I just got home from spending the day with a ton of relatives at the home of some extended family. It made for a busy day but it was fun and I had an opportunity to get away from the house, which I don't get to do that often.
Now that I am home I've had a chance to read chapter one of one of my course texts and discovered I have a lot of work to do!
The chapter posed two interesting questions:
1. Why do I want to be a writer? That's easy, I have stories to tell and character ideas bouncing around in my head, waiting to get out! 2. What do I want to write? Fiction, more specifically Fantasy Fiction! I knew that before even signing up for the course. Maybe having a direction in mind puts me ahead of the game? I'm not sure, but I am certain about what I want to write.
Now on to the work!
The first part of the instructions were also easy. Writers write! Write what you know! Write often! Even daily because that's the key to convincing yourself and others that you are in fact a writer.
Okay! No problem! I do that! I complete the daily prompt everyday for Daily Writing Practice.
Sometimes I write poetry or short stories on Protagonize. Other times I write posts for this blog, just like I'm doing right now. So I'm checking that one off my list. I've been developing the writing habit since January and I think I've been doing a good job of trying to carve out some time for my writing. Until I signed up at ICL I didn't really have a direction as to what to write about, or how to go about it. I was just winging it. It worked for the short term but it's going to be great having a bit more guidance.
Set some goals: Short term, interim, and long term.
This one was not so easy because some of these interim goals might take a long time and wasn't sure how to cut them down in smaller chunks. But I did come up with something and I think I can expand upon these a bit more in the future.
Short Term Goals:
- Continue to develop the writing habit.
- Choose two magazines for children and send away for the guidelines.
- Buy a new Dictionary & Thesaurus (Mine are falling apart.)
- Create a workspace.
- Continue reviewing award winning works written for children.
- Practice writing dialog.
- Rework submitted stories, adhering to the editors notes.
- Build a tool box of resources.
- Become familiar with the children's market.
- Complete ICL course work.
- Read all suggested stories.
- Create and publish short stories and non fiction articles for children.
- Break into writing middle grade fantasy fiction.
Develop a consistent writing schedule. Yeah, that's laughable. Not the writing schedule, but the fact that I need to create one that is consistent. Thankfully the chapter encourages you to be flexible. Ultimately I would love to say that I plan to write from 10:00am to 3:00 pm. Because that is the time my children are at school and when I am suppose to be "free".
I'm not really sure what I'm suppose to be free from? Laundry? Dishes? Tripping over scattered toys? Dr's appointments? Filling out medical and school paper work? Oh I know, maybe I'm free to do everything my family, friends and acquaintances want me to do because they have the misguided idea that I sit here all day watching TV and I'm just itching for something else to do?
Boredom? Me? No Sir! Wrong! All that stuff is still here waiting to be done, the only thing I am free from is children. Children who may, if they are in a good mood, actually help me get something done!
let's be honest, because I'm trying to care for a large family it is usually noon or later before I even get half of my household tasks done each day. So I'm going to attempt to divide this five hour time period in half. Two in a half hours will be spent on domestic chores (and the farm) and the other two in a half hours will be spent on something pertaining to writing. ** While still attempting to deal with all the unexpected interruptions in between.
Some of the things I might do that pertain to writing are:
- A daily prompt.
- An ICL assignment
- ICL course reading
- Revising and editing
- Reading other authors work
Sure I will have more time in the evening when I'm helping my kids with their homework, making dinner, demanding that they take a bath and get ready for the following day. I'll try to sneak in a reading but I do not want to make this writing time as it will be to difficult to maintain the flow of thought.
Finding a place to write! This is the last section I want to discuss tonight because it's been a real hassle lately! My 11 year old twins decided they no longer wished to share a room. My husband and I were happy to oblige at first. The twins are very different in personality and we thought the separation may decrease the turmoil that's been occurring between them lately. It seems they have been taking turns intentionally trying to annoy the hell out of each other which ultimately has me playing the role of referee. This is a role I do NOT enjoy.
Anyway, it took a major overhaul of three rooms to accomplish the task. Now my "office" which use to be quiet, is now shared with a cable TV complete with VCR, DVD and gaming system, the dog, (Chloe) her bed and a gazillion squeaky toys. Oh yes! And let us not forget my husbands two desks ( For our home based business Scott Trim Carpentry) that look more like two piles from an episode of Hoarders then an actual workspace!
Unfortunately, The twins still think of my office as "their room" since it once belonged to them and will come in whenever they feel the need and play with the dog and it's squeaky toys. And each of the children also use my desk as a dumping ground for all school papers and any articles of mail. As crazy as it sounds I made a special place for the mail on top of a file cabinet right near the door. This way they don't even have to come in the room to drop the mail off, which saves me time each morning trying to sort out my desk before being able to set to work and stops my notes from being accidentally mixed in with the junk mail.
The whole switch over has had it's trials but I am happy to say that at least my portion of the room is put together and appears as though it will be a more than adequate space in which to work. I won't show my husbands half of the room. It frightens me.
My Writing Desk
For Scott Trim Carpentry
My Craft Desk and School Papers & Projects
The Mail Holder!