On Writing: Unexpected Wins

Woe is me.

That’s sorta the way I felt last week regarding progress on my new novel. Yes, I’m writing every day. Not always working on the novel, but writing’s writing. Right?

Thanks to my commitment to Organize Now, by Jennifer Ford Berry, I started the first steps.

  • Write in a journal
  • Write a vision
  • Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night
  • Start your day with a short to do list

There’s more for that first week, yet that’s enough for me right now.

I gifted CoCo with Organize Now several years ago. Let’s just say she’s a clutter bug.

I like clear spaces. Clear spaces clear my mind. Anyways, Organize Now has 24 pages of just introduction; mostly about throwing things away. That’s how I found the book – deciding what to throw away. I don’t need help with that.

Journal writing is really not my thing. I know, I know. That’s what writers do. Right? I meditate a bit before journaling, put pen to paper, and nine times out of ten, I start spinning a tale. No, I don’t make up fake journal entries. I’d just rather tell a story than write about myself.

Anyways, on to my vision. My next novel will be written, polished, and ready for queries when I attend the Historical Novel Society’s Writers conference in San Antonio in June 2021. (I’ve got a five-year plan of traveling Route 66 and visiting Australia, too. That’s a story for another day.)

Next step: Get at it.

(See what I did there with the drop-caps?)

I got out my draft manuscript. I forgot that I already have a great start. I know roughly where the story is going. I never know for sure because my characters have a way of surprising me. One of my characters woke me up by telling me she had to die. Whah…

I’m almost 1/4 of the way there, if I think in terms of word-count.

I like what I wrote so far. Of course, not all of it. Of course, it will all need editing. Sure, I’ll share a bit.

Things sure were strange that first year, and I suppose that’s why it etched up in my memory like one of Uncle Frank’s whittled whistles.  Sometimes my memories of those whistles are so clear I can smell the fresh wood shavings, and I rub my fingertips together as if I can still feel the tiny holes he drilled with the tip of his jacknife. That’s the way that year seems to me.  I might be walking along my own fencerow and a pheasant will flush out in front of me, and I’ll think of Mr. Tamarack birthing a calf, come back legs first. Or I’ll be picking hickory nuts from our tree near the back of the second pasture, and I’ll think of Mama and ‘Lizbeth happy as clams with a bag of nuts from Mrs. Tamarack.

…Cecelia…wrote at least once a week.  Me, less often.  Words and paper never mixed much for me.  Come to think of it words coming out of my mouth are tough, too.  I sure would like it if there was some sort of tool that could get inside my mind, pull the thoughts out and make them clear as a summer afternoon for me and everyone around me.  ‘Course I’d need a quick off switch for a tool like that.

Working title: May His Tribe Increase by Adela Crandell Durkee

Sharing my progress is like putting a promise out into the world.

About Organize Now‘s “at least seven hours of sleep.” I have a strong suspicion that is keeping my spirits high and my resolve strong.

What about you? Where are you at with your Vision, Organization, Writing, or Whatever? How much sleep do you get each night?