Sunday, 2 October 2016

Puts down pen and sighs...

... looks up and sees that it's October!




(I'm cheating with the photos - Hubby's just taken them for me on his walk with Artoo, while I write this, still in my dressing gown!)


About a month ago, I started writing and revising four stories for four very different short story competitions - one flash, one with a huge first prize, one with awesome additional publicity benefits and one with huge prestige.

It was brilliant to work on such a variety of different projects, and a relief to finish one and start the next. The flash was so hard because it was only 300 hundred words, and then I immediately set out to turn a 50,000 word NaNo project from years ago into a 5,000 word short story. I think it worked. I hope it did.

I love sending out submissions. I like the blank space that remains when the email has vanished. I sit and stare for a second, then I gather up all the notes and drafts for that project and file them away - and swap in the next thing.

I wrote a to-do list!

I don't do it often, but in August I wrote a to-do list, and last week I found it. Are you interested? Okay, here it is...
  1. Re-start my mailing list. It may surprise some of you to know that you're signed up to my mailing list, because I don't actually ever send it out. My goal was to resurrect it and make it fun. I have not done this... yet.
  2. Write or redraft two stories. Boom - wrote four!
  3. Work through all my old stories to submit them by the end of the year. Obviously, this is a follow-on from the previous point, but it makes sense, because I have a lot hanging around, and it's fun to re-work something to give it new life.
  4. Buy more bloggers books and review them. I realised that I love finding new reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and figured my blogger friends love it too. So I've been doing this - slowly, but hopefully more when I get into the swing of it.
  5. Figure out what to do with my novel. I've submitted a particular novel to many agents, and no one likes it. I love it. Some beta readers said very nice things about it. I'm not going to give up on it, but I haven't figured out my next move yet.

Do you have a to-do list? How's it looking?
Are you getting prepared for autumn?



38 comments:

  1. Hi Annalisa - it's way too nice (sometimes) to stay in ... well you've achieved a few things, cleared your head on others ... and yes get your book organised ... even self-publish ... I concur with reviews of blogger's books, and starting an email list etc ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. I have considered self-publishing it, Hilary. Reading bloggers' books is a pleasure I always overlook because I'm so busy with my own writing - I forget to take down-time.

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  2. That's a lot of projects, but that's good!
    I have to-do lists. And calendars. Anything to stay organized and moving forward.

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    1. I don't write lists all the time, but there are times when I feel particularly aimless and I need them!

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  3. To-do lists make my anxiety spike. "I need to check off everything before lunch or my life is wasted!"

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    1. I use my lists more as suggestions. I try to avoid things that make me feel anxious - as long as I'm aware of the list, I'm moving forward.

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  4. There's not been much on my to do lists lateley as I've been travelling and wanted to be realistic. I'm back now though, so no excuses!

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    1. It's hard to write and travel - but you'll have been saving up some fantastic ideas/sights.memories, I'm sure :-)

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  5. October is a distraction (well, like every month) due to nice weather in TX. I must work and then go outdoors. To heck with the computer. Thus, I cannot complain about my writing "career". My goal is to keep up with my blog and others. So far so good. Congrats and good luck on your projects, submissions, etc.

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    1. I'm looking forward to getting back into woolly tights and boots, and gloves and hats. It's hard at the moment, because the mornings are chilly but it's pretty warm by the afternoon - it makes dressing particularly difficult because we never get it right!

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  6. It is really just endless, isn't it? I spend so much time Tweeting, blogging, planning, etc. and I often wonder if I'm just plain losing my mind.

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    1. I think I spend too much time on all those things. I kid myself that I'm promoting and networking, but really I'm just wasting time. I need to stop that :-)

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  7. I hope you get it all done. I'm working on my to-do list right now.

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    1. Good luck with your list. I purposely put long-term items on my list, because I like not getting to the end of it - that's weird, right?

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  8. I only have one thing: Keep the wife happy (because if she's not happy, NOBODY's happy)

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  9. You're a busy woman! Good luck. I have a hefty to-do list myself this month. Really, I just want to curl under a blanket with a good book and eat Halloween candy!

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    1. Blanket and candy sounds so good to me right now. Luckily, all my to-dos are more long term now :-)

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  10. Ah yes. The To Do List. It's forever in front of me on my desk. I keep checking things off, but somehow more things pop up on it every day. Here's to finishing yours or at least checking things off that are important.

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    1. I don't think to-do lists should end. Mine has some very long-term items on it, and one thing that I probably won't ever achieve, but I'll strive towards it.

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  11. You are doing great! I've got three stories out of various lengths to three new to me markets. Fingers crossed for both of us! :)

    I have a Writing To Do list in a desk calendar and notebook, and I have a General To Do list on my phone.

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  12. I'm really bad about the newsletter too. I think I'll set a to-do date and make myself do it. I get them from our fellow writers and I love how they keep me in touch and "in the know".

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    1. I know, mailing lists are awesome to read - we really should get ourselves sorted!

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  13. Best of luck with that lot! For me, writing a list a list would be waste of paper. Organisation and me don't get on at all well.

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    1. I think the lists are there to HELP with organisation ;-)

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  14. I love to-do lists!! They make me anxious but also spur me on to get everything done - I feel a great amount of satisfaction from striking something off my list. At the moment, it's a pretty long list! I adore autumn! I've been on a few autumn walks lately too - and I've been wearing jumpers the past few days which has made me very happy indeed! Love the photos btw! Best of luck with all your writing!

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    1. They definitely work as a spur. Or as a huge reminder when I find one that's a couple of months old!

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  15. That's impressive that you've been working on four stories at the same time; I have a hard enough time working on one story. I like to-do lists, though; it's definitely satisfying to be able to cross off items on my list.

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    1. I didn't intend to work on so many stories, but all the deadlines hit me at once, and I knew I wanted to enter them all.

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  16. Love the photos. October is far and away my favorite time of the year. And good luck on that to-do list. I've been saying I'm going to start a mailing list for about a year and now I may just finally do it. Fingers crossed.

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    1. Thanks Julie. I think the problem I have with the mailing list is not having enough to say! Perhaps I should just do more things...

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  17. The to-do list... *sigh* Mine is pretty scary right now. Every day is booked to the hilt and spilling over. Still, I wouldn't have it any other way. That means we're accomplishing things. I'm the exact opposite of you with submissions. I stare at that blank space and tremble--which doesn't make any sense because I haven't had a rejection in a long time. Maybe that's why? Because I'm too terrified to submit?

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    1. Never be terrified to submit! That moment is the only time you can guarantee it hasn't been rejected... Ah, I see how that may not be helpful ;-)

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  18. Maybe, if you've given up on finding an agent, you should try self-publishing it?

    I also love finishing things on a to-do list. Gives me such a sense of satisfaction to see I've achieved something.

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    1. I hadn't considered this one a self-pub, but maybe I should think about it after all.

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  19. You've done awesome with your to-do list, and huge congrats on the submissions! I sometimes make to-do lists for my writing ... but I never meet my deadlines and then I feel kinda bad. Good luck with the subs!!

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    1. Sometimes I see my list more as a suggestion than a plan ;-)

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Please comment - I love a good chat!