Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Madness Check-In Day 6 #wipmadness



If you don't know what March Madness is or want to join (it's not too late!), stop by our goal-setting post here.

How has your first week been? Mine got off to a slow start, but I'm starting to find my rhythm in the story now.

Speaking of rhythm...how many of you listen to music when you write? I don't, actually. I find it distracting. However, I do find a lot of lyrics in songs extremely inspirational, both for getting my butt in gear to do the work and also for getting into my characters heads.

Today over on Twitter, not only will I be hanging out at our usual #wipmadness watering hole, but I'd also like to share some of my favorite song lyrics using the hashtag #favoritesonglyrics . I'd love to know if you have some favorites and what they are - and if you're not a Twitter fan, feel free to leave them below. (Note - I will not, I tell you, I will NOT be playing the song lyrics game until I've done my morning writing. I promise. Mostly.)

Also, I have some good news! Kim Baccellia, author of Earrings of Ixtumea, Crossed Out, and No Goddesses Allowed, as well as one of our March Madness mates, has donated a couple more awesome ARC's for two of you lucky people! EMBRACE by Jessica Shirvington and UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi! How cool is that! I'm going to give them away randomly to people who check-in during the next week (sorry, these particular prizes are for US mailing only. If you're international, don't let that deter you, though. There are still plenty of prizes you'll be eligible for.).

Don't forget to comment with your progress, and then head on over to Angelina Hansen's blog tomorrow to check in there. Hope everybody has a GREAT week two!!!

75 comments:

  1. Can I just say how quickly March is flying by already?? I'm in the rhythm with my WIP now, so it's just about maximizing naptimes. :-)

    Love the music question. Listening to something from the place and/or time of my wip really helps pull me in. This past month I was rotating between the medieval songs of Hildegard von Bingen (short story), Bach (novel), and Sigur Ros and mum (novella). None of those are great for sharing lyrics (ha!) but check them out!

    Hope everyone has a productive #wipmadness day. I'll be joining in this afternoon!

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    1. I know! March IS flying by!

      We have a few classical listeners here.

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  2. Good morning! I can't join you in the song lyrics fun because I'm back at work and my darling school system has blocked Twitter over the weekend. Wah. Probably better though. And I"m off on a field trip today anyway.

    I don't listen to music while I write, but my current MC is a songstress and she's particularly drawn to the old Appalachian ballads she's known since childhood. She sings at church and is trying to get into the NC School of the Arts. So I've been listening to lots of old Appalachian ballads, trying to find the perfect snippets of lyrics to fit in given moments. It's challenging!

    I got in about 750 words before work this morning and am just over 57k with the climax of the story rapidly approaching. Big time stuff going to hit the fan.

    My weekend was productive in writing and beta'ing with an extra day yesterday for snow. This week is busy with work/grades/parent-teacher conferences so my pace is probably going to slow some.

    How awesome of Kim to add more giveaway fodder! Thanks, Kim! This is so fun, Denise. I'm so glad you started this.

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    1. Congrats on your quickly growing word-count!

      I'm not even sure what Appalachian ballads are. Off to Google...

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    2. Wow, Appalachian ballads, what a treasure trove of lyrics! *sigh* Two words bring to mind so much...bravo on your progress!

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  3. Hi Denise,
    Thanks to participating in March Madness, I'm actually getting things done. Otherwise, I'd probably continue to drag my feet on my WIP.

    Listening to music while I write? I tried that yesterday because so many people recommend it, and I found it totally distracting. But, I can listen to a song to get me motivated to write, but I have to turn off the music to actually write.

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    1. I'm surprised how many of us find music a distraction! You're definitely not alone!

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  4. I can't listen to music while I'm writing, either, but I do sometimes take a break and play a song a few times for inspiration. For my current WIP, it's been "Mountain Girl" by Blue Mountain.

    On Sunday, I'd stumbled with my writing b/c something felt "off." Yesterday I deleted several scenes, which pretty much cut out a character. Sad to see him go, but it was necessary to move forward. So I hope I can get into a groove soon!

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    1. Glad you found a cog that was holding your story back! Wishing you some good momentum from here on in!

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  5. Good morning Denise and thank you for your infectious spirit! I only listen to music while writing if I'm distracted by other thoughts and need to get through a scene. Otherwise I prefer peace and quiet. I actually write best to the dishwasher running - weird, I know.

    It has been one solid week of my wake up and write goal. I didn't think waking at 4am would become a habit that I enjoy. The house is quiet and surprisingly the words come easy. Previously I wouldn't have thought to do this.

    Wishing you a rhythm filled and creative day to you and everyone :)

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    1. I like to hear my little heater buzzing in the background for working - white noise works for us, I guess!

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  6. When I first started writing, I could only do so if I had my classical playlist looping. But at some point, I stopped listening to music while writing. Not sure why. The other day I tried it again and found it really distracting, even though there were no lyrics. So there's my answer.

    Moved the WIP forward seven pages yesterday and did a lot of catching up on "other stuff".

