I’ll try to wrap up today on my comments on your action plans. In the meantime, keep posting comments with your questions on self-editing. I’ll send those off to Renni Browne (author of “Self-Editing For Fiction Writers”) over the weekend and we’ll start discussing those next week.
Some of you noted that the email notification didn’t come today. I posted my blog after midnight yesterday, and that may be the reason.
The most important thing that has happened to me, my mindset has changed, and am very optimistic about my future.
Randy sez: Your mindset is the main thing. If you can believe you can do something, they you are about 60% of the way there already. That’s no guarantee you’ll make it. But it’s a requirement. If you don’t think you can make it, then you have almost no chance.
I can’t influence the getting published bit, but I can commit to sending at least one item to at least one person per week. So now I’m not “trying and failing.” I’m doing something about it.
Randy sez: Exactly! If you take actions directed toward your goal, and then watch what happens as a result, and then take new actions using what you learned, you’ll get better.
Bonne laid out a very detailed and extensive action plan and then concluded:
That’s the plan. It’s a little intimidating to see it all in a row like this, but at the same time amazing to see how far I’ve made it down the list in the last 6 months
Randy sez: Yes, if you look back every once in a while, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve done when you took consistent action. Just take one thing at a time on that list, and execute. It does take a lot of time, but time is what we all have stretching ahead of us. In the next ten years of your life, you have . . . ten whole years to get stuff done. If you don’t bother to do anything, you’ll spend those ten years doing a whole lot of nothing. If writing is worth doing, then it’s worth investing a sizeable chunk of that ten years in.
I woke up 9/19/07 with a story idea. In the last month it has been Snowflaked, and has grown to 30K. If I can keep up my pace of 7K a week, it will be ready for editing by Christmas.
Randy sez: Yow! That’s what I like to see! Action! It may succeed or it may fail. But inaction is ALWAYS going to fail.
On the business end of things, the way I understand it is that here in the U.S., expenses for writing, such as computer, printer, office supplies, contest submission fees, etc. can be written off on taxes (Form 1040 Schedule C) so long as your intent is to make money from your writing (but you don’t actually have to show that you are making money) and you don’t have to have a business license. (Randy can probably confirm/correct this)
Randy sez: Always check with your tax advisor on these things. The rules are a little complicated, and I’ve learned not to give out tax advice. But if you qualify for tax deductions for your writing expenses, it can be pretty significant. Just ask that pesky tax advisor!
To all of you doing NaNoWriMo, good luck! Set your goals, make an action plan, and then do it!
Remember, post your questions on self-editing your fiction here. We have a world class expert to help us learn more–Renni Browne. Let’s learn all we can from her!
Christophe Desmecht says
Thanks for the interesting blog posts every day, Randy, and keeping us motivated.
I started NaNoWriMo yesterday and am glad to say I got off to a whopping start! I also checked out Simple-ology and must say that this is the kind of thing I’ve been looking for to get my life organized. The main thing I’ve been missing from my life so far is a clear goal and simple-ology made me see that. I realized I shouldn’t be involved in 1001 little projects, trying to do it all, but to focus on what’s really important and what’s really in my heart.
Thanks for that link to simple-ology. You and Mark changed my life! If I ever get published, your and his name will be in the “thank you” notes!
Well, I’m off to do my daily praxis and write for NaNoWriMo.
Oh, as for self-editing:
How do you edit a chapter that has been rewritten ten times? A chapter that you can’t get a clear view of anymore because you have all the ghosts of the previous versions haunting your brain. It’s been rewritten so much you can’t make out anymore if it’s good or bad or somewhere in between.
Pam Halter says
I’ve read a lot about cutting when editing. How do you know when you should add?
Ron Erkert says
I should have put that tax adviser disclaimer in. I hadn’t had that first cup of caffeine.
Randy sez: Yes, if you look back every once in a while, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve done when you took consistent action.
I tell my vet students this, especially when they get into their 4th year and worry that they don’t know anything. I have them think back to what they knew when they first started and remind them that they really have learned A LOT and to not be discouraged. We then break down whatever problem/case they’re working on into simple steps. The most successful students are the ones who take a step back when they get frustrated and go back to the basics.
Hmmm…that actually sounds a lot like Simpleology 101. Maybe that’s why I prefer my system…it works for me and is already deeply ingrained.
Karla Akins says
NaNoWriMo Word Count Update: 2409 words. 🙂
I am writing a chick lit thing in first person which is way new to me but I’m enjoying it! It is the first time I’ve ever written in first person. I didn’t think I could do it, but I’m finding I can be funnier in first person. I think it’s good for me to try different things like this. I’m not sure I’m good at it, but I’m having a ball.
For anyone wanting to be my buddy I’m SelahDream on NaNoWriMo. Here’s my profile: http://www.nanowrimo.org/user/23154
Hey, Randy, would it be okay to have a forum group on NaNoWriMo for Randy Ingermanson Students?
Randy’s Kids Unite! LOL.