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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

So, How's It Going For You So Far?

Some time ago, I posted a piece on time and the way it can be misused without us really noticing. At the end of last year, I posted a piece on my activities during 2012, detailing the results of my work as a writer.
For this year, I've decided to post at the end of each week on my activities. This is as much for me as it is for visitors to the blog. For me, it will act as a motivator and keep me on track, I hope. For visitors, it will illustrate the value, or otherwise, of those activities we engage in as writers.

I was unprepared for the first week, so I've combined the first 2 weeks here. In any case, that first week of the new year is always a little different, with the aftermath of the holiday season inevitably encroaching on normality.

Let me explain the pie chart:
'Writing' includes the creation of stories, blog posts and reviews.
'Editing' includes the polishing of all written work to make it suitable for reading.
'Research' includes discovery of info for story content, market research, contest info and blog post research.
'Reading' includes books and writing magazines.
'Emails' includes emails, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook activity.
'Admin' includes story submission, blog posting, marketing, organisation and general admin tasks.

And, for this post, I also had to spend some time both devising the timesheet I used for recording my time usage and learning how to render the results into the pie chart that illustrates it.

I'm hoping that this visual presentation will make the reality of my time usage much clearer. Certainly, I'm staggered by how much of my time has been spent on the various 'Emails' activities. I accept that much of that time has been used in reading webpages that some emails have introduced, and that, as a result, I've learned things about the current state of the book world. But a good deal has also been spent on less fruitful pursuits, such as Pinterest. One thing is clear already; if I'm to spend more time actually writing, I need to reduce the time I'm currently spending in what are largely irrelevant pursuits.

I set myself a couple of targets at the start of the year. I intend to submit at least 1 story to a magazine and 1 entry to a writing contest per week. I'm pleased to report that I've achieved both. 2 contest entries and 2 stories sent off to magazines.

Under the heading of 'Writing', I've created one new short story of 4,000 words and written 3 book reviews. Not enough, but a reasonable start.

Under 'Editing', I've edited the 4 stories I've submitted and 3 chapters of my fantasy trilogy. Again, not enough, but better than it might have been.

It's my intention to return to the weekly posts on writing, giving views, opinions and advice where I'm able and, hopefully offering useful, or at least, contentious information to stimulate thought and debate on writing topics. It's possible I may indulge in the occasional opinion piece on other matters from time to time, when an issue particularly fires my passion.

But, more than anything else, this year I intend to spend as much time as possible in creating new writing and in preparing the fantasy trilogy for publication. The first and second books are written and the first edited. The second is currently undergoing the penultimate edit and, when that's complete, I shall start writing the third book. I shall also, at that point, publish book one. Watch this space for announcements.

One further post that might be of interest dealt with procrastination.

So, that's how it's going so far for me. How's it going for you in this new year? Made and kept your resolutions? Let me know. It's easy to add a comment at the foot of the post, you know.

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