Saturday, December 29, 2007

Too Much Information

The trouble with people being on holidays, and not having work or study to consume their brainpower, is that they seem to feel the need to enlighten me on things I have no interest in, or that I actually know more about. Thus I have been lectured on locusts in Australia versus locusts in India and Africa. I have also been lectured on security measures when travelling to the US (by someone who has never been), among other things. No wonder I escape into fiction!

My reading, however, has been slowed down by a stick, specifically a bamboo stick that took it upon itself to poke me in the eye. OK, so I was holding it at the time, but I'm sure it had a mind of its own and decided to "get" me. Maybe someone slipped some paranoia into my drink over Christmas. Needless to say, I didn't let it stop me too much and finished reading one of my presents, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. It's a YA novel, described as Gothic, but it's historical crossed with magic stuff. I did like it more than Twilight but that's probably because the main character had a bit more "gumption" and there were no vampires in it!

After sticking to one of my goals for 2007 (which was to only work on one project at a time), I've now decided that that is not working well for me - I feel like too many things are left unrevised or incomplete. So for 2008, I'm going to try to manage my writing projects better, and use my writing time more effectively. Sometimes I feel like half an hour is not enough to work on my novel project so I end up doing nothing. Now I'm going to try to use those smaller bites of time to work on poems or picture books. The forms are different enough that I can keep them separate in my mind.

Other goals are still in the mulling stage. There's no point setting a goal like "Get my novel published" as this is out of my control - it's someone else's decision. But I can say "Send my novel out to X publishers" instead. Mostly I think I want to manage my time more effectively. It seems to just dribble away. Having two new subjects to teach in 08 won't make it easy, but becoming more organised is probably the sensible thing to do.


Snail said...

A poke in the eye with a sharp stick, eh? I'm glad it didn't slow you down too much.

I'm working my way through my pile of books. It's too hot to do anything else. Not sure how many I'm going to get through by the end of the break.

Sherryl said...

Any recommendations from your reading list? I'm always on the lookout for something new and good, especially on the crime fiction front.
My wish for 2008? A new Stuart MacBride!

Kristi Holl said...

Take care of your eye, Sherryl! I hope you went to a doctor... It always amazes me how differently we writers work. This year (2007) I broke my old one-project-at-a-time habit in order to work on multiple projects--and actually accomplished less. Also I didn't enjoy the writing nearly as much. Yet you had the opposite experience! It's good that we try various approaches, but it still comes down to individual differences and preferences, I guess... For 2008, my main goal in both my writing and my fitness level (which really influences my writing output) is to be CONSISTENT. I know what to do--I just need to do it--and daily. I hope by this time next year I have good solid habits in place for both.

Snail said...

Not sure about recommendations. I'm sure you've read most of them. Just finished Prodigal Summer, which I thoroughly enjoyed. (Although I did skip some of the moth ecology stuff because ... well ... it was a bit like being at work.) Have started on the second Lee Child and am about to finish a non-fiction on the genetic basis of evolution of body form in animals. (It's more interesting than it sounds. But it's not all that accessible.)

And on the topic of shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone and other unlikely Twister-ish metaphors, this is the year that I submit the manuscript. Or give up. (So it's submission, one way or another.)

Sherryl said...

I loved Prodigal Summer more than The Poisonwood Bible, which is the one most people rave over.
Love Lee Child's books too. I am not so keen on Harlan Coben. Something about a sports agent as a detective doesn't quite gel with me.
Yes, time you did something with that manuscript! Sending it out is usually the hardest part.