The full-time writing gig is almost here, plus pics of my writing room

With just a couple of days left till I’m a full-time writer (for five months, but still!), I’m feeling the pressure of my ambitious writing plan. To be honest, I have not been writing much lately, partially due to some traumatic personal stuff I’m going through at the moment, and probably because I’ve been deferring writing for this time when I will be free from work stress and thus magically transformed into a writing machine. As a result, my tracking spreadsheet looks like this:

Bad writing record

The zig-zagging red “goal” line shows that I have twice already given up and reset my goal, only to fall short again. This can’t happen over the next five months, otherwise I would have wasted my long service leave, which I’ve been accumulating for eight years…it can’t happen!

So, I have started by setting up my environment. Virginia was right – oh, what a difference a room of one’s own makes…and here is mine!

IMG_2791

Terrible photo, sorry, can you tell how fabulous is the desk? Made even more so by the fact that it set me back just $10 on eBay. I mean, $10 AUD! That means it was practically free in American dollars! And the chair was just $25 from a garage sale.

My Italian Greyhound approves…everyone, meet Bubbles:

IMG_2737

I have managed to write a thousand words today, which is a far cry from the 3-4K I mean to write every single day for the next three weeks or so. Still, having a space to go and sit at the desk, all official-like was better than my usual lounging in bed or on the couch, which inevitably led to Internet surfing.

I plan to also dangle a carrot in front of my nose, for further motivation – I just made a deal with myself that if I complete my weekly plan, I will get a 45-minute massage at the end of the week. If I overachieve the plan by at least 25%, I will get an hour-long massage. And if I don’t complete it…well, there will be an extra grueling gym session on the weekend. Oh, I didn’t mention – I plan to also lose a couple of kilos during the five months. These are quite possibly pipe dreams, but who knows? I am trying to pound into my cerebral cortex a message of “your life could be like this every day.”

Speaking of pipe dreams, here’s another one. I finally unpacked an artist’s easel and a huge canvas I’d bought about a year ago:

IMG_2792

The big white canvas is just as frightening as my current word count and the number on my weight scale. Still, with a plan and daily discipline, I should be able to do it all, right? I started by taking stock of the “current state”, as I usually do at work:

  • Published books: 1
  • Drafted words: 33,330
  • Paintings: 0
  • Kilos: 62.6 (that’s 138 pounds)
  • Klout score: 61 (more on Klout in the next post)

Let’s see where I get to by 1 August 2016!

92 Comments

Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

92 responses to “The full-time writing gig is almost here, plus pics of my writing room

  1. Sounds like you’re onto something, all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I’m not a writer beyond my blog, I too find it so useful to have a designated working space if I need to get something done. All the better if I can make it cute and comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You can do this! Don’t give up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just publish on my site and I have had to take practically two months off of writing. I put up something here or there but my traffic has slowed dramatically and I’m losing traction. Trying to get back into it and be in touch with my agent but personal problems are getting in the way.

    Good luck to you. I believe in you (:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tamara Kulish

    I feel I can offer a couple of different suggestions for you! I try to take walks… Not only does it help keep my weight under control, but my mind is free to wander and I get some great aha moments to bring back to my writing!

    As far as a blank canvas? Follow the example of some of the masters: paint a colored background first! The Group of Seven from Canada (I had the incredible opportunity to view their work up very close, a few inches away when I noticed this! http://www.gallery.ca/en/about/340.php), Tom Thompson especially, would paint over an prepainted orange background. If bits of orange showed through they didn’t stress over it since it added more dynamism to their paintings! I’ve experimented with this concept and have used different colors for backgrounds. It’s also very relaxing to do this prep work! Here’s my Orange Tulip done on an orange background: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/lone-red-tulip-tamara-kulish.html while this flower painting was done on a dark background of blues and greens mixed with black: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/blue-fairy-tree-tamara-kulish.html

    The white canvas scares and intimidates too many people! Try this and I’m sure you’ll have fun!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great idea, thank you, Tamara! Absolutely LOVE the tulip!

      I do also support the walking as “active meditation” – I wrote Shizzle, Inc in bits and pieces when I used to walk to work or from work. I tend to daydream a lot, so it was perfect, just a matter of writing the thoughts down when I came home.