    What's with the snow this morning?

    Have a great day everyone!

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    1. Glad to see the steady progress, Angelina!

      And yes, my son was VERY excited when he woke up this morning!

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  7. I find it interesting that the majority, so far, do not listen to music while writing. I don't either. Here's another thing I find fascinating. Yesterday, I was explaining to my hubby that I find my writing room silently static. The inaudible white noise to him, drives me insane. The hum of the hard drive is by far the worst for me. I do much better with the windows open. Birds, passing cars, occasional horse neighing, even my obnoxious guinea fowls screaming are music to this writer's ears.

    Great thoughts, Denise and thanks for hosting. Happy writing, fellow wipsters. :))

    P.S. Oh, one more thing! Yesterday, I decided to search the web for images for 3 characters of my drafted YA. I printed them out, along with a few other images that symbolize the novel's theme. Can I just say, EFFECTIVE! Wow, the ideas swirling around these images as I taped them in my spiral (book's idea notebook), was amazing.

    Has anyone ever done tried this before??

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    1. Candy, I like the idea of searching for images. My first life was as a playwright, and I pretty consciously tried to stay away from connecting too closely to visual images, because part of the beauty of theatre is the new life that designers and directors bring with their own visual ideas, so I didn't want to be too attached to a visual idea, when I was really the words-woman.

      But fiction is different. One of my characters is an artist who has an inspiration wall of her own - it might be fun to try to find some of the things she would have on her own wall.

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    2. I love joining any other creative medium to my writing - drawing, photography, music, even dance. It's great to use while I'm mulling over story elements, but when I'm actually writing, I'm very singly focused.

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    3. Candy, I have "story boards" for all my novels. I make collages with pictures of key items from the stories, and people who resemble my idea of the characters. I keep the collages in the front of each novel's ring binder to review whenever I need to get my head back into the story, and it really helps.

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    4. That's a great idea - I've only done it for a graphic novel with sketches and clothing descriptions (so I could keep the characters straight on the page - since my artwork needs work!)
      I'll try it for other projects. Can't believe I'd never thought of it nor heard of it until now.

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  8. I also don't listen to music while I write. I don't like any conversation or background noise, so I can't work in a coffee shop or even library.

    I'm feeing good because I got some super positive crits back yesterday. Continuing to work through revisions today, and in addition to my main goal of the WIP, I have an an going ghoswriting gig that requires 1000 words/day of middle grade fiction. I'm super thrilled that my "day job" is creative work, too, but it's an interesting balance juggling both.

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    1. Yay for positive crits!

      I think instead of March Madness, we should be calling ourselves the no-music-muses or something.

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  9. I'm with most of you, it looks like. Odd, because I thought the majority of writers listen to music while wipping. I can't tune it out the way I can ambient noise or jumbled chatter; music is a huge distraction.

    I did some thinking work yesterday and a lot of betaing, though I didn't blitz. Today's agenda: Figure out what the arc will be for part 2 of the WIP.

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    1. I also thought the majority of writers wrote to music! Surprise, surprise!

      All the best with figuring out part two!

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  10. I hate to break the streak, but I absolutely have to have music to write. Even when I was a kid and studying, my dad would try to make me turn off my music so I could 'think' But the silence was too distracting. For me, music is momentum. I especially like writing to soundtracks - right now Downton Abbey is on heavy rotation.
    I just joined March Madness today and so far, so good! I reached my blog/commenting goal. Now I just need to get those 500 words down. MM is a great motivator - I know I'll do it. Yay us!

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    1. I'm glad we have some variety on here! I homeschool my son, and he also really thrives at working while there's music on. Different personalities!

      Glad you've joined us!

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    2. Side note - we're homeschoolers, too!

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  11. I do listen to music while writing. But it can't have lyrics. So, most times, I've got my Beethoven Radio going on Pandora whilst I pound words. I have to have something in the background. If I don't, I can't write.

    My day started early today as I work late and my wife and I have a dinner-and-movie-at-home-date tonight. 1716 words.

    Enjoy your Tuesday everyone!

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    1. I can understand the music with no lyrics thing. Yay for many words written already!

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  12. I'm a bit behind on my goal. I hit 2k last night, when I should have been around 5k, but I'm just happy I've started a new book and got over the blank page fear!

    I like to write to music, but it can't have any lyrics so I tend to write to movie scores. Hmm, maybe I need to find the right score for this new book!

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    1. Yes, you're not alone in needing lyric-less music! Congrats on reaching 2k and all the best in bumping that total up this week!

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  13. I did a blog post a year or two ago about this, and a big majority of comments at that time favoured writing to music, so it appears we're bucking the trend today. I'm another who prefers no music. Popular tunes or lyrics lodge in my mind and are a major distraction when I'm trying to write. Brainstorming is different, and I'll sometimes have favourite Dan Gibson soundtracks (instrumental classics with sounds of nature) playing very quietly in the background.

