Tag Archives: procrastination

December distractions

I supposed distractions are pretty much the same year round. Between Facebook and keeping up with the latest episode of Fringe or whatever show has my interest, occasionally I will embrace distractions. (It’s all tied into my procrastination mechanism.) I might say something like, “I’ll get to that in a little bit,” or the more deadly, “I can work on that tomorrow.

But there is a distraction in the winter months that always grabs my attention – temperatures above 60°. Now that ties into my favorite pastime – Pearl, my 2003 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic. When the temps are in that range during the winter months, I can’t always say, I’ll ride tomorrow, because tomorrow might be cold as a Calgary Popsicle. As a matter of fact, tomorrow is going to cap out in the upper forties. Plenty cold enough to stay indoors and write. So, as long as the gauge reads 72°, I’m afraid my heart is in the wind and not the word. It’s a little different during the other seasons because most of the time I can ride tomorrow, or later, or this evening.

Someone asked me recently if I liked to ride in the cold. Actually, I like riding in the cold as long as it’s not too cold. I left the house one January morning a few years back. It was 9°. Did I like riding that day? Hell no! Did I let 9° stop me? Hell no. Would I ride in 9° if I didn’t have to?… Hell no. But if I have to ride I’m not going to let cold air stop me. I will let snow and ice stop me, because of a little thing called traction. Loss of traction is moderately bad in a four-wheeler. On two it’s possibly fatal. Long story short, I won’t hesitate to ride anywhere from 45° on up. Anything below that begs the question… why?

I like riding in the cool temps, 50° to 75°. The bike runs better, the engine heat is not so troublesome, and it just feels better on the body. I don’t mind riding in the cold. What I don’t like is getting ready to ride in the cold. Getting the layers on, getting the leather together, putting on the winter gloves and getting everything zipped up. It adds at least ten minutes to the prep time.

I said all of this to say…. I didn’t get much writing done today. There’s always tomorrow.



People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs. ~Anonymous

Be a Writing Warrior

According to Websters, a warrior is someone who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness. To that I would add a dogged determination to advance on a target, position, or result. Honestly, isn’t that what NaNoWriMo was all about – setting a goal and not stopping until you reach it?

Before I wrote Haunting Injustice, I would have told you that successful writers were the Stephen Kings and Tom Clancys of the world; success was measured in the books you sold. Surprising to me was discovering that success is not about dollars in the bank or pats on the back. Success is pushing through the daily distractions and getting the job done.

Every successful writer learns this lesson early on.

So the question is: Are you a writing warrior?



A best seller was a book which somehow sold well simply because it was selling well. ~S. Boorstein

NaNoWriMo – Day 6

What’s surprising to me is how easy this is coming. I’ve heard the old adage that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. So maybe it works that when the writer is ready the story will appear. I had a vision for this story back in March when I published the first book. There is even a short blurb about Haunting Charleston on the last page.

Many of you know that I broke my shoulder back at the end of June. I was about 4,000 words into Haunting Charleston then. Truth be known I could’ve gone back to work on it 7-8 weeks later.  But I fell into a trap of my own making and refused to climb out of it.  I can sugar-coat it all day, but the simple truth is I lost the motivation and got lazy.  I kept telling myself, maybe tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes.  That’s the mantra of the procrastinator and I sang it with certifiable glee.

So, what is it about the NaNoWriMo that brought back the motivation? I can only answer for me. Ultimately I decided the only one keeping me from writing was me. I had made some commitments to be finished writing Haunting Charleston by the new year and unfortunately it wasn’t going to write itself. I tossed the 4,000 words, which I wasn’t very happy with anyway. I retooled the outline and added several new chapters.  I added a couple of pretty cool characters and by the time November 1 rolled around I was excited about the project again.

Back to what I said in a previous blog.  To be a writer I have to believe in myself as a writer. Sometimes that’s as simple as just putting down word count, which in the final analysis is what WriMo is all about anyway.



Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. ~ Ernest Hemingway

NaNoWriMo – Not for the weak

If you know what NaNoWriMo is, this post is not directed towards you.

What is NaNoWriMo? (National Novel Writing Month)

NaNoWriMoI could leave it at that and be done with it, but just pointing out the obvious leaves little towards your understanding of the task at hand. NaNoWriMo is a sleep-depriving, keyboard-crunching, nerve-rattling, meal-missing, caffeine-abusing, word-count driving mechanism for writing a novel. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. (Which takes an average of 1,667 words per day to get it done.) Now this might sound easy to anybody that hasn’t written anything longer than a postcard to Aunt Petunia, but NaNoWriMo is not for the faint hearted.

You could say this is the literary equivalent of the motorcyclists endurance program called the Iron Butt Challenge. I remember riding almost 1,100 miles from Tulsa, OK., to Columbia, SC., in just over 22 hours for my sore ass.  And then slept for twelve hours.  It wore me out.  I suspect this will be similar, except instead of 24 hours, we are talking about 720 hours.  Looking at it like that makes the Iron Butt look like a ride around Central park.