      Like

  6. All brilliant, although I’m not sure about the chair. It looks far too comfortable and tempting a place for taking a quick snooze when you’re meant to be writing. I have a straight-backed, hard office chair. No nodding off allowed.
    The painting canvas? Are you going to end up designing your own book covers, using original artwork, or is that your place of therapy and relaxation when writing gets too stressful?
    Love your dog. My chocolate Labrador has a special office bed. At the moment, I’m aware of her eyes upon my back, willing me to leave my PC and get her some food.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Sarah 🙂 the chair is not ideal, as I find it’s too big. Unfortunately, I suffer from both hip and upper back pain, so I need to make myself as comfortable as possible. Hopefully the massages and the thought of having to tell you how much I’ve actually done will keep me going…
      The painting will be completely unrelated – I actually want to paint a portrait of my parents from a tiny black and white photo when they were young. Something to switch off the constant fantasizing about Isa 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Qi Gong exercises are good for sorting out hip and back pain, plus they’re calming to the mind. I used to get the most horrendous frozen shoulders until I started these exercises. I attended Tai Chi classes for a few months and the Qi gong exercises were used as warm ups. I was hopeless at Tai Chi, so stopped going to classes but carried on doing the warm-up sequence for 5-10 minutes a day at home. One of the things I learned at the class was how to sit comfortably on hard chairs without using the back of the chair to support myself. You have to sit on the edge of the chair with your feet placed in such a way as you can stand straight up in one smooth movement if need-be. No crossing your legs while sitting, just your feet flat on the floor but slightly back, with the majority of your weight supported by your bottom and the top of your thighs. No hollowing of your back, either. Consciously fill that space. It takes practice this posture, but I can sit for hours on hard chairs without discomfort and it’s much better for your spine than sitting in a soft chair. Perhaps I should do a blog post sometime about this, with some photos to illustrate.
        That sound such a lovely idea, doing that painting of your parents. I know all about that need to switch off from fantasizing about one’s fictional characters 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that sounds hard! Yes, I’m sure I’m not the only one – back pain has got to be an occupational hazard…thank you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I wish you all the best! You are such an inspiration. Love your writing space 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If anyone can do it, Ana, it’s you! Go for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yay! (Your writing room is much cooler than mine, by the way.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful place to be! Go Ana, rock the world girl! 😘😋

    Liked by 1 person

  11. WOO! Good luck! And I *love* that desk, even though if I had one, I’m sure I’d be bashing my knees to hell on those sawhorse legs. :p

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Jon! So far, so good, but it is a tad low, so I need to think of some clever way to raise it up an inch or two…the glass has a map of the world on it, as soon as I saw it, I thought it was a sign 🙂 Had to have it…

      Like

  12. Meghan

    I wish I had a room other than my dining room table to write at. Not enough rooms in the house

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’m so aware that this is a luxury…although I used to have a three-bedroom house with a two-car garage and a basement, and the whole place was full of stuff, thanks to a hoarding ex-husband…I am minimalist to a fault now, the Red Cross down the road has greatly benefited from all the stuff I had in this spare room. As a matter of fact, this is the first time in my life that I don’t have a storage/junk/can’t walk in room…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hello, Bubbles. My Chiweenie (half dachshund half chihuahua) Rachel sleeps right against my left thigh as I sit in my chair writing. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The only problem comes when she rests his little snout on the keyboard and gives me a whole line of zzz’s unexpectedly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know exactly what you mean! Bubbles used to snuggle up to me when I worked on the couch and kept trying to lick the keyboard…I even twitted a pick of my “writer’s block” one day, which was her sleeping on my right arm…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Looks like a lovely place to sit and write, watching the weather change and clouds drift by. Good luck with your plans – they sound wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Much support and 💛 to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Best wishes for your determination, you can do it…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good luck with your five month adventure. I sure wish I had the opportunity for such a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Maybe it is possible? I am doing this at half pay, you can’t imagine how difficult it was for me to decide that I will lose 2.5 months of pay to pursue this…

      Like

      • I’m the sole source of income for my family so it’s not very possible. My two kids are in college and I’ll be 55 in three years and hopefully able to retire. And spend a lot more time writing. Just need to get there.

        I have thought of taking a three or six month leave to focus on writing for a piece of time but for the finances.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, okay – understandable. I have no dependents (other than Bubbles), so I am only accountable to myself. Great that you will be able to retire so soon – you can build up a platform by then and take off like a rocket 🙂

        Like

  18. Good luck, and I think you’ll find the most important thing about the space you’ve set up will be the view. Even if it’s just to a couple buildings across the street, all that sunshine and possible activity outside will inspire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, it really does inspire – just walked in with my morning coffee, can’t be more excited! Feng shui dictates that you can’t have your back to the door, but I can’t bring myself to turn the desk…:-)

