much as I’d like to lately. I could give twenty different excuses for not writing everyday but none of them are 100% legitimate so I’ll skip it. The bright side is I have made some forward progress and I really enjoy writing when I’m able to get into a flow. That’s big. When I was stressing over making certain word counts, I found writing less enjoyable. I think I need to find a balance between writing organically and maintaining some degree of structure. I’m sure a big part of what makes it enjoyable or not has to do with whatever scene I’m working on. I spent a good bit of time writing chaos and despair and got a bit frustrated with it. Now my main character has just met her future love interest and it’s been fun trying to plant the seeds for that. It’s refreshing to bring her a bit a peace after a rough start, unfortunately it will be short lived but… that’s how the story goes. 🙂

Anyway, in the spirit of changing things up when they aren’t working, I’m going for setting random goals instead of the same old thing day after day. Random goal #1 : hit 20,000 words by this time next week. I’m currently at 17,463, so that goal isn’t very big, but grad school has been demanding and I’m not sure what will be going on for July 4th weekend. The World Cup is still a huge part of my life right now (despite the downfall of my beloved USMNT yesterday) but at least it’s not 3 games a day everyday anymore.

I’m gonna get this manuscript done, however long it takes.

-ED