Friday, July 6, 2012

Discussion: Your Summer To-Do List

It's official. The summer is upon us and as writers, I don't know about you, but I have LESS time to write in the summer than I do during the school year. You would think it'd be the other way around, wouldn't you?

Because I'm so very Type A, I like to-do lists. I love that bright red check mark next to my blue task. Ahhh. It's bliss.

(Did I just mutter that outloud?)

All the other Type A personalities out there are nodding and clasping their hands in reverent worship at the altar of to-do lists.

July hit me and I GASPED, realizing the ACFW Conference is going to be here before I know it and I have more things still to do than I want to think about.

Even if I weren't going to the conference, this list would be so important to me as I hit goals and keep my writing moving forward.

So pull on your hiking boots, we're going to tackle that summer to-do list. And for those that share at least a couple things from their list get their name in a drawing. ;-)

One Sheets.
I am so, so, so close to checking this task off. Just about one more edit. 
I tell you, creating a one sheet is one of the hardest things I can do in preparation for the conference. Fortunately, I've got great resources to pull from.

Pitch and Proposal
Have you see on the ACFW website where it tells you what the agents and editors are looking for in their appointments with you? Oh my goodness, if you haven't, get thee over there right now! This will save SO MUCH headache in guessing what to take and will make you stand out and look professional for having read the guidelines on the website.

However...a proposal has me shaking in my boots. Thus the fact that I haven't finished mine. Take the fear out of it and peruse these posts. Something I sorely need to do...

When it comes to the pitch I had a rough draft, then I read Mary Connealy's article in the ACFW Journal and realized I needed to completely re-write it. But the good news is, Mary does an EXCELLENT job of showing us how to craft a pitch. Check it out. Excellent exercise.

My Novel Edits
I have to set the timer and work on my book for an hour every day that I can. Which is reading to about 3-5 days a week right now. If you have a large project you're staring in the face and can't dredge up the motivation to work on it, set the timer. I tell you, giving myself the realization that I only have to do this an hour pushes me to work that much harder and see how MUCH I can get done in that allotted time. ;-)

Can you tell this is hanging over me like the thorn in my side? Yes, I really, really, really need to finish The Book Buddy  for my latest story. What's stopping me? Nothing. Except the "excuse" I don't have the time. So my new goal? After I get back next week from a mini family reunion, to do at least one to two pages a day. It won't take me long to finish at that point and then I can start the WRITING!!

This one very quickly will have a red check mark next to it as well since the deadline is FAST approaching! I need to get my patootie in gear and get my entry sent on it's way. Entering a contest is always an interesting conundrum, but I'm eager to enter this one since the organization is definitely geared towards teaching writers. It's my first time to enter. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Phew! Thankfully there are a couple things I don't have to mention completely here because I've already researched mold infections for my next story and wrote the hostess intro for the class I'm hosting at ACFW. ;-)

I love marking things off my list!

So  it's your turn to share! I'd love to know what you're doing this summer to take your writing to the next level or just finish a project that has been hanging over you for ever and ever...!

Take a minute to share...everyone who does will be entered to win After All by Deborah Raney 

(btw, I'm currently away from home and internet connection. I've asked the other gals to jump in for me today, but I'll be reading all your comments as I get the chance. Thanks for joining the conversation!!)


Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more densely populated with cows than people.


Joanne Sher said...

Working on a proposal RIGHT now for a tween devo Jen Slattery and I have put together. Entered my NF in a contest last week. Taking several online writing classes this summer.

Sounds busy to me! ;) Great post, Casey!

Pepper said...

WTG, Joanne!

Well, my goals have changed a little. NOW I'm editing one novel, brainstorming another, and writing on a third.
I will finish edits on my novel within the next 2 weeks (I hope), have a good start to another novel, and I'd REALLY like to finish one that is 75% done.
I also have an intro to write for Ramona Richards and need to prepare one-sheets & pitches.
We'll see how that all starts out. My non-writing goal is to get ready for my job switch in a month.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Busy ladies! Great goals, though. I need to finish my WIP, which I don't think I'll do before school starts, but I might be able to finish by the end of September. I need to finish critiquing a story for a critique partner. Oh, and I should probably start preparing a proposal and all that fun stuff for my WIP. Other than that...I get to organize my "office", which is actually just a desk at the corner of the living room :)

Unknown said...

You are one busy girl, Casey!!

My summer goal is to finish the first draft of my third WIP by July 31, then revise (my favorite part!) in August and September. I'm also on the MBT team, and have lots of prep to do for our big pizza party. (It's on Friday night of the ACFW conference and it's gonna rock!) And then there's the whole attempting to still have a social life thing. :)

Erynn said...

I didn't think I'd be going to ACFW, so I didn't sign up for anything extra this year. I've finished my edits on the book I'm pitching, and sent it off to several agents. So now WAITING is big on my To Do list. In the mean time I'm doing some freelance editing to raise money for conference.
When that's done, I'm hoping to write a novella prequel for my current project that I can give away as a free ebook.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Wow, Casey! So much going on!

Let me say again how much I love your One-sheet! It is so professional looking - I'd request your book just from that! LOL.

I'm not going to the conference this year, but I remember all the work preparing for last year. So I have a bit of a breather this summer.

I am in the middle of editing two of my contemporary stories, then I'll move on to edits of my historicals. In the meantime, I hope some new stories start percolating!

Have a great summer!

sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Melissa, you sound busy, too! I agree, revising is one of the best parts!

Wow, Erynn! I love hearing all the things writers do while they're waiting. A great use of time!

Susan, good luck on your editing. I completely agree about Casey's one sheet. It's fabulous, right?

Charity Schilb said...

I love your post!

I feel like I can never get anything done unless I have a list so I know not to get distracted.
I am currently writing my first novel.(Trying to anyway)
I really want to finish it next year, but I am starting college this Fall, so I have no idea how far I am going to get.
I have been trying to write 500 to 1,000 words a day this Summer, and its going well so far!
I have been able to do it everyday this month.

I hope your summer goes well!

Julia M. Reffner said...


I know what you mean. I'm a listmaker, too. 500-1K words a day is a good goal and even better that you've stuck to it!! AWESOME & keep up the good work!!

Lisa Jordan said...

My summer is just as busy as the rest of the year for me. This August is busy because I will be promoting my second novel on top of writing book three and doing the day job. It's all good though!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Sounds like we're all busy! Lisa, yay for your second novel! Promoting and writing at the same time is a lot of work, but even more with a day job on top of it. I like that it's all good, though :)

Rebecca Gomez said...

I am so much more productive when I make myself a list. I should get into the habit of doing that. I get in such a jumble during the summer months!

One thing that is still on my mental list is to get some momentum on my new novel idea.

One thing I've check OFF my mental list is "query several agents with my latest YA verse novel." Feels good to have that done at least (AND I've gotten two requests for the full--YAY!).

Julia M. Reffner said...


Congrats on requests for your full. That's wonderful and it must feel great to have it done.

writingsofrosie said...

Hey, Casey! This summer I'm preparing to work on a new WIP. I hope to actually start writing for it sometime in August. :-)