Goalposts Moving

Well, time to look back on my last, what, three weeks of enforced rest?

1-Didn’t do the writing. Doctor’s orders.

2-I did blog. I think..

3-Secret Project: OH SO MUCH PROGRESS. Since this is also my downtime activity, that enforced rest was a net positive there.

4-Finished the Bible for real this time.

5-I’ve begun looking at the site stuff. I have a pretty good idea on what I need to get started, but that’s on hold for now.

6-Housework done.

Right, so in other words I just didn’t write Book the Second. It’s a failure by my standards, but an honest failure in this case.

Going forward, I’ll stick with easier goals for the next few weeks. Say 400 words and focus on getting Book the First in e-publication form for this week, since at this point I can pretty much call my remaining queries stale.

 

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Still on hiatus

Just a quick note to mention that I’m on hiatus. I’m recovering from a combination of a tough bug, severe fatigue, and general not-feeling-quite-right. Back to a regular posting schedule next week.

Software Medley

Writing doesn’t require all that much in terms of software. Realistically, Notepad isn’t going to cut it if you want an industry-standard manuscript, but you really don’t need anything beyond a word processor to become a wannabe novelist.

Except I’m the kind of guy who really likes to use tools to improve his lot. So, just in case you were wondering what kind of software to get, here are some of my picks:

1-OpenOffice:

It’s an open source alternative to Microsoft Office, and it works just as well as long as you don’t need Powerpoint. As a bonus, it uses the old menus-and-toolbars instead of the ribbon interface. And with a price tag of “Free”, it’s ideal for the starving writer.

Obviously, the main draw for me is Writer, the word processor. But Calc does a pretty good Excel impression too, and Draw can do a decent job at graphical planning if you’re so inclined.

2-WikidPad:

My newest toy. It’s a tool to organise information in wiki form. It’s local-system based, not online, which is obviously a plus for a laptop user like me. But the real reason I like it is because it’s simple yet powerful enough for my needs. It took me about three minutes and five lines of tutorial text to figure out the basics I needed, and four more minutes to master the rest of the options I needed.

If your writing projects requires a tech bible, you’re probably going to love this little gem.

3-F.lux:

As I may have mentionned once or twice, I have a young son. Which means writing time is at night, and it competes with sleep time.

Which is a problem, because computer screens are great at emitting sleep-impeding blue light. So I lose maybe half an hour every day because it takes me a while to go to sleep after I stop writing.

Aparently, F.lux can help with that. It adjust the colors of my monitor at night to reduce the amount of blue light it emits. Which should help me go to sleep faster (and hopefully improve my sleep quality.)

I’ve just started using it, so we’ll see how well it works.

Well, that’s the basic tools I use. I also rely a lot on Google and on a few online ressources, which I’ll share the next time I’m looking for a post subject.

 

Weekly Report: An Uninterrupted Stream of Victories

2 in 2! 2 in 2!

 

1-The AMAZING 600 WORDS CHALLENGE. Pfah. Easy peasy. Success.

2-Tech Bible: Done. Oh wait, did I delete the file? Right, yes I did oh wait what’s that other file OH NO TOTAL FAIL.

(Seriously, though, I just noticed another file of notes. Nothing problematic and it’s all probably in the official Bible already but still, it’s a fail.

3-Notes on e-publishing: still on the back burner. FAIL.

4-Finish the paid writing project. Sent, and paid. SUCCESS.

5-Secret Project Blog: No way to prove it, but it’s done. Plus extras. SUCCESS.

6-A Dad and a Writer: obviously a SUCCESS.

So I met my passing grade (and probably would have gotten five out of six if it wasn’t for that surprise file of notes.)

Goals for next week:

1-Another 600 words. I really should try to ramp up that number, but last week had a bunch of unpleasant surprises and I’m tired.

2-An extra blog post. It can be anything.

3-Prep a third Secret Project blog.

4-Finish the Bible for real this time.

5-Start work on personalizing my site theme. This has run on the default for long enough.

6-Not a blog/content/writing goal, but at this point it needs to be done: clear the last of the housework deficit I’ve been dealing with for close to four weeks now. It’s not that bad, but there’s a lot of low-priority tasks that have been nagging me for weeks now, and it’s killing my concentration. At a ┬áminimum I need to get my office back in some semblance of order.

Passing grade is 4/6, including the 600 words, but also the Bible and the housework. Let’s get as close to a clean slate as we can.

A Dad and a Writer: Month 10

I went back to work this month. Paternity leave was great, but it’s unfortunately not infinite. But I’m thankful for the rest, especially considering that the month turned out to be very, very busy with uninteresting stuff.

That said, I’ve tried to keep to a stricter schedule this month, and it helped with writing. In a way, being at work helps, because it gives structure to my day. Admittedly, the structure is “wake up, help with baby, go to work, return home, help with baby, work on writing/projects for an hour, collapse in bed”, but it’s actually more productive than “wake, do random stuff, go to bed.”

Honestly, by this point, if all I did was write a novel, I’d be able to progress at a slow, but satisfying rate. Having a 9-going-on-10 months old baby is not actually that much of an impediment to writing. Taking care of a three-months-old baby is mentally draining in a way an older kid isn’t: you’re constantly stressing out over everything, and you can’t see an end to it. By contrast, by now my son can communicate if something’s not well, he makes constant progress, and he can play by himself (with supervision, but still.)

And… he’s starting daycare. Which means my girlfriend will finally have some time off, which means she’ll eventually be able to help with household chores, which means *I’ll* be less tired… (plus, I usually have a day off during the week, so I’ll actually have one glorious day a week to write uninterrupted.

But even if I didn’t…. for the first time in nearly a year, I’m convinced I’ll be able to write regularly for the foreseeable future. Not as much as I’d want, and I suspect I’ll get frustrated by all the weekly days off I can’t manage to turn into full days of writing, but having a second manuscript finished no longer seems impossible.