SpringKazNo: Check-in #2

I’m still having trouble keeping up with things, but I’m determined to improve on that next week. Sorry I’ve not been more present for KazNo this year, but I promise that I am supporting each and every one of you and would love you to continue writing toward your goals alongside me. Don’t let anything hold you back. Not even the big things… like fear:

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
― Steven Pressfield

I’m only on chapter 8 out of 22, so have a long way to go! But I know I’ll get there. I have to. Even with the migraine I had that wiped out all of yesterday. Even with the many, many things we all have to do that pull us away from our writing on a daily basis.

Here’s what the wonderful Natalie Goldberg says when people tell her they want to write but they have no time, or they have debts to pay, or they have five children and an elderly mother to care for:

“There is no excuse. If you want to write, write. This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait. Make the time now, even if it is ten minutes once a week.”
― Natalie Goldberg

Ten minutes, once a week? Okay. So be it. Let’s keep on going down the track, see where we can end up by the the end of the month.

So, how did you do with #SpringKazNo this week? What are you hoping to achieve in the coming week?

Next check-in will be on Saturday, April 21st. I need to be up to Chapter 15 by then…

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44 Responses to SpringKazNo: Check-in #2

  1. senita says:

    I wrote a lot tuesday, wednesday and Thursday, but I haven’t had the chance to count. I’m hoping to get more in this coming week.
    The thinking positive is really helping.

  2. music_lover3 says:

    I got more writing done this week. Still not able to write every day, but I am writing quite a bit, so I feel like I accomplished a lot this week.

  3. Becky says:

    This week was good. I actually got a lot of writing done last Sunday, while riding in the car. (Probably because I couldn’t be distracted with Twitter or email!) I need 800 more words for this weekend’s goal, and then my goal for the coming week is 6,000.

    I’m in the muddled middle of my WIP. I have an urge to rush through it, so I’m trying to keep the focus on working through it.

    Becky

    • Kaz says:

      I am terribly distracted by twitter when riding in cars or on trains because of my Blackberry. *sigh* I love it, but the twitter app is pretty deadly. 😉

      Well done for keeping focused through the middle of the book. It can get sticky in there, so it’s good to hear you’re just taking it one step at a time and resisting the urge to rush.

      Keep going!

      Kaz

  4. Kiara says:

    I actually got writing done this week! It wasn’t much – just 2600 words or so. But that allowed me to finish a short piece that is a prequel of sorts to what I’ll be finishing up next. I want to finish a novel that’s been in the middle-stages for over a year now, as a gift for a friend (who has been moaning to learn the end of the story for some months now).

    Sunday seems to be my big writing day, and I think I’m okay with that. Writing doesn’t have to mean beating myself up if I can’t write every single day. I’m trying to give myself a break on a lot of things, including this. I’m trying to find the balance between achieving goals and being too hard on myself. It’s a shaky, scary balance (especially when you were raised by & as a perfectionist!)

    My goal for this week specifically is to re-examine my plot and try to up the stakes until I’m no longer bored with the story. 🙂

    • Kaz says:

      What a wonderful outlook! So hard to really live this way where our creative lives are concerned, but I commend you for seeing that being too hard on ourselves (the hallmark of a perfectionist that I totally understand) is just the wrong way to approach things. It squashes our creativity, in my experience.

      Goals are great things – they give us something to aim for – but they are simply that: guidelines. They have to be flexible.

      You’re doing very well, keep on the way you’re going! 🙂

  5. Paris says:

    I pretty much took this week off. I think I wrote maybe 1k the whole week, but it’s my annual deep Spring cleaning week so all but 2 days since Sunday were spent cleaning. I have 2 things left on my list (one of which is giving myself a pedicure, yay for sandals!!) that’ll be done tomorrow morning and then it’s back to the writing board. I can’t wait.

    Also made a promise to myself that I would blog at least 3 times a week even if I have 0 followers. Pretty sure that is considered talking to myself, but since I tend to do that a lot as is, I don’t think I’ll look any crazier.

    Good luck everyone! I hope you all have a very fruitful KazNo!

    • Kaz says:

      Well done for getting all the cleaning stuff done – I need to do that! Hmm… Maybe in May. 😉

      I hope you stick with blogging. Sometimes we all feel like we’re talking to ourselves, but it’s good practice with writing.

      Cheers,
      Kaz

  6. Jason says:

    This hasn’t been a good productive week for me. Been doing lots of extra hours at the day job, coming home tired and cranky and definitely not in the right frame of mind to sit and write.
    I’m slightly less than half my 30,000 target with half the month to go, so need to play catch up. Will write as much as possible today.
    Best wishes to everyone taking part!

    • Kaz says:

      Writing is one of the first things I let go of when I’m feeling tired/cranky, but I’m trying to treat it as something that might help when I’m feeling… rough. Sometimes it can surprise you if you sit down to write, even when you don’t feel like it. Maybe you’ll write 200 words and it’ll be a struggle, but I bet you’ll be happy you did it – might even lift your mood!

