Friday, April 29, 2011

Stunned Disbelief!!

I am stunned, totally gob-smacked.....why I hear you ask??  Well, I have finished my first draft!!  WooHoo.  Now, I have a ton of revising to do, it is not as long as I intended and I will probably add some further description but I have a start, a middle and an end!!  How cool is that??

So here is what happened.....

Yesterday during kid naps, I sat banging away and before I knew it I had my ending in sight, I thought I had been writing for hours, but the kids were still in bed, asleep!  Anyway, I hadn't been writing as long as I thought and so decided to finish it all......this I did, and I can't believe it!

So from here on out, I will be editing, revisions, and changing many things I am sure.  I have already begun work on another unfinished manuscript, do I juggle both editing one and writing another simultaneously?

'Penned Pages'

Thursday: Wait for it........9 pages!!!!!!  9!!!!  Can you believe that????  Phew, my fingeres are blistered and sore, just kidding!

So, I now have a first draft with 61 pages of completed work.  Not sure how many this will be when I am finished with the revisions but will let you know.

Happy Penning!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

To edit or not to edit

As I write I edit.  I go back over the pages I have recently or not so recently written.  I spell check, grammar check, I embellish, take out distractions, add little bits and pieces I think are necessary.  But what I am asking myself now editing during writing necessary?

I received some advice from a former literary agent, tip number one was 'no correcting until the first draft is finished.'  No matter how amazing we think our manuscript is, it will always need correcting, so do it after the draft is finished.  This was like a 'light bulb moment' as Oprah would say, I guess I never thought of it as unnecessary during the initial writing process.  I thought I was on the ball, getting the revision done before actual completion.....I guess I was wrong!

With many revisions of my manuscript on my horizon I am quitting my 'edit as I write' mentality.  No longer is it necessary for me to go through my work, when I will be doing that several times before it is ready for submission anyway.  I can already feel the weight being lifted from my shoulders, and I envision a faster completion for my book.

'Penned Pages'

Monday: 1 page (better than nothing I guess!)
Tuesday: 3 pages
Wednesday: 3 pages

'Week in Writing'

These last few days have been rather fun for me.  I have enjoyed writing more since I was advised not to edit as I go.  Instead of re-reading passages or chapters when I have been stuck, I have just gone and made a cup of tea or grabbed a snack, come back to my laptop and continued where I left off, so I have been alot more productive.

I also feel because I am writing on a consistent basis, writing this blog, and continuing with the same manuscript, that my writing may be improving.....I certainly hope so, but I guess I am biased in that department huh?

'Author's Authority'

I have been advised to join a critique group.  I am a little hesitant about this, mainly due to the possibility of being told to give it all up, that my writing is not up to snuff.  So, how do I get over my insecurities about joining a group?  Should I have friends and family read my drafts?  Or is it easier to hear from strangers about whether or not I have a voice in writing?  This is my dilemma, plus there are not many groups here in Denver, I have been checking but there doesn't seem to be alot of choices.  I will keep searching, and see what is available and then I can make a decision.

Happy Penning!!

Monday, April 25, 2011


So I am having a problem being consistent with my writing.  As you saw from my last post I managed to write 6 pages in one day, however since them I have wrote zip!!  That's right absolutely nothing.  Why I asked myself.  The answer that came to me was 'well you do procrastinate'.  I am a huge procrastinator....if I can wait to do it I will, yet when whatever it is that I have procrastinated about gets done it is equally as good as it would have been had I done it when I was supposed to.....confused???  Good God I am !!!!

So anyway.  Not only am I a procrastinator but I try to do 10 things as once, okay slight exaggeration there, maybe 3 things as once!!  I will put laundry in, then go on my laptop to write only to go into my email and start checking things, maybe pop onto Facebook, then I will have to go and sort out the laundry put in earlier, after that is done, I will have to get my daughter from 'nap' and writing is impossible with her up and at 'em!  So in the space of 2 hours I have done laundry, checked every website I am affiliated with but have done no writing!  Do we think maybe having specific times to write will help?  Should I give myself an hour per naptime where I MUST sit and write, because I will jump around doing this and that otherwise.  Then this is what I will do.....from 1pm to 2pm, I will sit and write, even if I get in half a page, that is my writing time ONLY!!  Let's see how this goal goes huh??

'Penned Pages'

Friday: 0
Saturday: 0
Sunday: 0 (It was Easter, and so I had ham and potatoes and veggies to cook for 7 people!!)

Excuses will get me nowhere...I know this but still have to have one!!

'Week In Writing'

Have nothing to tell really, no words were put down so no writing!!  Yawn!! 

'Author's Authority'

So I have a question to pose to you all.........If one sits down to write but gets distracted is he/she a true writer?

I read somewhere that when you are a born writer you can think of nothing else.  You fall asleep thinking of your novels, wake in the night just having to jot things down so you don't forget.  If this does not happen to you, if you are a distracted writer, is it in your blood? and can you ever be as good as those who claim to be born with writing in their blood?

Happy Penning!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So, just wanted to update my 'Penned Pages' for today.......

Thursday: 6 pages!!!!!!!  Yes, you have read correctly, that says 6!  In one day I have accomplished the same amount of pages as I have written over the last three days combined!!

Well, just thought you all would be excited to see that maybe 5 pages per day is not impossible after all, and I may keep my goal intact.

