Make A Decision and Move Forward

Tuesday morning breakfasts with N is always a highlight of my week, and yesterday was doubly so.  Yesterday, we got our notebooks out and made a plan to organize our writing for 2019, before it starts. Part of that was kicking around ideas for a second blog, dedicated to planning/bullet journals/related miscellany, and keeping this focused on the journey of the writing life. 

Third blog would actually be more accurate, because Melva and I had a long discussion on our Monday night Skype meeting, about what we want our joing author website to look like. What is our combined brand? (Spoiler: “uhhhhh” is not an acceptable answer.) What content do we want the site to have? So far, we are agreed on a bookshelf, with three shelves; Melva books, Anna books, and Melva-and-Anna books. Same with the author bios, and that puts the partnership bio on the top of the to-do list for that one. 

Today, after I finish this blog, possibly while I do laundry, I will start getting my notes ready for the first Tuesday in January, where N and I will attack 2019. We both have manuscripts we want to get to The End this year, so we need to plan for after that. I already know the next project Melva and I will tackle, but for my solo historicals (which I am definitely feeling, once again; getting a win will do that for a gal) there are a lot of options. Since I tend to overthink, this is where a logical plan of attack comes in handy. Time to take a step back and get some perspective. 

Between now and then, I get to muck around in my imagination, and haul the characters, plots, settings, tropes, etc, that I’ve kept in my writerbrain attic, out into the natural light, and take a good look at what I’ve got. What excites me the most? What would require the most research? What do I still need to connect the dots on before I know what I’m doing? What needs brainstorming? Am I trying to stuff a ten pound cat into a two pound bag, anywhere? (Definitely.) Can two things that aren’t fully fleshed out be combined into one cohesive whole?

Once everything is spread out, we take a good, hard look at it. That’s probably my favorite part of audition weeks on TV talent competitions. Everybody’s good, or they wouldn’t have made it to the week where the judges winnow down the best to the cast of the new season. There’s headshots and notes on performances, and each judge has their own things they look for in a finalist. Is it too much to have three ballroom girls in the top ten? Can the self taught dancer pick up choreography? How does the amazing freestyler do with partner work? I honestly would be thrilled to watch the unedited footage of this part of the process, or be there when it’s decision time. 

N has a sign near her desk, that reads “make a decision and move on.”  She’s unleashed it a time or two on me, when I get caught in overthinking, and it really does help. Make a decision. Move forward. This or that. Yes or no. Stick in a placeholder and come back to it later, but keep moving. I”ll let you know how it goes. Writer readers, what’s your favorite tip for plannign ahead? 


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