Sadly no more Smurfs in September…

09 Aug

… because if I spend as much time on the game as I’m doing now there will be no book!

Likewise will probably be deleting Bejewelled–but these ‘sacrifices’ are just ways I’m trying to justify keeping my Facebook account open when I start work on the book. It’s way too easy to lull myself into feeling I’m doing something useful because the computer screen is rewarding me with bright colours and happy sounds! So yes–I’ll keep my Facebook account. Say give myself 30 min at lunchtime and 30 min at the end of the work day before shutting down the computer.

And yes, I’m probably going to go into withdrawal so I’ll have to find some way of cheering myself on every time I hit 500 words, say.

I’m very tempted to sit down and start writing right away but it’s not a good idea for several reasons–I don’t want to charge in without a map and get hopelessly lost and burn out before I’ve finished.

Practical steps I can take now:

Create a 2012 directory on the computer, because that’s when I’ll be doing most of the writing.

Create a new Scrivener folder for this project in the 2012 directory. I’m calling it ‘History Mystery’ for now because I know only too well how drastically content, direction, titles can change in the process.

Create files for the individual characters and locations–very easily done in Scrivener given the ‘Novel’ template.

Set up a ‘cloud’ backup system to protect myself from computer accidents–probably Dropbox.

Think seriously about getting myself a laptop… much as I love writing from home there are times (neighbours renovating/ afternoon sun/ evening getai) that I Need the comforting white noise of a Starbucks. Or rather, I’m coveting a Macbook Air and trying to use this as justification. It would make taking and transferring notes much easier too, especially once I get Dropbox in action.

And I’m going to try to ease into a new schedule too. I know I can finish this book project–what I really want is to successfully create a publishable book (with characters I love enough to want to work with again) AND end up healthy and balanced at the end of it. So here, before I start, is the time for me to define what I mean by this.

Publishable Book means: 50,000 to 70,000 words. I’m hoping this will fit into the historical cozy mystery category as defined by the Cozy Mystery site . (Of course I’m hoping for so much more but this is the baseline below which I cannot go)

And of course Publishable Mystery means someone dies and someone solves it. I’ve got a rough idea how all this happens too. Going to put it all down first so I can see the loopholes–that’s all going into a rough outline file so I don’t feel I have to carry it around in my head all the time for fear of forgetting something.

For the first draft I think a reasonable target is 60,000 words in 3 months. Because I tend to overwrite at the beginning the word count will probably end up higher but with a lot more stuff to cut out. But at this stage I’m still preparing the medium, the clay, the mould.

Then healthwise? Back to the 6.30am start. This way I can do my morning pages, breakfast, wash up, water the plants, feed the fish, turtles, dogs and walk the dogs for about 45 min and still get to the computer by 9.30am. At the other end of the day that means getting to bed by 9.30pm and doing an hour of reading to wind down–lights out at 10.30pm.

In addition to the two daily dogwalks I would like to get back to a daily yoga practice of (at least) 30 minutes, just to keep going.

The goal here is to come out of this project as healthy (or healthier!) than I am now and with dogs, turtles, fish, plants all surviving and not dead from neglect!




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