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Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year's Writing Resolutions

Home office

2011 Resolutions:

  1. Keeping my office space clean
  2. Writing every day
  3. Meeting deadlines

Keeping my office space clean:

Do you find that when your office space and home are clean and organized, you feel better? I know I do. But it’s so difficult to keep it that way. I worked really hard the last few weeks to clean up my office spaces. Yes, I work in many spaces. I have my home office, although I often work at the table by the fire in the winter, my office at work, where I help run the day to day operations in my family’s plumbing business and often at Panera. Out of the three, I like Panera the best because I’m more focused when I physically leave my house. Plus, I don’t have to clean my booth or do the dishes at Panera.

Work Office

Writing every day:

I want to make a better effort to write every day at the same time. Ideally, I like to get up no later than 6:00 a.m. and have two solid hours of writing before my kids get up. Often times though, as soon as the coffee is made, my four-year old is bounding down the steps ready to start his day. I have to make a better effort to have Playdoh or crafts or something else ready for him to play, otherwise, the writing gets put aside. On the days my younger son has preschool, I go to Panera and work for two hours, then drive into my work office. I commute a half and hour to and from work every day. During that time, I try to plot out scenes and work out problems I’m having with a particular scene or a character. When I park, I jot down a few notes in my writing notebook that I always keep in my book bag. I keep a binder at my desk with my current draft and all of my notes. I like Jenny’s “Magic” board and may try to create something similar to help me keep focused.

Draft binder
Meeting deadlines:
Typically, I try to write or revise one scene per week. I am in the process now of revising a young adult novel, and I’m going to try to push myself to revise two completed scenes per week. If I can follow that revision schedule, I should be able to complete this revision by June. I have set up my outlook calendar with my weekly goals so I have a constant reminder to stay on track. It’s so easy to get stuck on a problem chapter, but if I have I constant nagging electronic reminder, it will help me complete the project on time. 

The three goals sound simple enough on paper, but I have to stick to them to make it work. And as I’m trying to de-clutter my spaces, my next project should really be the closet that houses all of my old manuscripts. Do I really need all the drafts of a manuscript I wrote ten years ago? Maybe.

Old manuscript cupboard


  1. Nice workstations, Marcy. Like you, I feel a lot less stressed when I am organized... at least when I feel I'm organized. And I can understand the need for quiet in order to be more productive.

  2. Marcy, this looks so like you. Organized, together. Whenever I think that the reason I can't write more consistently is because of my full-time job, kids, etc. I think of you with your full-time job and YOUNG kids. You challenge me, which is a good thing.

  3. Thanks, Cynthia and Dave for your comments. It's wonderful to work with such a great group of inspiring writers. Everyone's encouragement is what helps me push through each scene and draft.