Words and pictures – as this #ROW80 ends

ROW80So, as this Round of Words comes to a close, I continue the edit of this manuscript. It needs a lot of rewriting and I struggle with that, but I’m determined to polish it up.

I am also preparing some illustrations, which is engrossing. Not illustrations from scratch, fortunately, but images reworked from photographs I’ve taken previously. I am not really a visual artist, but I have some background in graphic design and I’ve worked on images for ebooks before. Anyway, this takes up a lot of time as well.

I suspect I’ll still be working on both editing and images when we start the second round on April 6. In the meantime, best wishes to all on your projects. Here’s the blog hop link for today’s check-in.


Editing and random notes

ROW80Well, I guess there was good reason for my inability to finish this manuscript, because I’ve started my edits from the beginning and I’m going through my pages of random notes, and there the mss. needs a lot of rewriting. What’s here is good, mind you, I am hitting the points I want to hit, but structurally there’s still a lot of confusion and muddled approaches, all of which need to be straightened out before I can proceed.

I have to admit that editing is always scary for me, since it involves looking at my work objectively, without either horror or adoration. Getting into a good frame of mind for that is hard. But that’s what needs to be done, so I am determined to work my way through it.

Here’s the blog hop link for this check-in. I’ll post again about how things are going, and look forward to the next round.


Choosing to trust

ROW80Hello, ROW80 folks! I’m going to change up my goals for the final weeks of this challenge, because focusing on word count is not working for me right now. I need to edit, which inevitably involves both adding words and cutting them, and so the word count itself doesn’t show the progress being made, or not being made as the case may be.

So I am shifting to one blog post per week, to check in about progress. That may include a word count if significant new words get made. But it may also be hours spent editing, or percent of the manuscript that is roughly finished, or any other measure that seems to work at the time. My over-riding goal remains the same: to finish this one manuscript without stalling or getting distracted by shiny squirrels and popcorn kittens.

I chose to trust my own process towards that goal, so if new words aren’t happening, I’ll focus on what is. That seems like the best way to proceed.

Here’s the blog hop link for this check-in. Hope the work goes well for all of you, and I’ll check in again next week.


Making progress, changes ahead

ROW80My production of new words remains kind of slow. In the past week and a half I’ve finished just under 800 words. I’m judging that as okay progress though, since I’m thinking through the end of my manuscript and looking forward to illustrations and editing.

I had the unpleasant experience of hitting a wall that I know only too well: the point in the midst of everything where all your words look horrible and you hate everything you’ve written. I’ve had this experience with every damn thing I’ve written, and I know from talking with other writers that it happens to nearly everyone. When that feeling comes over me, I tend to run away. It’s brought me to a halt far too often, and I’m determined not to let it stop me again. I also know from experience that if I push on I can usually get past it. Finding the will to push on can be hard though.

Anyway, I’m thinking a lot about the next Round of Words, because by then I figure I’ll be deep into the editing and illustration phase. How will I set my goals then? Will I feel the need to write new words, even if it’s on another project? If I try to do that will I upend my work on this book? I am unsure but I guess I’ll face that question when I get there.

Here’s the blog hop link for today’s check-in. Keep writing, all you writers!


Progress and restructuring

ROW80Some progress on new words this week, 888 total on the book which still leaves me behind my ROW80 goal by 1112 words. But that’s not the important thing that happened this week.

I think I finally see the general outline of the rest of the book. Remember, this is a nonfiction work so my task is to present all the technical and explanatory info I need, and nothing more. I was aiming for 65,000 words pretty much at random, because I needed a goal of some sort. But now I think I’ll hit the end way before that. Current estimate is that the book will end up closer to 45,000 words. If I’m correct about that (and I’m pretty sure I’ll be within 5k of that target), then I’m way closer to the end than I had thought.

I’ve adjusted my Arbitrary Widget to reflect that fact. And I’ll keep working to hit my 1000 words/week goal, to push through to the end of the writing wherever that end is. But some of what I’m experiencing as a slowdown is actually my internal work of figuring out what I need to write. I have a hard time figuring out which of those two things are going on sometimes, and I worry that I’m not getting enough done when in fact the work is happening in my head.

Reading back through the draft I see that it is (unsurprisingly) a mess, so the editing process that comes next will be intensive too. But that’s a worry for another day. For now, I’ll keep chugging on.

Here’s the link for the blog hop for this check-in. I hope everyone’s work is going well.


Getting in my own way

ROW80Really, you can count on this happening with me almost every time. After two weeks of really solid progress, I got nothing useful done this week (laundry doesn’t count!).

It’s not that I didn’t have time, because I honestly have all the time I need. It’s the trap in my behavior that wants to stop once I have momentum.

So again this week I start with a word count deficit, which is apparently where I like to be since I end up here so often. With any luck I’ll find that motivating and get some work done again.

Thanks for hanging in with me as I work through this stuff. Here’s the blog hop link for this check-in.


Steady progress

ROW80I am happy to report that I met my week’s goal, caught up to my ROW80 goal-to-date, and then wrote some more. I hit a total of 1631 new words last week, so I am in good shape to push further this week as well.

Still not sure exactly how long this book will be, so I will continue on with a rough goal of 65,000 words because why not? As long as I keep writing it’s all good.

Here’s the blog hop link for this check-in. Good luck to everyone!


Going strong

ROW80I’m not entirely sure why, but the writing has sped along so far this week, and even though it’s only Wednesday I’ve written 1335 new words. This hits my weekly goal and catches up my overall goal, putting me in a good position to actually write some words ahead this week.

I also spent some time looking at possible cover art. I am having fun developing my thoughts on the cover as I write the text. Really, it’s one of the joys of self-publishing: you have control over all the little details of the project. For a certain type of control freak, this is irresistible.

Happy to see the widgets slowly filling up. Still have no true idea how long this book will be, but I’ll keep writing till the very end! (And then on to editing, pictures, etc. :) )

Let’s go visit some other spots on the blog hop for this check-in!


A solid week

ROW80If not impressive. I wrote 1304 new words this week, so I’m catching up but still behind here in week two. I don’t even have a reason this time. My week was practically languid and I had plenty of time.

I am probably unusual in that way. I have time almost every day to do whatever I like. And I find that it can be harder to get things done if you have no particular deadlines and no boundaries. You have to create your own, every day. And I do create at least some, but boy there is room for improvement.

Here’s the blog hop link for today’s ROW80 posts. Check it out, and onward into the next week!


A bit behind

Distracted by politics again last week, I wrote only 465 new words on the book. So this week I need to up my goal to 1500 words to catch up. I can do it! But will I? Only time can tell.