Diving back into my novel

My e-book on time management is now complete, or at least, moved into the category of “done is better than perfect,” which I might ask people to write on my tombstone or whatever you get when you wish to be cremated. So I am diving back into my historical novel after taking several months off.

At a writer’s retreat recently, our fearless leader asked us to state where we were in the process. If I were a cartoon character, my eyebrows would have hopped off my forehead. There is no right answer for that question for my novel right now. So much has been written and rewritten already over the past five years. Scrivener tells me it’s over 100,000 words, which is the longest novel I’ve ever written, though still short by other writers’ standards. Yet done, even “done is better than perfect,” still lingers somewhere in the horizon.

So how to dive back in? Other than committing to work on the novel first thing every day from now on and aiming to clock in 1-2 hours of effort, I wasn’t sure what to do. So I started surfing through the novel’s file on Scrivener to see what might tempt me. Before I knew it, I was sorting and reordering ideas and notes into existing scenes, and then dove into a major reworking of my task list for the novel. Does this count as writing? For today, yes. Tomorrow I will begin working scene by scene to begin making the changes assigned to each of them. Usually if I narrow my focus to just one scene, I can begin writing or revising. I hope.

Cross your fingers that I move smoothly from goal-setting to goal-implementing.

Podcasts I recommend

vintage-music-business-shop.jpgI mention my addiction to podcasts in my time management book, so I thought you might be curious to know what I’m listening to. My favorite right now is Pod Save the People. I feel as if this podcast keeps me aware of what gets hidden or lost in typical news coverage. Deray Mckesson also starts off with such wise advice that I would quote to everyone daily if they’d let me, words of comfort and insight to help anyone get through the week. While the topics covered in this podcast are relevant to anyone committed to democracy and justice, my historical novel is set during the 1898 race massacre in Wilmington, NC, so their discussions help me become more sensitive to some of the nuances then and now. I enjoy most of the offerings of the Crooked Media, for that matter.

I have also fallen hard for the podcasts offered by Book Riot, especially Hey YA because they provide a lively crash course on trends in different genres, filling in gaps where I haven’t had the chance to read as much as I might like and giving me ideas (sometimes too many) of books I will add to my reading list.

I have dabbled with other podcasts, but those are the ones that I am making time for right now. As I mention in my book, I use the podcasts to motivate me to exercise, since I am (usually) only allowed to listen to them when I work out or go for a walk.

Blogging without a net.

I am venturing into the world of blogging, one that is inviting because I love to write. I hesitate because I want to be able to share anything–jokes, rants, reflections, stories. Yet I fear hitting the wrong note. Is it better to say nothing and thus never say the wrong thing, or say something and make amends if it goes awry?

Better to say something, yes. But it’s taking time for me to step out on this wire.