Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Running Race #2

Last month (has it really been a month?) I reported that I was trying to finish up school. I was coming to the end of the race, only to start a new one.

I've been out of school since last Thursday. I've been running a writing race since then.

I love summer. I can make my own schedule. Work out in the mornings, write when my son takes a nap, go to the pool in the in between times, and stay up past my bedtime. The only problem with an unscheduled day is that sometimes things on the to-do list never get done. Before school got out, I made myself get organized in my writing life. I found these cool little to-do list templates on Microscoft's website. I personalized it for my writing. My categories are:
* Writing
* Research
* Correspondence/Send out
* Revisions
* Miscellaneous Tasks

Each week I make a new to-do list. When I found myself floundering, or stuck on one part of my writing or the other, I switch gears and do something different. I have gotten a tremendous amount accomplished and I feel very focused.

Things I've done so far:
1) Wrote a new story and sent it to a bedtime story contest. Here's the link to mine.
2) Revised an picture book I've been working on and submitted it to Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Contest.
3) Revised another picture book I've been working on and submitted it to the Hunger Mountain Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing.
4) Written and revised over 30 pages on my novel-in-progress (my thesis for my Hollins MFA).

I love deadlines and I thrive off of them. Having these contests to submit to gave me a deadline for revising (or writing) my work. I have to turn in a picture book to my picture book marathon group every month. I turn in pages of my work-in-progress to my SCBWI crit group every month. I also have to submit new pages of my thesis to my Hollins Thesis e-mail crit group every week. These deadlines have been really good for me.

Here's to Race #2. I've been training for this one all year. I hope I finish strong. I will cross the finish line the end of August when I return to my other job.