      Like

  19. Tony

    You have the canvas of each of those buildings to work from. Who is the jerk in Apt 232 with his telescope? The business on the verge of foreclosure across the way. What really happened when the police and ambulance arrived in the red building. 1k of words is proabably the minimum and go from there. Write your short sentences and expand from there.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Looks like a great spot. I set a goal of 1000 words a day. Once done I quit. Feel satisfied. I do the thousand before anything else.Before I know it I have a novel length done in 90 days or so. I think pushing for more only lets you down and contributes to the feeling of a lack of accomplishment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, John – I will see how I go, this is an experiment as much as anything else. I’ve had inspired days, when I’d written 3K easily and din’t notice the time passing, so I will see if I can get so absorbed again. You’re right (and my ugly chart shows), that a 1K every day would get you 4 books a year, which is incredible, actually.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Love it — and your greyhound will keep you from getting into scary-lady-stuck-in-the-seat-all-day territory. Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. pjwillrockyou

    I wish i had enough attention to actually finish writing a book haha
    Good luck with writing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I hope everything is going okay and/or is on the up. Your writing room looks wonderful. It always helps when the furry friend approves.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. olivia barrington

    I really like your desk that was a great deal on it and that view is free! You be surprised the kind of deals that are at garage sales. I love thrift stores, find almost everything I want at them cheap. You’ll get your writing done. Some days you’ll blast through your goal and write more, others a little less. Just add up all the words at the end of the week and you can have the massage. Easy. The personal stuff will get better with time especially when you get lost in your writing. That will energize you and push the black clouds away. Your dog is so cute. Does she like to rest her head on your feet when you write? My cat likes to sit in my lap. I finally got all the info on the book stores just trying to make up my mind which three to pick out for you. I’ll let you know shortly. I’m sending good vibes your way. Remember your books are going to be best sellers and made into movies. Never lose sight of your goals or dreams. Life gets in the way sometimes, just give it an elbow to the gut, life deserves it for all the junk it throws at us. Chin up head down when your 5 weeks start and write, write, write. I have faith in you!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: Get Going! | Ben Ezard

  26. OMG, how I love your writing space! The window looks amazing, and I love the dog at your feet. Looks like you are set 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Kel

    Traumatic personal stuff? I know all about that. It will put your Muse in chains. You are an inspiration to me. You work very hard and you deserve nothing but good things. I love your writing area and the view is great, too. I hope you blog everyday about your writing adventures during the next 5 months. That may be selfish since you need the creative time to write. I hope your personal things level off and you can concentrate on your ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kel, appreciate it. Yes, the Muse is mostly wallowing and checking the fridge, plus now she is imagining I have cancer, so I have to go to the doctor tomorrow to check it out…enough already 🙂

      I will tweet every day about it and blog once a week – I think some people may unfollow me if I blog too often. Did write 1k of words yesterday, and done a lot of editing – I was having major writer’s block, but then had a bright idea to start from the beginning, which I wrote over 6 months ago. In getting re-acquainted with my own work 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. You can do this. Goals are powerful things. So are rewards and accountability. But for those days when it’s hard, or you disappoint yourself–be gracious to yourself. I hope this upcoming season is rich and rewarding. Prepare to be surprised. Who knows what may come…. and what you may discover.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Matt 🙂 I do realise that not every day will go to plan, especially currently, cause I’m having a bit of situational depression I’m fighting off. It’s like weight loss – you can’t weigh yourself every day, only once a week 🙂

      Like

  30. Great post. I’m sure you’ll hit your goals once you start on it full time. Work is such a distraction. I loved the idea of a progress chart. It is just the incentive I need to stop procrastinating as I’ll have to stop pretending if there is an audit trail. I pinky swear to write every day and track my progress. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Natalie! It’s been two days, and it was hard – but I’ve made myself accountable, so hopefully a good result to report at the end of the week 🙂 glad to hear that you’ve committed to a goal!

      Like

  31. Full-time writing! Woo-hoo! My envy is oozing from this post. I can’t wait to get there.

    In the way of writing goals, it’s better to shoot for the moon and land among the stars than it is not write at all. Whether you met your goals or not, you accomplished something. And that’s something 😉

    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 🙂 the full time gig is currently only for 5 months, but in its first week it’s already proving to be a worthwhile experiment. I mean, I’m up at 4 cause I feel the need to write!

      Use the envy to propel you to your goal 🙂

      Like

  32. I feel inspired just seeing your office…hi Bubbles…and reading your goals…setting goals is a major step and an office is such a motivation…tracking your goals is also major whether they go up or down…at least you’re paying attention to something concrete…feel me cheering you on…

    Liked by 1 person

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