Monday, March 8, 2010

CRAP! My weekend mistake.


I did something dreadful over the weekend.

I sat down and determined to work on my current book with ZERO interruptions. No. That wasn't the dreadful thing, LOL. I turned off my e-mail software, closed out of twitter, and Xed out of my Internet browser. WOOHOO I was gonna get something done!

I then opened my WIP and put my fingers to the keyboard. But instead of my mind concentrating on the current book, it wandered far away to a partially written manuscript that was sitting somewhere, lonely, forgotten in the midst of the 250GB hard-drive. I could hear it's famished pleas for attention, for someone just to read it one time and remember it.

Of course, the kindhearted author in me couldn't ignore it. So I opened it. It is the third book of my Cyber-love series. I have the first book completed, the second book almost halfway finished, and the third book barely started, sitting at about 10k words. I've put book 2 and 3 aside until I garner interest for the first book, as I've had many advise me of this, and God keeps directing my attention elsewhere. But it's been almost a year since I've even read the 10k words of book three. It was lonesome.

So I read. I saw MANY problems, fixed a small handful of them, ignored the rest for now. I smiled as the story unfolded, my mind not remembering much of what I'd written. My heart pulled a little at a heated scene between hero and future father-in-law. I leaned forward in anticipation of how it would end. The chapter ended with a slammed door and a fuming hero. I grinned in delight and scrolled down to the next chapter, eager to remember what happened next.

And that's when I saw it.

A stark, blank, pure white screen with a blinking cursor.

CRAP!!!!! It was like those stupid books that end with the 1st chapter of the next book (the one not due out for another 6 months to a year) that end on a total hook and make you want to scream. Only this one was MY fault because I just haven't written it yet. And really, I hadn't decided what happened next either! CRAP CRAP CRAP!

But... then I toggled over (Alt-Tab is my friend!) to my current WIP. Hero, who is repentant, and heroine, who is thoroughly ticked off and not in the mood to forgive, are getting ready to sit down to a highly heated game of checkers while stranded at her house in a snow storm. (they aren't alone... no worries, Dad just went to bed much too early, to Heroine's chagrin)

I was so conflicted between the two stories that I got a whoppin' 86 words written that day. NOT what I'd hoped for by any stretch.

To make matters worse, I was sitting in church and a little piece of the puzzle to book #3 hit me. I want to write it SO very badly, but I know in the scheme of things it's a bad idea. Even if I went back to the series, I'd really need to finish book 2 before I start again on book 3.

To top ALL of this off, I still have much editing to do on the book I finished in November, and I have my Genesis entries to polish and write synopsis's for. AND! I still haven't done my taxes! Which is a total tragedy because I'm due back money (that's what three kids and a hubby who only works part-time will do to you...)

So here I sit... Sunday night... having so much to work on but no clue what start first. In a perfect world, I'd split up my time. Um, you know how when you fold a piece of paper in half and eventually it is so small and thick you can't half it anymore? Yeah, that is my time. There isn't enough of it to split.

The answer for me is to prioritize. I know this in my heart. Do things that have deadlines first, the ones with sooner deadlines coming in priority.
  1. Genesis entries. Due 03/31/10.
  2. Taxes. Due 04/15/10.
  3. Sandwich book edits. No due date, but I get in crits every few weeks from crit partners for the next chapter. Need to do better at setting aside (non-deadline stuff) and doing those edits as they are received.
  4. Embarrassing book. No due date, but current WIP that I want to finish ASAP, definitely before baby's arrival.
  5. Book #2 of Cyberlove series.
  6. Book #3 of Cyberlove series.
As you can see... my last priority is book #3. *sigh* So I must set aside my intense curiosity of what will happen and get back to my list of priorities.

Discussion: How do you decide what/when/how to work on things?

Congrats to Julia on being the winner of "A Heart's Journey Home" by Jen Stephens!

21 comments:

Jessica said...

Your plate is definitely full! Gotta love it when old stories try to seduce you away from current projects.
I hope you get everything done without growing any gray hairs. :-)

Gwen Stewart said...

I hear you, Krista. I got very little editing done this weekend. There was just too much going on! But I hope to get some done, at least a little, this week.

God bless--and hang in there!

Carol Bruce Collett said...

