Chunks and Foes

I am going on a Facebook break. Not that I’m a ‘heavy’ user or anything, I mostly go on to check what friends and family abroad are up to, but out of the 124 people on my friends list there are only a handful I actually have in my real life as such. And the 124 was at one point over 300 – and I do not have 300 friends. I mean, some people were barely acquaintances. So I did a chop and left on there are the people that I’d happily go and grab a beer with, or people from my home town.

With a scary deadline hanging over me, I have decided to embarge on a little Facebook hiatus. I really need to focus now and that gives me a welcome excuse to deactivate my profile for a while, so I’ve put a little status update on there so no one will think I’ve unfriended them, and tomorrow morning, it comes down. I’m actually looking forward to hiding away for a while when I churn out the second draft. Eek, I read somewhere that a bestselling author that I love re-wrote her first novel 11 times before it was right. Fk me, I feel exhausted just at the thought! Just getting going on the second draft has taken forever, as I’ve battled the mother of all writer’s blocks.

Structuring my day helps massively, as well as all the planning that goes into writing – I definitely work best that way, and what it also does is that it breaks it all down into achievable chunks and part goals. I mean, knowing I need to nothing but write-write-write between 10am and noon, and again between 1pm and 3pm, is much better than just thinking “I have to write all this stuff”. The ‘have to’ is the culprit there, and I have therefore made ‘want to’ my BFF – every time I sit down to write at my scheduled time slots (that fit around B, Monkey and Hendrix), I just feel gratitude rather than that old foe anxiety.

Planning around the writing consists of several things – a novel blueprint is probably my main tool. It outlines everything from the mood of my novel, to the central idea, to detailed character bios and even photos that capture the novel’s essence. This snazzy little tool I found via Now Novel and I’d go as far as saying now that I have it I don’t know what I’d do without it. Another tool is a board with lots of post-its that I keep moving around – normally what goes on there are ideas that pop into my head when I’m writing that I want to use for a different chapter or develop into a scene. Reminders, if you like. When I’ve written them, I draw a big tick across the note. I also have a long sheet of paper that looks something like a bunch of graphs – the main story arch, the sub archs and key events plotted out in a time line. Works for me. I like stuff like that, which in itself sometimes slows me down as I have a tendency to spend too much time planning and not get around to DOING….

Ah well. Looking forward to my Facebook break. Perhaps I won’t go back. It does wind me up in some ways. I mean, there are people who seem to spend their whole lives on there, it’s almost like people miss the actual moments they capture and display. Almost like validation. It’ll be interesting also to see if I will get contacted in the old school way – how fkn depressing if I don’t hear from anyone at all during my little break!

Now then. NaNoWriMo – another great tool to keep focused.

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