My work in progress, HAUNTING CHARLESTON, has languished in the recesses of my hard drive since the accident in June. I have lately been trying to get back to going, but with very little initial progress and some new ideas, I have decided to start over from page one. I hope to use NaNo as a motivator to keep me focused on the journey, one word at a time.

So with a good plot outline, character layouts, and a good understanding going in of the path I want these characters to take, I will have a good start come the November 1st starting gun.

If you want to try your own NaNoWriMo, go HERE.



“Writing a novel is like making love, but it’s also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it’s like making love while having a tooth pulled.” ~ Dean Koontz

 

Eureka!!

I had a breakthrough on book two yesterday. Sure, I’ve been blaming the broken shoulder for not working on the book, and to a large extent that’s been true.  But, I’ve probably been where I could have picked it up anytime in the last two-three weeks. What’s kept me from it?  I’ve been trying to figure out a pretty major plot hole in the storyline.  Been brainstorming for weeks with nothing really working.  Then yesterday it hit me out of the blue exactly what needed to happen.  So….

I’m ready to get back into the story and start pounding out work count, now that I know exactly where its going and what’s going to happen along the way.

I’m still looking at first of next year sometime to finish.



I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by. ~ Douglas Adams

Milestones

Everyone hits milestones in their lives.  I remember most of mine.  There may be a couple along the way missed due to the prevalent blood alcohol content of the day.  Okay, there could be a few holes in my past, but milestones are pretty important.  Work with me here.

I remember my first car.  I remember my first concert.  I remember my first marriage.  I remember the end of my first marriage. (I’ll leave subsequent matrimonial experiences alone.) I remember the first girlfriend and the first sumpin’ sumpin’. I remember my first job, my first motorcycle ride, my first (fill_in_the_blank) …..  Seeing a pattern here?

Today is the first time my website hit 10,000 views. At 9:25 am, www.theprodigalscribe.com clicked into the 10K zone.

Hit Counter

Now that might not seem like a lot considering many of the more popular writers get that in an hour or so, but this is me we are talking about.  From the day TPS went live some 18 months ago to today, many of you have come to see what my journey is all about.  And for that, I humbly thank you!

To express gratitude, I have dropped the price of the Kindle version of HAUNTING INJUSTICE from $7.99 to $5.99.

Kindle

Lastly, if you are one of those that like the feel of a new book in your hands and the smell of the paper tickling your nose as you turn the pages, I am offering a 20% discount for copies of HAUNTING INJUSTICE purchased directly from the publisher.

To get the discount go to: HAUNTING INJUSTICE at CreateSpace
Enter the code FRH2R9XG when checking out.

The last big milestone, before this one, was two weeks ago when I climbed back on Pearl for the first time since the accident. It was like manna from heaven with a little bit more horsepower – zoom cubed. It’s good to be back on the bike, but I’m still not fully healed.

The last few days I have been running through a regiment of stretching and isometric exercises to ready myself for next weeks visit with the orthopedic doc. It’s been a painful experience. I see an MRI in my near future to determine possibility of rotator cuff damage and is a surgery in the cards or deal with it through more exercises. I vote for more exercises.  I am hoping that surgery is a remote possibility and would be subject to serious contemplation if that’s what the surgeon recommends. More will be revealed.

And that, as they say, is that in a nutshell.  It’s been over a month since my last blog here, and part of my writing recovery is going to start right here.  I’m going to do a much better job of keeping up with this blog.  Oh, and there is the matter of book two to be written.

Fighting procrastination

I admit it freely. I don’t care who knows it – confession is good for the soul. I am a world-class, blue ribbon, dyed-in-the-wool, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, procrastinator.

If I had to pick the biggest issue confronting my writing on a daily basis, it’s procrastination.  I can rationalize and justify all I want about why I’m not working on the outline or why I am not moving forward with the next project. At some point I have to hold the mirror up to my face and say… “Mickey Mills, you are a procrastinator! You keep saying I’ll blog tomorrow or I’ll work on the new book after I do the marketing things related to Haunting Injustice.” (now on sale at Amazon.com)

I used to be very good at time management.  Coming from a technical sales world, my work life revolved on my ability to manage time and the calendar.  I had to juggle multiple projects against deadlines that really meant something.

I don’t think there is a twelfth step program for it.

“Hi… my name’s Mickey… and I’m a procrastinator.”

I always thought it would be something I could deal with tomorrow. If I’m going to get this book done, I’m afraid I am going to have to deal with it today. It comes down to another topic directly related to this one – discipline. It’s the other thing I have to hone up on to get this work done – can’t put that off until tomorrow.


If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard,
just keep putting off doing it.
~Olin Miller