My writing journal for Tuesday, August 19, 2014. You can find all the entries here.
Fiction and nonfiction: writing and reading
Hooray… final scene of the novella coming up. I’m getting ahead of myself, and realize that the main character’s arc is off by one or two scenes. I wish I could leave it alone, and stop tinkering, until I’ve finished the draft. Then I can read the whole thing.
When I get close to the finish line, my brain starts to fizz like champagne. Just 1,000 words today, because of the tinkering, but that’s fine. I’ll complete the novella tomorrow. I resist the temptation to compile a MOBI file and send it to my Kindle app. I don’t want to read it, until it’s done.
Instead, I look over my material for the new novella. With any luck, I should be able to start the new novella this week, and wrap it up quickly.
On to the new nonfiction book. I managed 1,500 words. Lots of “XXX” marks in places where I need to research. I’m pleased. I’ve made a good start on this.
I’ve talked about researching AFTER you write on the freelance blog. The idea is that you write a quick draft, so you know where you’re headed. Then you know what you need to research. Just put “XXX” where you need to research so you can find those areas when your draft is done.
If you research before you write, you’ll end up with lots of information you won’t need. Not only does this slow you down, it means that you lose focus.
Clustering has many uses
We’ve received some questions about clustering. Clustering is basically mind mapping, and as with mind mapping, you can use it for everything.
My brain feels fuzzy and full this morning. My attention’s snagging on the novella. I need to put it out of my mind and think about everything else I need to do today. So I create a cluster diagram of today’s important things to do, and to remember. When I get pulled back to fiction, I can snap myself out of it by checking the cluster.
If you’re not familiar with clustering, here are a couple of links to help you to use this wonderful tool.
I use clustering many times each day. Yesterday I had a couple of coaching calls, so I clustered what I wanted to chat about with each student before the call. Then I clustered during each call. I photographed all the clusters — they were just on index cards — into each student’s notebook in Evernote. I can refer to the clusters months from now, and I’ll be able to remember what we discussed.
Email: clients and students
Clustering has cleared my mind a little. Lots to get done today. First, email. I need to create some quotes for client projects, and give feedback to students on their exercises.
We’ve got boilerplate templates for everything. I can call up a template with a couple of keystrokes with TextExpander (Mac). Do you use templates? Start creating them. They’ll save you seconds, minutes and hours over the course of a month.
Honey and I have breakfast.
Then a chat with Julia. I’m doing a phone presentation this afternoon, so Julia’s sending the presentation PDF to the client, and doing some research on the company. When you pitch, you need all the insights you can get. I set a reminder for 30 minutes before the call, so that I can clear my mind, rehearse, and prepare.
Off for my walk. There are still showers around, so I’ll take an umbrella.
Next, the program description for Authentic Writing
Back again, and looking at my watch… I need to draft this quickly, because tomorrow morning and most of the afternoon will be spent working on-site for a client.
Lunch at my desk, reading social media.
Then, reviewing the presentation, and preparing for it.
The client calls on time, and we have a good phone meeting. I know they’ve asked other people to pitch for this project, so I’ll mark it as “done” in my calendar, and will add a reminder to follow up with them in a couple of weeks.
Leap into Copywriting: 3-week online class
The class is in 3 modules, with a total of 15 video and audio lessons with worksheets. As you complete a lesson, you send us your exercises for feedback. We’re estimating that we’ll be running the class once a month.
I’ve planned the modules, and the first week. Just need to record the videos and audios. I spend a couple of timer sessions planning exercises for the modules.
Next up, more paperwork. Ugh. At the end of a couple of hours of paperwork, my brain is mush.
It’s late, so it’s time to do the daily review, and tot up the word counts for the day. It’s been a good day.