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Project Ruby Push: Follow Up

It’s been six weeks since we saw each other last. (Where did the time go?) If you’ll recall, I gave you a little push in the form of a writing challenge waaaay back on September 19th, hoping it would generate a massive wave of productivity. Today is the conclusion of that challenge, and it’s time to check in. Drumroll, please…

My “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goal: Complete 60,000 words of a new project by October 31st.

My reality: 61,707 words as of 10/31.

Analysis: Success!

There were struggles, and some very difficult days in which focus was elusive. At least five days, kids were home from school, sick and needing Mommy. Some days, I hit a roadblock in my plot that I struggled to get past. And some days I just felt like procrastinating. There were a couple days when I was traveling or family was visiting, and it made it that much harder to jump back into writing.

Whenever I felt like I wanted to slack off or let things slide, I remembered you were holding me accountable. (Um,…thanks? <grin>)

I also found that having a plan helped. I stuck to my decision to spend the first several days plotting. Using Hope Ramsay’s recent post “Using Scrivener for Plotting,” I was able to organize my thoughts and hit the ground running on 9/24. I found that, when I could, using the evenings to plot and organize the next day’s scenes helped.

What did I learn? That I can do it! But I also learned that my maximum of 5,000 words is not a pace I would care to keep up day in and day out, and 3,000 is a more comfortable goal. Some days I wrote 300-500 words and that was quite the achievement. Being flexible was oh-so-important on days when I felt like one more apple on my cart would topple the whole thing. Most of all, I learned to go easy on myself when I don’t make it. Some days are highly productive, some aren’t. But enjoying life is important to keeping my creative juices flowing, too.

What’s Next? I’ve decided to set this project aside for a few weeks before I go back and finish the last third of it. I simply need a mental break from it. Besides, while I wanted to start a new series, my Mindhunters series is calling to me, too. With National Novel Writing Month starting up yesterday, I wanted to begin with a brand new project that will (hopefully) rejuvenate me. Perfect timing. (I’m “Anne Marie B” on NaNo’s site by the way, if anybody wants to buddy-up.)

The best part of the Ruby Push: I am a writer who seems to make the biggest strides in the editing stage. Having something other than a blank page to work with will help me out so much.

If you missed the 9/19 post, let me know your goals for NaNo, or simply for the rest of 2012. If you posted goals on September 19th in the Comments section, let me know how they turned out (for better or worse or a totally different direction). If you met your goals and let me know in the Comments below by Sunday, November 4th at midnight Eastern time, you’ll be entered in a random drawing for two $10 Amazon gift cards.

Keep focused and GOOD LUCK to you all as you immerse yourself in the holidays, or NaNo, or whatever new challenge awaits you. Don’t forget the Rubies’ Winter Writing Festival starts in January!

30 Responses to “Project Ruby Push: Follow Up”

  1. Gwyn says:

    Goal: To finish book three in my series. Since I have only the first chapter written and want to enter it in the GH, I’d best get back to work! Congrats on meeting your goal.

  2. Hope Ramsay says:

    Well my goal on September 19 is the same goal I have now. To finish the current WIP by December 1, which is the deadline. On September 19 I had 10k words. I have 45K now — not a particularly stellar amount of words, but I have been pretty consistently putting in 3 hours a day 5 days a week. My main problem has been an utter lack of connection with the characters in this book. I mean really NONE.

    Until yesterday….

    When after pushing the string and pushing the string something finally happened and I found the emotional core of the story.

    And, of course, that will mean rewrites.

    Aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh. I’m not going to make this deadline.

    • The consistent BICHOK is so important, and while you may not have met your word count goal, finding out the connection is SO important. I think I’ll have to rewrite about half of my 61k, but at least I have something to work with. Like you, it took me a while to get to know my characters and discover the meat of it – which will hopefully make writing the rest of the book so much easier. Good luck!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Hurray, Hope, for finding the emotional connection! Now go, go, go!!

  3. I met my goal to publish my holiday release, Anne Marie! No Exchanges, No Returns is up on Amazon and the official book launch is next Friday. My new goal is to write at least 30,000 words by New Years in between polishing my next release planned for late January.