      I hope this week has been better for you. 🙂

      Kaz

  7. Jani says:

    Last week I was behind, this week I’m ahead. Standing at chapter 17 of 32, so the chapter rewrite a day is working well. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish everything by the 30th.

    Everybody is doing so well. Good luck with the next 15 days!

    • Kaz says:

      A chapter a day is a good goal. Mine ended up being something like that by the time I got started (late!).

      Sounds like you’re doing well so far. 🙂

  8. Rose says:

    I’m a little behind on my goal but I’m really motivated right now. Main problems? school and exams this week, especially when I usually write at night.
    Let’s hope I’ll be able to keep up!

    • Kaz says:

      Rose, school and exams have to come first, so you mustn’t be too hard on yourself. If you get in a bit of writing, great, but if you don’t? There’s always next week!

      Hope you’re doing okay.

      Kaz

  9. Oh, Kaz, that first quote you posted was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you!

    This week I didn’t make my official KazNo goal of new wordcounts on my WIP because I used my writing sessions to read through the whole book-so-far, make some small changes, and start thinking about larger issues…and oh, have I felt intimidated and scared. I was even wondering whether I’d just made a mistake by thinking I could write this book at all – wondering whether I should have tried something much less challenging for me. It helped SO MUCH to read that quote!

    *hugs*

    And otherwise…health issues have been a real pain for my goals in the past week and a half. Wah. I do still feel confident that I’m still going to hit my freelance deadlines and make up for all the time lost to health stuff, but I’m not exactly where I’d hoped to be by now in terms of wordcounts for either the freelance project or my WIP, which is depressing. Sigh. Lots of chocolate and motivation for the weeks ahead…

    • Kaz says:

      Major HUGS, Steph! But then, you know I’m cheering you on already. That quote helps me, too. I love collecting quotes that speak to all parts of the creative process. You never know when you’re going to need the perfect one… 🙂

      I’m sorry the last week has been such a struggle, especially where your health is concerned. *moar hugs*

      You know… I used to be harder on myself for not hitting my wordcount goals, but sometimes we just CAN’T. That’s all there is to it. But we need to set the goals, otherwise we’d flounder. Well, I certainly would! Goals are there to motivate us, not beat us over the head if we don’t meet them. We can just set new goals for the next month.

  10. Isabel says:

    I’m at 1352 words so far this month. There’s no way I’m going to achieve my goal, but I’ll still try to write as much as I can.

    • Kaz says:

      Good for you, Isabel! That’s exactly what it’s about: writing as much as YOU can in your circumstances. Had you not joined in, maybe you would have 0 words for April. Now you have almost 1,500, and who knows what you’ll have by the end of the month. 🙂

  11. Vick says:

    Hello gang,
    I love the KazQuotes, brilliant to read. I only got four out of my five poems written this week but I have sketched out ideas for three more and with the extras that I managed last week I’m still ahead of my goals. I’m hoping to take time out one morning this week to sit and turn the ideas into poems and get a couple of extras done as well. I think the chocolate and motivation idea from Stephanie sounds perfect!
    I hope the next couple of weeks goes really well for everyone.
    Vick.

    • Kaz says:

      Four out of five is still awesome! Well done!!

      And you’re ahead of your goals? Cool. 🙂 I’m really glad you’re here with us.

  12. Sarah (Essjay) Bryars says:

    I managed to write everyday this week so am now up to just over 25000 words 🙂 I’m just hoping to keep the momentum going to get to my goal as I have to write the same again by the end of the month!

    • Kaz says:

      Sounds like you’ve got a good rhythm going now! Well done – I really hope you keep going throughout the month. 🙂

  13. Sara Walker says:

    I stalled this week. I have been cleaning out my house and shredding all documents that are more than 7 years old. I didn’t realize shredding would be a full-time job, but I keep overheating the poor thing. So the writing stalled, but the plotting didn’t. I have the next act plotted and I’m ready to go. I will also be researching shredding companies. 🙂

    • Kaz says:

      Sounds like you got a huge job done that needed doing, though, so that’s great! And all that shredding is definitely good thinking time re. your writing. 🙂

  14. Serena says:

    I’ve had an excess of homework and being sick, so my week started off with pretty much no writing. Now I’m better and have gotten up to 6,200 words. Close to my goal, and I’m not going to beat my self up about it. I’ll just have to work harder next week.
    Also I got slightly distracted by a Shiny New Idea, and ended up not only writing down the outline but starting on a couple scences. It took some effort to pull myself away and get back to my current project but I’m still really into my idea and will have to start on it as soon as I’m done my current WIP.
    Congrats to everyone who’s on track with their goals and good luck to everyone next week. 🙂

    • Kaz says:

      I’m sorry you were sick, but it’s good to know things improved towards the end of the week. I hope this week has been better!

      Having New!Shiny! ideas is always a danger for us writers, but it’s also awesome that we can get them lined up to work on later. You did the right thing getting some notes down (and a couple of scenes), but you had the strength to get back to the current WIP. Awesome! 🙂

  15. Memory says:

    I’ve worked in fits and spurts so far this month, thanks to some family issues, but I finally managed to finish my WIP this afternoon! It’s very much a rough draft, but at least it’s something to build off of. I already have some exciting ideas as to how to polish it up, so I’ll start it on my revision outline as soon as I’ve let the book settle for a day or two.

