Change of Plans

 

In my blog post, Recap NaNoWriMo Summer Camp, I said I planned to restart working at least one hour a day on my draft for the period that will begin this Sunday August 14th and end four weeks later on September 10th. As far as blogging during that period, I had planned to produce regular non book related posts for Fridays, my normal blogging day, and short progress posts for Sundays

I am nervous about starting up again on the book because in the two-week respite that I took I have been to busy with my life to do much with the  manuscript. Thinking about the work I plan to do during the next four weeks, I realized that I had been too ambitious with my blogging plans. Since I really want to focus on the draft, I do not think I will have the bandwidth or energy to also produce original posts.

I am changing my plans so that Fridays will remain my blogging day but the four Fridays of my self-imposed NaNoWriMo regime will have posts that detail my progress. This means that Sunday will not be a second day of posts.

See you next week.

 

Recap NaNoWriMo Summer Camp

This is the second time I have done something connected with NaNoWriMo. This past November I did the official NaNoWriMo, using it to complete the first draft of my manuscript. I started updating again on the NaNoWriMo site in January but did not continue. This time, with summer camp, I was able to complete it. I posted every day, averaging over three hours of work. This was great production because I had set the low bar of 1 hour every day, and I well exceeded that.

I would highly recommend NaNoWriMo for anyone who is looking for a way to both motivate and structure their writing process. Even though most of the materials are oriented towards fiction writing anybody can take the process and make it their own.

I have given a lot of thought to how to maintain the accountability that NaNoWriMo Summer Camp offered. Although this was the third time that I posted every day for a month, that is not something I want to continue. Once a week for my blog posts is usually plenty.

I hope to continue to work on the manuscript every day going forward but I am first going to take a two-week break. After that, starting Aug. 14, I plan to continue to update my progress on the NaNoWriMo site, and tweet about my output every day, using the hash tag #accountabiltiy. On Sundays, I plan to have short posts about my work production for the previous week. So I do not burden myself with overly elevated expectations, I am making a commitment to work one hour every day, a total of 1,680 words in the four week period.

On Fridays, I will have regular weekly post about a variety of subjects. I will resume this on August 19th. My first Sunday blog about revision will be August 21st with a note about my first week of this self-initiated process. I hope to sustain these activities for four weeks, twenty-eight days, ending on Sept. 10 as far as NaNoWriMo updating is concerned and my final Sunday post on September 11.

This is just a plan, and we will see if I can stick to it. Hopefully all the structures I am trying to put in place will keep me focused and motivated.

Day 31 – Last Day of NaNoWriMo Summer Camp

Today is both the last day of July and the last day of NaNoWriMo Summer Camp. I worked almost 2 hours. A while ago, I had someone read the whole manuscript and they gave me both line level comments and big picture conceptual comments on every chapter.

The last few days I have been going through those comments for one of the chapters. It is a slow process, and I am worried that it will take a long time. Since Summer Camp is over, I will have to figure out how to continue to make progress on the revision of the manuscript.

Tomorrow I will post my reflections about how I feel NaNoWriMo summer camp went and tell you what my plans are for accountability and continued work on my book

 

NaNoWriMo Summer Camp Day 29

Only two more days left to NaNoWriMo Summer Camp. Today I worked for four hours. That is the longest stretch of time I have put in all month. It was possible because today, Friday, was the freest day with no appointments all month.

I have had various people read various parts of my manuscript. Today I tried to integrate all the comments, from the current Chapter 8, into one document. This was very tedious and hard to do.

I still have more work to do on Chapter 8. I am hoping to do that tomorrow. I also hope to get outside for at least a little bit over the weekend.

 

NaNoWriMo Summer Camp Day 28

There are only three more days until NaNoWriMo Summer Camp  will be done. I have ambivalent feelings about it ending. I will say more about that on Sunday – the last day.

I worked for 75 minutes today, putting together one of the new chapters for my new structure. Currently, but it is subject to change, I have three sections with a total of ten chapters. I do like this new organizational scheme but the proof will be in the pudding. (Sorry for the cliche)

 

NaNoWriMo Summer Camp Day 27

I am continuing with my attempts at reorganization. I also attended a Zoom presentation on “Academic Publishing” and virtually  met with one of my revision classmates.  All of these activities totaled 206 minutes. I have averaged, so far, 110 minutes a day.

NaNoWriMo Summer Camp Day 25

Today is the start of the final week of NaNoWriMo. I procrastinated  and I have a doctor’s appointment, so I only worked for the minimum of 60 minutes.

I spent the time working on the new chapter I created yesterday “Choices”. I am trying to keep the chapter tightly focused on providing examples of the different options available to faculty wives in the late 19th and 20th century.

I am pleased with the work I did today and, hopefully, that will continue tomorrow. Wish me luck.

 

NaNoWriMo Summer Camp Day 23

Today I worked a little over two hours. I now have two outlines. One would be all the chapters I went through and did revision via quotes. I would need an introduction and a conclusion. The other outline has two new chapters.

After I wrote up the outlines, I started looking through all my previous drafts for whatever I have already written about sexuality and intimacy. I have mixed feelings about this process. I wonder if I am just making busy work for myself and retreating to my comfort zone of research. Research is easier than either writing or revision. Writing is easier than revision.

I may continue down the potential rabbit hole of intimacy for another day or so. Now I am off to Jacob’s Pillow to see a dance performance.

 

NaNoWriMo Summer Camp Day 22

Today I went through the epilogue, revising and cutting quotes. I worked for 103 minutes. So far, I have worked an average of almost two hours a day. It may not seem like a lot but what I am doing is hard.

When I began revising via quote, I started with Chapter 2 because I had been working for so long on Chapter one, I was sick of looking at it. Today after I finished with the epilogue, I turned my attention back to it. In the end I decided not to do the quotes in Chapter 1 because I have so many different versions of it that it was very confusing.

What I did instead was think about the organization or reorganization of the whole manuscript. Realizing that there are two problematic chapters one, and seven I produced an outline that simply eliminated those chapters. That gave me a potential manuscript of seven chapters in 272 pages.

I then thought about what I was leaving out by eliminating those chapters and what I wanted to work back into this new structure. Because I have been working on this manuscript for so long, I have multiple chunks I can move around and put in either existing chapters or new ones.

By the end of my 103 minutes, I had a new structure that that would include a revised chapter one, a new chapter on cookbooks, and a new chapter on sexuality for a total of ten chapters and probably, but this is just a guess, 380 words. If I do wind up with a manuscript that is 380 words, it means I would have only cut about sixty pages from the current manuscript. When I think about it that way it is a lot of work for little pay back. As you can tell, this is still a work in progress. I am still trying to figure out what I am doing.

NaNoWriMo Summer Camp Day 20

Today I worked for 90 minutes. I started by trying to tackle the quotes in chapter 7. The chapter really needs reorganization. Part of me thinks I could just eliminate the whole piece, reducing my overall word count by more than 15,000 words.

Thinking about all that is overwhelming since I really wanted to finish this round of revising via quotes before I tackle the more substantive issues in the manuscript. After getting through thirty-three pages of Chapter 7, I gave up. I then turned to Chapter 8.

The main issue with Chapter 8 is that it is too long, and I need to divide it into two. I am not focusing on that right now. Again, I just want to finish the quotes pass. I think I will be done with the remaining material by Monday. Of course, I will let you know whether I achieve that goal.

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