Monthly Archives: May 2015

Top-Secret Productivity Hack!

So it turns out that going over a 9 item checklist for each page of my novella takes kind of a while. But! I recently discovered a new productivity-boosting trick to get my butt in my chair with my printout and multicolor pen.

I sprained my ankle.

No tennis. No yardwork. No going to the park and walking around. No painting (my drawing table is set up for standing at). No computer! (My computer is on a standing desk.)

If I hadn’t been at a stage where I was working on real live dead trees, this would have been an anti-productivity hack. But since I was working on paper, and it’s really easy to edit on paper with your foot propped up on a chair, two pillows, a towel and a ziploc of ice, I spent more time working on the novella than I would have otherwise.

The bad news is that my ankle is feeling much better. Yesterday I spent three hours digging up grass for my garden, and today I played tennis. Maybe I’ll sprain the other ankle tomorrow.

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Another Day in the Salt Mines

And I actually enjoyed it!

Progress on the current WIP–the novel set in 1920’s Chicago I’ve blathered about before has hit a few stumbling blocks.

  • My kitten chewed through my laptop’s power cord, not once, but twice; each time meant a week away from the novel.
  • I traveled for work and was away from home for a week.
  • After living in Chicago for two years, we finally stopped paying for our storage unit, which means we have to clear it out and find homes (which mostly means the garbage) for all the stuff.

All of which has shown me that having consistency in my environment is a crucial part of my process. I tried writing on other laptops while mine was out of commission, but it just wasn’t the same, mostly because that laptop didn’t have Word and so I had to use Office online and work through a saved version of my manuscript on Dropbox. Great in theory. Horrible in execution. I just kept thinking “but this isn’t the real document” and I got thrown off my game. Apparently I’m not one of those writers that can write anywhere, anytime, and with anything. My recent experiences makes me appreciate and respect those sort of writers even more. Also, when my normal environment is in chaos–like, say, having a room filled with boxes of junk that need to be parsed–I can’t concentrate. I can layer of dust on the shelves, apparently, but not a lot of clutter.



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Only 855 things left to do

I’m slooooowly working through the final draft of my novella. Slowly because I have a 9-item checklist for every page, and there are 95 pages. It’s hard to estimate since I’m scribbling on a printout, but I’ve increased the length of the section I’ve edited by about a fifth so far. People always talk about cutting during revisions and edits. My stories grow.

My checklist comes mostly from two workshops I’ve taken: one from a while back on getting deep into the character’s head, and one from a couple months ago on depth. Which is basically the same stuff, but with a different way of approaching it. Sometimes I need to look at the same thing two or three different ways to make sure I’m not missing something.

I would have liked to finish the novella this week, but dayjob stuff is busy, so it won’t get done. The end is in sight, though!

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I just needed to put this somewhere..


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