Hate to admit this, but right now I'm so busy that I prioritize by energy requirement. I do first what requires the least energy...sad, but true.

Katie Ganshert said...

Oh, I feel you, girl. It's so tough when one thing is calling you, but you know you have to pay attention to other things first. I hope your priorities work out for you!!

sherrinda said...

Do what has the first deadline. :) How's that for simple? lol I cannot imagine having that many WIPs going at the same time. I guess I am a one book girl...still trying to get motivated to finish editing my first. (Though I have to say working on the synopsis is helping my passion build for it again.)

Krista Phillips said...

Just a note: I didn't start out having multiple stories. I really AM a one story at a time kinda girl.

I finished book one, did a ton of editing, but needed to put it aside so started to work on book 2. But then I quickly realized that my plot wasn't working as written. I put aside, knowing I needed to work on something else for a while to let it simmer. That something else was book #3. But 10k into it, I acknowledged the need to finish book #2 first.

So I rewrote what I'd written on that book... but half way through realized that I needed to let both simmer while I edited/pitched book one and worked on something different.

Finished the something different... then started another something different.

Alas, now I have 3 books in progress, 2 finished books that could both probably use more edits. LOL.

Gotta love writing!

Carol... I totally agree! Less energy is good... unfortunately all of my tasks require quite a lot of it!

Valerie said...

Krista, let somebody else do your taxes this year, and get that off you. I KNOW you want to do them yourself, but you can next year. Just gather up your stuff, drop them off, and forget about them until you get your direct deposit in your bank. :)

Jody Hedlund said...

Great priority list, Krista. I think at this point in your career, you truly do need to focus on what will help push you forward the most. Sounds like the contest and editing/querying the Sandwich book need to be at the top.

Andrea said...

Your cup runneth over!! I am not sure I will get all the things on "my" to do list done before I die...I already have graying hair.
Blessings, andrea

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Wow! You are brave and skilled to be working on so many projects. I seriously can only work on one at a time. when it needs to sit, I go read.

patti said...

Wow. I am so proud of you for being obedient to a frequent Biblical instruction: persevere!!!

Hmmm. How I prioritize? Know the old story about putting out fires? The ones sizzling and crackling and singeing my seat get attention!!
LOL.

CMOM Productions said...

I tend to prioritize to the best of my ability. Which means, I don't get as much done as I'd like to... EVER! lol Good luck on what you are working on Krista. I'm sure you already wrote notes on what you want to do for book 3. :) When you get to it, you'll know exactly what direction you want to go in.

Erica Vetsch said...

I have to prioritize, that's for sure. And make sure I'm accountable to someone.

You've got a very full plate, but perhaps the baby's due date will spur you on to get lots done so you can sit back and enjoy the baby when she comes. :)

Janna Qualman said...

Oh noes! What a horror. I hope you get some direction for one or the other, and soon.

That's the way it happens to me, too, timing-wise. Yesterday I sat at my computer minutes before leaving for church, frantically typing away. Why can't that happen when I've got no place to be?

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Still working on that. It's hard!

I know that feeling all too well. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to writing. I need to be my own cheerleader!

Karen Lange said...

I sympathize! I've run into the prioritizing dilemma just recently - several things that must have attention, but where to go first...Then I pray and things have a way of working out.
Blessings,
Karen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Krista -

LOL! So, I'm not the only one who gets sidetracked by book ideas or reading my work.

My Genesis entry is in, taxes are done, but life situations have kept me from the happy rat-tat-tat of my keyboard. I've decided to use the downtime for reading and idea percolating.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jason said...

I hear ya, Krista. I was able to write very little this past weekend. I try to force a few hours a night after I finish work for writing but lately...eh.

I spent almost five hours on a one-page synopsis for Genesis and have no idea if it's even right for the contest. Ugh.

Hopefully you can break through and get some serious WIP work in!

Alexis Grant said...

Hey -- Found my way here from Jody Hedlund's blog. Love your tagline! One writer's dream! Awesome. And I struggle with prioritizing sometimes too -- I think we all do. But it sounds like you're well on your way.

Krista Phillips said...

Alexis, so glad you stopped by!!!! :-)

Nishant said...

There was just too much going on! But I hope to get some done, at least a little, this week.
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