Happy Penning!


It has been three days since I gave myself a goal.  A goal of writing 5 pages per day, and I know you are wondering how I have been doing!!  Yes, I have been wondering myself!  Well, I can tell you this....I may have been a little ambitious to set a goal of 5 pages.  I know, I know, it has only been 3 days but still, ask me how many pages I have answer would be 6!  That averages out to 2 pages per day, I am rather good at arithmatic, should I change my goal, or try to work my way up to 5 pages?  That is a difficult question, so here are my daily 'Penned Pages':

Monday: 2 pages
Tuesday: 4 pages
Wednesday: 0, yes that's right a big fat 0!!
Thursday (today): nothing so far but I am at least on my laptop, so that's a good sign....I hope!

So, my question I re-evealuate my ability to write 5 pages per day?  Do I work up to it or should I change the amount to 2 or 3?  I will hold off on a decision to see how it goes over the next few days.

"Week in Writing'

Well, I have to say that when sitting with the laptop comfortably on my lap, my thighs roasting hot because I forgot to use my lap desk, but can't be bothered to get up and find it, I can get into quite a good writing groove.  When the blisters start to appear is when I have to stop for a break and actually find the lap desk!!

Now, I am not one to sit in a silent room to write, I need other things going on around me.  I usually have the TV on and sit on the couch.  More often than not my daughter is resting in her room so I have an hour or two to write.  But when I have an idea or am really in a groove, which was obviously not this week, then I will continue while she is up and playing.  That doesn't last too long as I have to play with playdoh or have a pretend picnic with her!

I haven't actually tried to write in a quiet room.  I am not a quiet person by nature....yes, I know those of you who know me are actually laughing out loud right now saying 'no shit Sherlock!' the idea of a quiet room has never appealed to me.  Maybe this is something I should try.  It could render me incapable of writing due to insanity but it is worth a try.  I will let you know when I am going to start it, so that if you haven't heard from me for a couple of days you know to call in the sniffer dogs!

'Author's Authority'

So, I posed a question on my last post that asked how many pages the highly published authors write per day.  Well, I found out several things, first of all, I couldn't find out anything about specific page amounts written or word counts written for many authors...however I did find out that Jodi Picoult writes for about 7 hours per day, writing or editing, maybe researching but she is at her desk for the majority of the day taking weekends off.  Nora Roberts however writes 8 hours a day every day.  While Nicholas Sparks has a goal of 2000 words per day, averaging about 5 hours, and he writes 5-6 days per week.  By the way, 2000 words is approx 6-8 double spaced pages using size 12 font.

So this info poses another question....knowing how many pages people write and how many hours they write for, is my 5 page goal too much?  With a family to take care of and 2-3 hours a day in which to write, is it possible to write good pages in that amount of time?

Well, thanks for reading.  Ponder my dilemma, and let me know what you think.

Happy Penning!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Today's Goal

Today I am setting a goal for myself, with it being written down and on display I am more likely to complete it than not!  Anyway, my to write 5 pages per day, without going back and re-reading previous pages, because that is very time consuming. I will leave editing until the manuscript is finished.  Now I know you are thinking '5 pages? that's all?' but for me that is an attainable goal, for others that could be half an hour of putting fingers to keys.  With a house to run, a daughter to raise, a PT job, evening classes to attend, I am happy to get 1 page down on the screen per day!  So, starting today I will log my page count.  Here goes:

Penned Pages:  I have 33 pages written so far.

Pages Goal:  I am hoping for a manuscript of approx 100-120 pages.

Week in Writing:  So far, I have written NOTHING!!!!!  Well, I did only start my blog yesterday to be fair to myself!! 

Author's Authority:  What is the average daily penned pages?  For instance, how many pages can Stephen King write per day? or Jodi Picoult?  Are they so accustomed to the writing process that it becomes easier with time?  Can they sit at their computer and bang out pages and pages of literary goodness, or is 5 pages a day their goal too!!  Maybe they handwrite their manuscripts or dictate for someone else to type out?  Questions I would love to answer for myself and for you.  I think I may have to do a little research and let you know what I find out.

Happy Penning!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Beginning

This is the beginning of my writing career, well at least I hope so.  I love to write, and have been writing for many years, but have not done anything about it.  This blog is to help me through the writing process.  It is for me to vent if need be about...well everything!  It is to keep me honest and have ownership of my penning ability.  For all I know I may be a terrible writer.  I will be 100% truthful about any and all hurdles I come up against, either from myself or others.

I am currently writing a middle grade fiction chapter book, it is not yet finished, in fact I am probably only about a third of the way through writing it, but with the help of this blog, and you, if you follow me, I can track my penned pages.  I can hopefully come to a place where I have completed the book and then we will see if I can convince an agent or publisher to read it and say "amazing, I want it!".  So, let's dream together about the completion of my book, and about the publishing that will, I am remaining positive, come to fruition.

Each week I will update my 'penned pages', the amount of pages I have written, and how many remain to my goal of a finished book, or at least close enough! 
I will give an honest review of my 'week in writing', the good, the bad and the ugly of my journey to become an author.
I will also pose questions and thoughts in my 'author's authority', a place to share, converse, inform, and think outside the box.

So, without further ado.....let us begin the journey of 'Penning with Purpose'.