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Monday, January 7, 2013

Contract With Myself



2012 pitched me a screw ball, throwing my writing for a loop. After working in an office for most of my adult life, my job changed to an alternative work environment, meaning I work mainly from home.  Fortunately, my writing discipline served me well as I ‘report’ to the office every day at a certain time.


However, the reverse wasn’t true; the change didn’t serve my writing.  My writing room became the day job office.  My work as an attorney had never been a nine-to-five job in the first place, but leaving a physical office helped with the switch to the writing brain cells. Turning around in the chair from one desk to another sucked as a transition.


 What I didn’t realize until I met a few fellow authors for a holiday lunch was the effect of social deprivation.  After spending hours of solitude, I turned to going out more with friends.  I never knew how important interaction with people was to me.  Time previously spent writing turned to competing on a trivia, scrapbooking, cooking, or simply doing a jigsaw puzzle over a glass of wine with friends. 


The benefit has been a priceless deepening bonds of friendship; the downside is -0- writing.  Soo…with the new year, I am going back to basics by making a contract with myself: to get up earlier to write.  Before I go to bed, I will set up my laptop on the dining room table.  In the morning, after I walk my dog, I will hit the keyboard until it’s time to go to ‘work’.


This routine will leave evenings and weekends to have fun with my friends.  Obviously, page production will take a hit.  When I became serious about writing, I kept a page count so that when I did sell my first book, I was able to estimate realistic deadlines.  I will go back to tracking.  Together with my agent, I have set a first quarter writing plan of action.


New Year, new game plan.  


What writing goals have you set for yourself?


: ) Carol Stephenson



Anne Marie Becker said...

It's so hard to balance it all!

As for 2013, I've got a deadline this week for my upcoming release, then I plan to focus on the rough draft of the next book in that series, hopefully completing it by March 1st. (I'm going to use the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival as a motivator.) I'll be leading the Thursday AM writing sprints if you'd like to join me there. :)

After March 1st, we'll see how it goes, but in addition to my July release, I'm hoping to have two books out on submission by the end of 2013. Good luck, all!

JB Lynn said...

Sounds like you've got a plan in place, Carol. Good for you!

Just curious -- did you write out your contract?

I've got some pretty ambitious writing plans for 2013....unfortunately I'm already behind, lol.

Toni Anderson said...

Carol--it is important to have real social interactions. Hope you find the right balance this year. I still have to write out this year's goals. As soon as I get over this flu I'm sitting down with the year planner :)

Elise Warner said...

sounds like a good plan, Carol. I plan to finish another cozy and write as much non-fiction as I can. That adds a little more money to the coffer.(Hmm--never used that word before.)And I discover so many interesting things when I research non-fiction.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Sounds like the change in the day job threw the writing life for a loop, Carol. I hope you figure out a good balance.

I plan to write a minimum of 250K *new* words this year. That's 5K words a week with two weeks off.

I don't know if I'll make it, but it's very satisfying to see the word count adding up on my little chart!

Clare London said...

Carol, you've put your finger on why I'm not sure I'm eager to be a full-time writer. I curse my day job regularly, but it gets me up and dressed, out of the house and interacting with people. I'm not sure how well I'd do that, left to my own devices.

You have my sympathy about the juggling, too. I worked for a couple of years in sales, based at home. While it had its advantages, I found it was difficult somnetimes to cut off the working day - or to get started!

Shirley Wells said...

I must admit that I've missed the interaction since giving up the day job (many years ago) and have to make a conscious effort to catch up with friends on a regular basis. It's so important.

I have two deadlines to meet this year - yikes - so I need to be very disciplined. Good luck with your plan, Carol!

Jean Harrington said...

As to resolutions for 2013? Don't shoot me, I haven't made one. Workin' on it. Will get back to you.

Carol Stephenson said...

Jean, LOL!

Toni, {{hugs} on the flu and I hope you get well soon.

Marcelle, oh wow. 250K words?!?

Shirley, Elise and Anne Marie, good luck with the releases and deadlines.

JB, no, I didn't write out a contract, but so far this young new year, I have been getting up early and hitting the ms.

Clare, thanks. I think you're amazing how you juggle so many things. :)

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