D.V. Sheppard

The web-log of a duck-herding author.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Rifftrax: Because Some Movies Have It Coming" and Goals

"Hey Bella! Come liven up our discussion with your bubbly personality!"
"Sorry, can't socialize, obsessed with crappy book series."
                            - Rifftrax, Twilight

It's really probably not funny at all if you haven't actually watched the Rifftrax (see link), but when I started formulating the idea for this post, it  brought that particular line to mind. I've been meaning to put together a post for awhile, but... well... I've been too busy writing my book (and of course, the whole working, errands, etc. which is boring to go into detail about).

I finally decided that with the rough draft over half way written, it deserved to be treated like a good roller coaster ride - heading down off the big curve. I knew that I could "easily" finish it before the end of the year, which was a "phantom goal" I had set, but when it came right down to it, that was just too unstructured and too much time to feel motivated about.

Now, when it comes to goal making, I have the perfect coach: Wombat. Because when it suits him, he can think like this:

So I sat down with him, and we talked about goal making and we came up with a couple reasonable expectations and end dates. He even made me a little graph to fill in and keep track of how I'm doing - so I can clearly see if I'm falling behind, and how much, or if I'm exceeding my expectations and how well. 

I now have two weekly goal possibilities: Ideal and Bare Minimum. Ideal would mean finishing my book by August 18th - which is a significant challenge for me at this point. Bare Minimum will get me to an end date of September 29th which is my Super Goal end date. Lastly, giving myself space for life's intervention (ie, our summer vacation, etc.), without being too lenient is the Bare Minimum End Date of October 15th. 

It sounds over complicated, but it graphs out very simply and helps me feel excited. The sooner the goal, the more motivated I feel, but the reasonable goals, keep me from feeling stressed when life gets in the way. So far, I'm on track... but then, it's only been a week. Gotta get back to work!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Writing Buddies (IWSG)

I have mentioned that with this year's move, I have been able to make some great changes, and that it has helped revitalize me to do good things. While this has manifested with improvement in health and work, I have only begun to really pounce on the opportunity to make improvements in my writing life. One of my prospects has been to find a writing group. Back in the day, I used to have a couple friends that I shared my work and exchanged critiques with. Over time I grew apart from both friends for different reasons, and since then my only beta-reader is Wombat. He does a fantastic job, but he ain't a writer. 

So, I decided once arriving in Austin I'd take a look and see what kind of groups are out there. Two landed on my radar that were close enough that I might have a chance of becoming a part of - but... then it turns out that one only invites five members of a time to meet and they do I think, like, chapter critiques. Booked out for a few weeks to. Well, that's not exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately the approach I've been taking with my book, means that I can't really bring in my work on a chapter by chapter basis. It won't be ready for that until I'm working on my second draft and I'm still on the rough. So I began thinking - maybe I can't join a group yet. Is this what all groups are for?

About then, I took a look at the second group. It was more of a writer's guild. They'd have guest speakers occasionally... but I can't tell what else they do. 

Needless to say, I suddenly felt far from secure about stepping out into the writer's world after all. So I turn to you loverly writers. Are you a part of a group? How do you function? Has it been beneficial? What would be your recommendation?