Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book in a Month: Week 2 Check-In

Raphaelesque Head Exploding,Salvador Dali
                 I’ve just completed my second week using the Book in a Month (BIAM) method. Technically, I finished Sunday night but unfortunately, I work during the days so I’m very protective of the hours I have in the evening to write so I apologize for the delay in posts. 
This last week was full of frustration. My head felt a lot like the painting to the left (thank you Dali). Almost every night ended in a headache. I never knew how much writing could take such an emotional and physical toll on a person. At one point, despite having my trusty story outline handy, it took me fifteen minutes to write one sentence—one sentence!
As you may recall, during my first week using BIAM I was actually on vacation from my day job, so I was able to dedicate at least eight hours a day to my writing. Unfortunately, going back to work last week definitely took its toll on my writing. I struggled to find the energy each evening to dedicate to writing. I even cheated on Thursday and didn’t write at all. Although, I paid the price for that decision for the rest of my weekend. I struggled and barely (barely) managed to complete 30 pages. 
Weekly Goal
Weekly Achievements
Act I
12,500 words/50 pages
13,250 words/ 53 pages
Act II
12,500 words/50 pages
7,500 words / 30 pages
Act II
12,500 words/50 pages
In Progress
12,500 words/50 pages

50,000 words/200 pages
18, 250 words/ 73 pages

          I ended my second week of BIAM with a newfound respect for all those authors who completed their books while having a full time job. I’m also really glad I decided to start BIAM while on vacation because it helped me to see that my writing goals were not impossible. Overall the method is still working and I am getting through my outline slowly but surely.  I’m hoping that this week will go a lot better. I listed a few lessons I 've learned so far below. 

Lesson #1
Find things that motivate you and I mean anything. Trust me when I say that there will be some moments when you will be grasping at straws. I wrote several paragraphs about my main character’s shoes (I love shoes). Will I most likely edit this out later? Probably, but at that moment it’s what I needed to just be able to write—write anything. It went on for a few paragraphs but it helped me flow until inspiration for the actual scene dialogue came to me. There was also a time or two when a Dove chocolate did the trick as well. 

Lesson #2
It’s okay to ignore your loved ones. There are a few exceptions to this rule (if you’re a nursing mother, if you have a dependent invalid, etc.). However, friends, spouses, relatives, they can all take a back seat to your writing. Yes, I know that sounds horrible, but the truth is your writing has to be given extreme attention. Consider it your clingy, high maintenance ex-boyfriend from college. The only difference is that at the end of the day you will be satisfied. Try to remember that you will never reach any of your own goals if you’re constantly putting them aside while you try to help others reach their own. Your family and friends will respect and understand that. Thankfully, I have some pretty spectacular friends and family, and they’ve been very understanding of my recent hobbit like behavior.

Lesson #3
It’s okay to take a break! Even though I paid for my day off on Thursday, it really helped me recharge and get my head back in the game. Would I ever take more than one day? Doubtful. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for me to fall off the wagon, so I’m pretty sure 24 hours is my max, at least for now. I suggest being honest with yourself when it comes to this one. 

Lesson #4
Never, ever go anywhere without a small notebook or journal! You'll be surprised at when and where inspiration will hit, so keep a small notebook handy so that you can at least get the bones of the idea down for reference later. Don't ever assume that you'll remember it later because nine times out of ten you won't. Now that I'm back at work I find myself whipping out my journal often and jotting down a quick note. It's become super helpful and has helped curb my resentment for the hours I have to spend at work because I'm at least able to capture a snapshot of my thoughts for later in the evening.

Write to you soon,

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