    • Kaz says:

      Sorry to hear you’ve had family stuff getting in the way, but… wow, despite that you still finished the draft! WELL DONE!! 🙂

      It’s good to step away from it for a while before starting revisions, but maybe you’ll have made a start by the next check in.

      Kaz

  16. I wrote about 1,5k around easter, but that’s all I got done all month so far. I’m just too busy with university stuff I’ve been putting off. However, I hope to get some editing on my novel done tomorrow afternoon since I have 3 hours to fill between work and the tutorial I’m teaching. It’s really frustrating to have so little time because I have a lot of ideas I’d like to put on paper, but at the moment it just can’t be helped 🙁

    • Kaz says:

      I had some family stuff at Easter getting in the way, too, but at least I don’t have uni work! You’ve gotta put that first, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Seriously.

      As you say yourself, it really can’t be helped. You’ll feel sad and frustrated, but you can only do what you can humanly do in the time you have available. If you have next to no time… well, that’s it. Your writing/editing will still be there for you when things are less busy. Okay?

      Kaz

  17. Nikki Egerton says:

    Thanks for the fear quote Kaz, it’s so true, and reminds me of another good one, that nothing worth doing is ever going to be easy.
    I’m behind (way behind) but still thinking and planning and plotting, so I know I haven’t lost it yet. I had an assignment to do that I put off and put off until it snowballed into some big thing I was afraid of. Now I’ve gotten that done I feel so much better (and I actually think the assignment is good too) So I can concentrate on bumping up that wordcount and let my heroine-stuck-in-limbo finally get some action!
    Keep going everyone, even small steps forward are better than none at all xxx

    • Kaz says:

      I’m behind, too, but even when Life gets in the way we can still be thinking about our work. Sounds like you’re similar to me in that way.

      Glad to hear that assignment worked out well!

      Hope to hear from you on the next check in. 🙂

      Kaz

  18. Eve says:

    I’m still not writing a lot, but I did do some writing yesterday which makes me happy. I just need to remember that it makes me happy so that I do it every day. I have a feeling the writing will go better in May when I’m on vacation. But hopefully the daily habit starts this week.

    • Kaz says:

      It feels so wonderful to get a good writing session in, doesn’t it?

      It’s great to hear that you have more time coming up in May, although the fact that you’re still trying to develop a daily habit – even during busy times – is very positive. Well done!

  19. Yanicke Forfang says:

    This is my first check-in for the month… I have been really busy with Easter, school holidays and kids 🙂 I havent written as much as I planned in the first two weeks but I at least finished the chapter I wanted to finish – I was just lucky that the chapter turned out to be shorter than I thought it would be.
    So chapter 8 is done and I started chapter 9 today — 500 words written 🙂 Yay!
    Hopefully I will get another 1000 words done over the next two days. Then I wont be able to write again until next week because the weekend is super busy (cleaning, cleaning, cleaning).
    My goal is to finish chapter 9 by then end of the month. If I do that then I have achieved my goal 🙂

    • Kaz says:

      Sounds like you’re doing well, despite being so busy! Good for you. 🙂

      I’ll be looking for you during the last few check ins to see if you managed to finish chapter 9. I’m cheering you on!

  20. I spent the week rolling around in research, metaphorically. It’s inspired new direction and I think I know where I want to take things. So, I’m calling it a week of progress, despite the slowly moving needle on word count.

  21. Shanna says:

    Brilliant quote, Kaz!

    I see results are various… well, I still haven’t written a single word, besides those first 1,000 words. But I think I know what I need to do: cut out the character. Dump her! So I might write a bit this week 🙂

    My goal for KazNo (new): fix my storyline!!!

    • Kaz says:

      Good to see you setting a new goal. As I said above to Chelsea, word count is not the only marker of progress. If you’ve realised that your whole story needs rethinking, better to do that now than later. 🙂

  22. Liz says:

    Hi! I’m late checking in – but I’m happy to say I’m sitting on a steady 35k after a wobbly start. This means I’m smack bang in the middle of Grimm 4.0 and guess what? Self-doubt has crept in. Oh the horror.

    I’ve printed off the ms and am using the technique author Sarah Grant taught us in a SCBWI masterclass to try and figure out if this ms works. To be fair, I think it’s working, it’s just my brain telling me otherwise.

    I’ve been getting up earlier, leaving the house earlier. I manage to get to sit and write in Pret near my office for around forty minutes to an hour before work starts at 9am. I try and get out at lunch too, but it’s more difficult.

    So the words are happening, just not as fast as I’d like.

    • Kaz says:

      Well, I’m even later replying to people! 🙂

      I love that you’re working on this despite having a full-time day job, Liz. That’s brilliant, and you must give yourself major props for it. Not easy to get up early and write before work.

      Self-doubt is one of the worst things we face as writers. You have to dig deep and find that place in you that knows you’re doing a good job. Trust your instincts about the ms.

      Hugs,
      Kaz

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