  4. Sad to say, I abandoned my goals from Ruby Push. It’s been a frustrating six weeks and I’ve really struggled with my writing. It’s been a huge chore just trying to get ANY words on the page, and I’ve been a massive ball of anxiety and stress. Let’s just say, it really took it’s toll.

    But I took a breather. I did some soul searching and I’m tackling NaNoWriMo and I finally feel better about things. So, that’s a plus! :)

    • I think it’s good to take breathers now and then. I did that last fall, and when I got back to writing, things fell into place. No more banging my head against the wall or struggling for words.

      Glad you’re doing NaNo – good luck!

  5. Elisa Beatty says:

    Congrats, Anne Marie, on more than meeting your goal!!!

    I’m with Cynthia–the past few weeks (well, since school started) have been pretty much impossible in terms of getting writing done.

    But I’m signed up for NaNo….and after having to spend all of Nov 1 writing letters of recommendation, I’m ready to get back to fiction-writing today!

  6. Woohoo! Congrats on the word count. Awesome. I’m in awe. 5K a day. Whew.

    On 9/19, I said I’d work on my workshop for the NJ conference and finish a novella. Bam! I did it, as you know. I was told the workshop was awesome and I finished my novel yesterday. Yes, I am proud of myself.

  7. Kate Parker says:

    Congrats to Anne Marie and Autumn on making their goals, and Hope and Cynthia for finding a way to push through to finding where they, or their characters, needed to be. I’ll be eeking out my words and pages until the first of the year, when I can jump into the Winter Writing Festival. Looking forward to that.

  8. Elizabeth Langston says:

    I reached my Ruby Push goal of 30K+ on my WIP. It was not a stretch goal particularly, but it did keep me focused.

    On a related topic, how does one pronounce the 3rd syllable in NaNoWriMo? I pronounced it “RYE” the other day, and my daughter told me I was wrong—that is it “REE”.

    • That’s fabulous! Thanks for checking in.

      I’ve always pronounced it “RYE”, as in “Write” – not sure what’s correct, but most people I’ve talked to have pronounced it the same way. :)

  9. I just went back to check my goals from the Push:

    Finish fulfilling the requests I got from Nationals and to start writing my new paranormal/comedy in earnest. Guess I should also plot a NaNo novel, too.

    Well, I did fulfill my Nationals requests (and got a bunch of rejections back).

    My paranormal/comedy has become my NaNo Novel — and I started working on a novella that wasn’t in the plan. I guess that means I got 2 out of 3 done.

    Should I break out into song? “Two out of three ain’t bad” … ;)

  10. Delia says:

    I didn’t make my Ruby Push goal of 10,500 new words on the WIP. I only made it to 3,000 new words. I’m frustrated with it at the moment so I’m setting to the side while I work on something different for NaNoWriMo. Here’s to 50,000 words in November!

    • I understand the frustrating part of writing. That’s why I’m setting aside the project I was working on for this Ruby Push and moving on to something new. Hoping it sparks new creativity for both projects.

      Good luck with NaNo!

  11. Vivi Andrews says:

    Yay for completing your goal, Anne Marie!

    Mine was to complete and submit my manuscript (DONE!) and my *new* goal is to sort of pseudo-NaNo and get 50K on my new project by Dec 2nd (when the influx of holiday family visitors begins). Fingers crossed. :)

    • Congrats, Vivi, on finishing your manuscript!

      I’m doing a pseudo-NaNo, too – yay! :) I have family coming to stay for about 9 days of November, so I set my goal for my next 90k by Jan 9th (just in time for the Winter Writing Festival). Got 2100 words so far…time to get to work. ;)

  12. Thank you to those of you who’ve checked in and shared your trials & triumphs. I’ll be doing the drawing for the prizes at midnight tonight. :)

  13. Congrats Anne Marie. It is such a terrific feeling to accomplish goals.
    I agree that 5000 words a day is a bit much. My goal is much less and some days that is even difficult. But then there are days I go over and that in itself is a great feeling.

    Best wishes. Sandra

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