Writing Update – Exit Stage Right

As we hedge up next to the close on this round of words, I’m thinking this may be my last one for a while. There are too many demands on my time – which is all my fault because I keep adding to the schedule. I really need to slow down a bit. That means reducing my participation in a lot of the things I enjoy. For a while, at least. So sad. Boo hoo.

On the upside, I met all three of my goals. Yay!

               1. Edit five chapters a week in Novel #1.
               2. Research and list one potential query source a week.
               3. Read one chapter book a week on writing craft.

My first goal was to finish the edit on novel #1 (Frankenscript in the flesh ream). I made it through 400+ pages, hacking right and left with the metaphorical machete and immediately discovered the front twenty chapters needed even more pruning. I’m about done with that additional pass and will go ahead and read through the remainder just as a precaution. Then it’ll be time to ship it off to the overseas beta reader/editor extraordinaire.

Three goals!

My second goal was to compile a list of potential agents to query once I read that stage. I’ve got a short list, not as many as hoped, but a good start. This is surely an ongoing endeavor.

My third goal was to read a bunch of new books about the craft of writing. I did. Some were abysmal…most were okay. I slipped in a couple of workshops because there seemed to be a lot of repetition in what I was reading. Then I had the inspiration to ask everyone else (you amazing writer people) which books they really liked and *kapow* instant list!

Now I have a lot of awesome books to check out.

Over the last six months I’ve experimented with a lot of new things (at least to me), like blogging, networking, workshopping, facebooking, campaigning, row80ing, twittering, triberring, flashing (as in fiction, you naughty thing). six sentence sundaying, work-in-progress’ing, and probably a few I forgot about. Every one of them had some positive effect and I’ve met hundreds of lovely people. Maybe I’ll return to some of these activities in the future, but for now I’m going to lurk around my blog and concentrate on finishing some other projects.

I can’t remember the last time I set foot in my art studio and the greenhouse I’ve been wanting to build is just waiting for our busy hands. I’m ready for spring and being outside…

So, Row80 peeps, this is it for me. I feel good about this round and I’m pleased with my progress. I hope the looming deadline finds you in a good place. I’m cheering for you (rah! rah!). Who knows…we may meet this way again.

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  1. #1 by Marcia Richards on March 11, 2012 - 8:13 pm

    Wow, you rocked this ROW, Leslie! Good for you. Don’t blame you for backing off a few things to take care of others. You seem happy about your decisions and that’s a really good thing. So start on your art and your greenhouse and post pictures for us along the way! Have a great week!

    • #2 by Leslie on March 12, 2012 - 8:31 am

      Thanks Marcia!

      I do like the accountability factor of ROw80 but it’s time to create some elbow space in that schedule. I’ve been pushing in various directions and have finally decided what needs to give way for a while. If we EVER get the greenhouse built, I will definately write a post about the experience…and then we’ll see how long it takes the wildlife to get inside!

  2. #3 by Traci Kenworth on March 12, 2012 - 4:51 am

    Great progress!!

    • #4 by Leslie on March 12, 2012 - 8:29 am

      Thanks Traci!

      I keep reminding myself that it IS progress, although sometimes it feels like the same old treadmill. Practice, practice, practice.

  3. #5 by Barbara McDowell on March 12, 2012 - 7:06 am

    Ah, I will miss you running around the ROW! You’ve done great this round and good luck with the greenhouse and agent search.

    • #6 by Leslie on March 12, 2012 - 8:28 am

      Thanks Barbara!

      I’ll probably be back at some point, but right now I need to concentrate of clearing out some work rather than making new stuff. I’m beginning to feel like that guy, the one who carts around the same manuscript for so long that the pages begin to yellow…all because he’s polishing and refining. I don’t want to be that guy. Spring is just around the corner and I’ve got the itch to garden. Apparently the gophers do too because they’re leaving little mounds of evidence all over the lawn. The cycle continues. lol

  4. #7 by Bridgette Booth on March 12, 2012 - 9:03 am

    Congrats on the progress, Leslie. I’ve been there, done that, with carting around the same old manuscript and it’s a lousy feeling. Good for you for taking action.

    I love the accountability of ROWing also, but I need some elbow room in my schedule as well. (By the way, I’m so stealing that phrase.) My spring is going to be super busy with non-writing work so I’ve fretted about how I would make it all fit. Maybe I’ll take a break as well.

    When you write lurking around your blog, does that mean a break from blogging as well?

    • #8 by Leslie on March 12, 2012 - 9:11 am

      Thanks Bridgette!

      I’ve been stretched too thin for a while and have felt it, but I hate giving up anything that I’m enjoying…except eventually I won’t enjoy because I’ll feel overwhelmed. That’s experience rearing is wise and scarred head and slapping me on the noggin.

      There are other things I enjoy that I’ve really neglected and the itch to get back to them is growing. Spring is when I feel energized to combat the deer and gophers and try to push the front away from the house. I’ll still be blogging ’cause I do enjoy that and I tend to schedule out a week or two in advance.

      I’m going to finish this book, query it, pitch it, and move on to the next one. I’ve got a huga backlog of first drafts sitting on my computer that need finishing…I’m just pulling back a bit to re-evaluate what I enjoy doing as opposed to all the stuff I’ve been trying.

  5. #9 by Eden Mabee on March 12, 2012 - 11:43 am

    Sorry to hear you are leaving the ROW80, but sometimes part of the process (and the challenge) seems to be knowing when to step back and reassess. I know how challenging that can be at times.

    Good luck to you, and hopefully you’ll find some peace to your process and will rejoin in the future.

    • #10 by Leslie on March 12, 2012 - 2:43 pm

      Thanks for the visit, Eden!

  6. #11 by Traci Bell on March 12, 2012 - 3:09 pm

    Good for you! Do what you need to do to take care of you. The rest will fall into place 🙂

    • #12 by Leslie on March 12, 2012 - 7:05 pm

      Thanks Traci!

      I agree. When I start feeling pulled in too many directions, I’m no good in any of them. Time to regroup. =)

  7. #13 by Natalie Hartford on March 13, 2012 - 9:16 am

    Fantastic progress on your goals Lesann and I totally love and respect your decision to take a step back. I am planning to take a break from ROW for awhile as well and just concentrate on my creative nature for a bit. I get it. Makes sense. Here’s to you!!

    • #14 by Leslie on March 15, 2012 - 6:01 pm

      Thanks Natalie!

      Taking a break isn’t a bad thing – we all need time to recharge and regroup. I like trying new things but I’ve discovered that some of them are fun and entertaining but are also huge time-sucks. I can’t do it all…even though I hate to admit that!

  8. #15 by Tia Bach on March 15, 2012 - 6:22 pm

    I’m going to miss you, but I so get being overwhelmed. Your list made me exhuasted! I’ve been trying a lot of things, too, and am going to have to start making some decisions/cuts. I respect that you are taking charge.

    Best of luck to you!

    • #16 by Leslie on March 17, 2012 - 11:51 am

      Thanks Tia!

      I’ll still be around. My attention span may be short but I like to try new things! I know when I can’t give good effort that it’s time to cut back a little and since I’ve GOT to finish this edit and boot Frankenscript off the deep end into the swim-or-sink publishing pond…time to skedaddle. I’ll be checking in though!

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