19 Oct

One batch of cherry-pistachio biscotti baked, a mountain of laundry (almost) cleaned¹, every meal in October prepared at home (with two exceptions), numerous cat-fights squelched, countless coffee dates with friends, and one a-cappella-jazz-singing-group joined:  it’s been a busy month.  

Throw in the writing and revisions I’ve done on my novel, and the still-semi-frequent trips to the gym, and you’d think I’d be overwhelmed, or zonked out on the couch watching marathons of shows like MTV’s Made, or old seasons of Top Chef.

Actually, though, I’m quite energized by all of this awesomeness going on as of late.  I’ve only succumbed to one episode of Made, and no marathons of anything.  A few years ago, I went through a my-life-is-one-big-meeting season, which led to the I’m-sick-of-my-life-being-one-big-meeting phase, during which I swore off busy-overcomittedness altogether.  I’ve come out of that one, and have built up my commitment level again to something healthy.


So, now that we’ve established I’m not zonked or drowning, you should know that today is the day I’m moving forward.  Enough of this twiddling over mid-draft revisions: time for new action!  Yay!  I waited until it was Monday morning so I’d have a fresh start, a fresh week, fresh energy².  

Hold me to it, you guys.  

It’s easy to let the yumminess of cherry-pistachio biscotti get in the way of sitting down to write, easy to put aside my goals for coffee dates, easy to say but I need to go to the gym…But, there’s a time and a place for those things.  While important, this week, I need to FOCUS.  I need to DO, not just talk.  

This week, in order to motivate myself even more, I shall commit to the scary:  every morning, I will post an update on how well I’m doing at this goal.  To give you perspective, I have about 40,000 words left to write on this draft.  I haven’t set a specific goal for this week, it’s more like an ambiguous write, and write as much as you can that passes for quality goal.  That way, I won’t stop when I merely write a sufficient amount of words, but hopefully it will get me to push myself as hard as is reasonable.

Support and encouragement are welcome, whether they come in the form of kind words or kicks in the butt.  Like I said, hold me to it.  You guys rock.

¹Folded and put away?  Another story.

²In case you can’t tell, the energy showed up on time.  (Or, maybe that’s the latte.  One can never be too sure.  I think the energy came first, though.)

17 Responses to “Oktoberzest”

  1. Kathleen Wall Monday / 19 October 09 at 1:51 pm #

    You can do it!

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 21 October 09 at 10:32 am #

      Kathleen! Thanks for your encouragement! 🙂 I’m loving your blog, and plan to return soon (on a break from writing, of course!).

  2. Joy of Dawn Monday / 19 October 09 at 3:02 pm #

    Sounds like you have been having a great month! I love Mondays because they are a new start and hate them because they are also an end of my last start. Sometimes it gets me motivated, other times discouraged. You sound motivated! I second the cheer… You can do it!

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 21 October 09 at 10:34 am #

      Thank you! 🙂 It has been a good month, for sure, though I’ve had to shift my mindset of “what do I consider productive?”, especially since I’ve taken on a few non-writing-related responsibilities lately. Overall, very good month, though. Good to see you on here, and I hope your writing is going well, too!

  3. Laura Best Monday / 19 October 09 at 3:51 pm #

    I think making a commitment publicly like this will help you stick with it and yes, you CAN do it. You are doing it….

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 21 October 09 at 10:35 am #

      It’s definitely helping so far! One day, I want to go through the same feelings you’re going through this month, seeing it published and on a shelf in a bookstore (or several bookstores, ideally!) and having people ask for it. Thanks for your encouragement, Laura! 🙂

  4. J.C Monday / 19 October 09 at 4:29 pm #

    I agree, publicly announced goals tend to be easier to stick to! Go for it chick 🙂 I’ll be checking in to cheer you along 🙂

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 21 October 09 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks for taking the time to encourage me this week! I know you’ve had a tough one, but from your blog it seems to be getting better, and I’m so glad for you!

  5. ohsosqueamish Monday / 19 October 09 at 8:32 pm #

    Hopefully your energy will last through November!

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 21 October 09 at 10:38 am #

      I’m thinking there’s a good chance I’ll still have November energy – the project for NaNo is pretty different from this one, and I’m kind of excited to try on a different mindset for a month. I think it will be productive, all-around – write something new, take a break from the familiar, come back to the familiar in December refreshed and ready to go again. (Whew. Long sentence.) 🙂

  6. cynthia Friday / 23 October 09 at 7:17 pm #

    This is a wonderful idea! Good for you. And I love the picture of your makeshift desk above. I’ll be rooting for you.


  1. Honesty is Refreshing, Right? « Owl and Sparrow - Tuesday / 20 October 09

    […] is Refreshing, Right? As promised, here is Update #1 on my Oktoberzest¹ Project.  Warning: it’s not as shiny and sparkly as I wish it was.  Not at all.  Yesterday seemed […]

  2. Hide and Seek « Owl and Sparrow - Wednesday / 21 October 09

    […] Oktoberzest Monday got off to a somewhat rocky start, but Tuesday was much better.  In the time I was able to spend focusing on the novel (about an hour and a half, given some unrelated responsibilities), I wrote 620 new words.  This is still not quite up to my (sometimes unusually high) expectations, but I’m much happier with Tuesday than Monday. […]

  3. Update #3: The Most Boring Title of a Post Ever. « Owl and Sparrow - Thursday / 22 October 09

    […] Oktoberzest […]

  4. Finding My Moxie « Owl and Sparrow - Friday / 23 October 09

    […] Yesterday was a good day.  The days this week keep getting better and better…and thus, I bring you Update #4 in this Oktoberzest Project. […]

  5. Project: Diligent December « Owl and Sparrow - Tuesday / 1 December 09

    […] any time soon.  Seriously – it feels like just a few days ago that I was embarking on my Oktoberzest project, just a few days ago when NaNoWriMo started (then promptly ended). […]

  6. Oktoberzest, Revisited. « Owl and Sparrow - Friday / 1 October 10

    […] Last year at this time, I was in the early phases of rewriting my first draft.  Now, I’m about to start actively crafting a fourth draft.  (As opposed to the past few weeks, where I’ve taken no concrete action on it, but have been mulling over crits received and changes to be made.) […]

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