Goals for the Week 3/15 – 3/21/10

You may remember that last week, I instituted a new rule for myself – writing before blogging. And it worked for the most part…I made good forward progress on my WIPs and still got my blog posts done for the week. It’s not sustainable long term for me though, mainly because it just added more stress to my evenings, and didn’t take advantage of the little bits of downtime I normally have even on busy days at work. It also forced my writing time into my TV time, which means my writing didn’t get the full attention it deserves, and I ended up with less quality than I would have liked. I also couldn’t bring myself to put the serial novel chapter off – because it’s for immediate readers, and I feel a sense of responsibility to get it out on time each week.

So while it’s certainly the way things *should* be, it’s not really the way they work best for me. Yeah, in a perfect world, I’d be happy to play the tortured artist, giving up outside entertainment (ie, TV) for my “art”. It’s not a perfect world though, and I’m not giving up TV. I also really need to get back to working out, and I couldn’t do that last week with the whole “writing before blogging” rule if I wanted to fit both in.

So, new experiment this week. Blog posts must be done before 9pm, or they don’t get done (with the exception of my serial novel – that gets done regardless). That will give me an hour to workout, and still leave my writing time from 10:30pm to midnight (when it’s quiet and I can focus).  My writing time will be split 1/2 hour for new words on HOT, 1 hr for revisions to HPC. And the biggest rule – Twitter must be turned off completely during writing time. I can post my goal when I start, and check in after I’m done, but no check-in breaks between. I’ve gotten really bad about that lately.

As for the rest of my goals – I didn’t make my word counts every day, but the revision course lesson this week was particularly helpful, so I was doing my “homework” instead. Personal goals were mostly “misses”, but I reorganized and scheduled my workload to dial the pressure down, which helped.

Weekly Goals


– 800 words or 1/2 scene revised daily for HPC (plus revision course work)
– 500 new words for HOT
– Chapter 11 of Indelibly Inked


– At least 3 workouts this week
– Menu plan (why is this so hard?)
– Updates to web site (add files, links, etc)
– Finish and send guest blog post

That’s it for me – what’s on your plate this week? Any accomplishments to celebrate from last week? Read any good books lately?

11 comments on “Goals for the Week 3/15 – 3/21/10

  1. Samantha Hunter

    you’ve got me posting goals on my blog now, too. 😉

    I am awash in writing now, the next 6 weeks will be writing intense, but I am also in the mood for it — it’s like the light in my brain switched on again.

    This usually happens to me in spring — from March-Oct, I can write like a demon, and then it’s like everything shuts down from Nov-Feb.

    I have to find time to read your serials — I love the titles, but I have just about enough time to read what I have on the Kindle, but I will catch up.


  2. Cynthia Schuerr

    Jamie, even if that rule only lasted a week, I think you have done so well. You are totally honest with yourself. You recognized that it didn’t work for you and you put another plan in place. Exactly, what successful people do!
    You rock!

  3. Jamie DeBree

    Interesting about your writing cycles, Sam. I take it you’re not a NaNo-er then? Glad your light switched back on again…we’ll all be reaping the benefits of that. 😉

    I find that my “down” time is Dec – Jan/Feb. After NaNo in November, my brain is just fried.

    No hurry on the serials – it’s unedited work for the most part, and I’ve noticed the freelance copy-editing line in your profile, so the nits might drive you crazy (you’re still welcome to read them, just consider yourself warned). LOL I’ll be editing “Tempest” this summer for re-posting as a free download.

  4. Jamie DeBree

    Well thanks, Cynthia. I’ve found that the only way to figure out what works is to try lots of things, and look at the results objectively. My ultra-analytical brain is very handy for that sort of thing. I hope you’re able to put that to use in your own life as well… 🙂

  5. Samantha Hunter

    No, no Na-no for me. I did buy the book, thinking I might try it, but in the end, it’s just not how I write.

    I promise I won’t copy edit your freebies, LOL. The funny thing is, I do notice errors in books, but I think I am more forgiving of them than most. I know how hard editors work, and I also know how difficult it is to edit the short articles I do for the magazine I freelance for, let alone trying to edit 75,000 etc. If I see a half dozen or less errors in a book that length, or even 50K, I think that’s brilliant.

    We’re human after all. So what bugs me more is when a book has an error in it and people make a fuss about it. I want to tell them, YOU go write or edit 200+ pages and try to be sure everything is perfect, LOL.


  6. Dolly

    It’s great that you are trying different things. It’s the best way to find most efficient thing for you. I totally agree with not giving up entertainment activities – that would only turn writing into a burden. We need fun too. I usually write with TV on, though if I need silence, I mute it. But it’s usually on because I prefer my noise rather than any other noise from outside or neighbours.

  7. Carol

    You know, if the days were only about six hours longer, we’d have time for everything we want to get done! 🙂

    Menu plans are hard because no matter how well you plan ahead, sometimes you just don’t feel like eating what you have planned. At least that’s what happens to me.

    Reading-wise – I just finished Immortal Sins, a vampire romance from Amanda Ashley and now I’m starting the Time Traveller’s Wife.

  8. Sarah

    Between the flu and the extra day job hours I’ve gotten behind on everything–and I’ve gained pounds. *sigh* Usually when I’m sick I lose weight. It’s the one truly good thing about being sick that I can always count on. Fail. 🙂

    Hoping to revise through 40 pages before the weekend so I can get back on track for my March goals, and getting back to the regular workouts.

    Kudos on all your successes last week, and extra kudos for finding out where you can tweak your schedule to make things work. I’m finding the writer’s calendar and clock is always in flux; you never know what you’ll run into that will slow your process down–like a good bout of revisions. Hope you hit that stride this week to meet all the goals on both fronts!

    On a side (and likely lengthy) tangent: We tried menu planning, but found it’s easier to simply keep supplies on hand and go with what we’ve got. The rule is to have ground turkey and chicken breasts in the freezer (along with rice, pasta, and canned tuna in the cabinet) at all times–keeping an eye out for sales when we hit the store. I only take care of planning two different soups a month for the slow cooker; each provides us with about 4 meals. If I freeze 2 portions of each, we have some quick meals to prepare for either lunch or dinner the following week. And quick, healthy meals are important. Drivethru fast food isn’t an option, but homemade “fast food”, the kind you can dump from the freezer to the pot on the stove, is completely feasible.

  9. Jamie DeBree

    That makes total sense, Dolly – your own noise is always preferable to other people’s. LOL The TV is normally on when I’m writing too, but only ’cause my hubby’s up watching late night TV. When he goes to bed, I just have him turn it off. Luckily the neighbors are sleeping by then…

  10. Jamie DeBree

    You’re exactly right about the menu plans…but I hate having to decide what to eat every day after work too. It’s a toss up.

    If I had six hours more, I’d probably just cram more stuff into them. LOL

    Ooo…vampire romance. I’ll have to look that up. Thanks!

  11. Jamie DeBree

    Thanks Sarah! Good luck revising your 40 pages…quite a hefty goal, but I’m sure you’ll knock it out. 🙂

    I do keep a very well stocked pantry, so there’s never any shortage of food *to* cook…and this week a chicken in the crockpot tomorrow will take care of Weds and Thursday. I still have to plan ahead for that though, since the chicken needs to thaw. I always make dinner for four, so that we have leftovers for lunch the next day as well. Great minds, eh? 🙂

    Menu plans are so nice though – normally I just plan out 5 meals, and switch ’em up depending on which day I feel like having what. It’s just sitting down to do them that seems to be the problem for me. *sigh*