Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Goals

on February 19, 2015

In January, I set a goal to write three books in three months. Now, let me clarify here…..The first book, a contemporary romance was in the drafting stage. I had a fast draft of the story, I had done all my character work, a twenty-five page series bible, and plotted the story using color coded stickies and butcher paper. I had written the first seventy-five pages, but I still had another 150 pages to go.  This is the finished draft of the contemporary romance. My dog is peaking out from under the table and wants to play ball…

Contemporary Manuscript

My second book, a contemporary middle grade mystery, needed to be revised using the edits from the freelance editor I use in the final stages of writing before a book goes out on submission. This included line edits, cleaning up some subplot issues, and clarifying the mystery of the story. Here is the completed manuscript of the middle grade.

20150219_093133

The third book, a memoir about my experience running the poetry workshop with teens in juvenile detention, also needed to be revised using edits from a free lance editor. Again, like my middle grade, the edits were similar: line edits, cleaning up some subplot type things, and adding a bit more of me and my “musings” into the story.

 

I am happy to report that I finished the contemporary romance on January 30, completed edits on the middle grade by February 16 and am now working in the third book–ahead of my three books in three month schedule which is now allowing me to send out my romance to a freelance editor and I will do revisions on that by the end of March–which means I completed three books in three months and all will go out on submission in April.

 

So, what have I learned in this process on how to reach these goals?

1. Break Writing Into Manageable Chunks–Each day, I set page and/or word goals for myself. The romance was three chapters a week, the middle grade was to edit at least fifteen pages a day, and the memoir is to edit at least 15 pages a day. The romance was the hardest because I was creating new material and I had to really work to override my analytic side of my brain which wanted to go into editing mode and stop the creation process.

2. Reward Yourself: As writers, we can’t control publication (unless self-publishing), and we don’t control too much of the process once the book leaves out hand to go out into the world, but what we can control is the writing of the book. So, it’s important to reward ourselves when those goals are met. When I finished the romance book, I had a nice manicure and a pedicure at a spa I don’t usually go to. When I finished the middle grade, I took a hike I’ve never taken before on a beautiful sunny, February afternoon. I also gave myself the gift of a lawn gal to do my fall clean-up–which meant raking leaves and cutting the tall decorative grasses. I hate that job and our spring is coming fast this year, so this was a real gift and took this chore off my hands.

3.  Eat well and exercise–In order to keep up my momentum, I ate well. I cooked a lot of soups and prepared a lot of salads I could pull out of the refrigerator for lunch and dinner.  I don’t cook for a husband or family, but cooking for one has it’s own challenges. I cut back on sugars, sweets and breads because those things give me a quick energy boost and then I crash. I, however, did not stop my coffee drinking but I did limit my trips to my favorite coffee stand. I also increased my water intake and snacked on veggies and nuts instead of stuffing whatever I had in the kitchen in my face in the afternoon. I already attend yoga twice a week, but during this time, I also picked up an extra yoga class a week–usually a gentle or restorative yoga to help focus and clear my mind. And by February, I started walking on the treadmill again–mainly because I am missing my beach walks.

Each book I checked off on my business plan gave me a feeling that yes, I am moving forward again and there will be new books coming soon for readers!

 

 

 

 

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