    I've made good progress on one of my March goals this past week... done 15 chapters of revision so far... but haven't found it easy to shift into creating new words in my w.i.p. or working on a non-fiction proposal. But I'll be content if I can finish the revision because at least it's helping me get back into the groove, and I badly needed that!

    I hope everyone else is "in the groove" this morning and will have a productive day. :)

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    1. Yay for making good progress! I also have a hard time going back and forth between revision and drafting.

      Interesting about your music/writing post. I've always heard that most writers love music while they write. Just not this group, I guess.

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  14. I can handle quiet, background music, but that's all. Otherwise, I find myself singing along and I'm not talented enough to sing and draft a story at the same time.

    Yesterday was only 500 words. I'm disappointed, but the day didn't go to plan, as my husband would say. So, a little progress is better than none.

    Go MarchMadness team!

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    1. You're right, a little progress is better than none. It keeps your head in the story, keeps the forward momentum. Great attitude!

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  15. Well, trying to stay on top of my March goals. Good news is that I was able to use my lunch hour yesterday to write the flash fiction for the 4th Writer Campaign Second Challenge.
    Also, thinking of completely reworking my WIP, so not writing there right now, just playing around with ideas.
    I usually don't write to music, but I do listen to it everywhere I go and often at work. Music really does inspire me. But I can't concentrate usually when I write with music (though weirdly enough I can often concentrate with quiet TV in the background. Go figure).

    Wishing everyone a great and productive week of writing!

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    1. I'm the same, find music inspirational, but can't have it while I'm writing. Way to go putting your lunch hour to good use! All the best getting the WIP ideas sorted out!

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  16. I like writing to music but don't always do it. If my kids are running around, I need to hear them, since I'm not watching them :) Certain lyrics or entire songs can set a whole scene for me, though, and I'll listen to that one song on a loop while I write. In fact, my WIP was inspired by a song.

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    1. That's cool to hear. I'm always curious "how" authors use music with their writing.

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  17. I find music to be the quickest and most effective way to help me focus and center in on the mood of my story. Without my novel playlist, I find myself just staring at the page, but when I put my headphones in I'm instantly pulled back into the story.

    It didn't always work that way, so I think it's just a device I've developed over time to help me write.

    The song I listened to a lot while drafting yesterday's scene was Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars. So perfect for my MC and her love interest. Ah, the beautiful angst.

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    1. Love, love, love The Civil Wars.

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    2. I find it very interesting how different writers are using music. Thanks for sharing!

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    3. Adore the Civil Wars - C'est la Mort - to die for. Those two voices together simply sing love story to me.

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  18. I work best when listening to music. I get easily distracted, and when I can, I use the music as a way to form a barrier between outside noise and me. For me, it's not so much the lyrics as it is the beat.

    Didn't get as much done on my work yesterday as I'd planned. I'm enjoying being a March Madness host, but I forgot to factor in the response time. I'll be ready for that next week for sure! Not that it's to blame by any stretch. I also had a few other committments that kept me off the Internet, so I really didn't have much time, period.

    But I still have what's left of my lunch hour, and a three-hour write-in tonight! Hoping to get more work done then.

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    1. Huh, I never thought of music as the constant that could block out other distractions.

      Like I said, don't let responding take over your life! Chill. And definitely put your writing first :-)

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  19. Just set my goals today, actually, so I haven't really gotten started yet--but that's probably good, right? It means I'm not behind. ;) On my goals, anyway, ha ha. I love to listen to music while I write. Words, no-words, either way. I can tune it out easily, and I like to listen to whatever fits the mood of the scene I'm trying to write!!

    Anyway, I'm off to get started on my goals!! :D

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    1. Great to have you here, Cortney! Bring on your new-goal momentum!

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  20. Was able to clean up one revision chapter. Going through this revision and cutting, adding, cutting even more, adding, and cutting more. It's been painful that's for sure. Plus reading. The social media thing didn't do well with this morning. Sigh. Tomorrow will be better!

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    1. Like losing limbs sometimes, isn't it?

      Yes, I find I HAVE TO start the day w/o social media, otherwise I'm screwed.

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  21. I started off the week well, the weekend threw me a little off course and today has been a bust so far. I'm allowing distractions in and I've got to make that stop. I have a plan, so will hop to it now.

    I usually like it quiet to write, but I'm going to experiment with some music. Thanks for asking that question :)

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    1. Oh no, don't let music be another distraction!!

      Now if you're reading this, in amongst your web-surfing, here's a little friendly nudge for you...back to work now :-)

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    2. Thanks :) I'm back in the groove tonight!

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  22. Hi! I started off well but have come to a halt with work crisis. I'm getting a page a day in, to crawl forward and hope to run again soon!

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    1. Aw, so sorry about your work crisis! I hope it's cleared up soon.

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  24. Hey! Off to a sort of slow start but have the rhythm going now. Added blogging and reading goals to March as well. Today and yesterday wrote out new chapters for my wip...AND am doing it long hand. Liking it, allowing me to sink into the story in a different way.

    As for lyrics...LOVE--Have you ever seen the rain:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9_ipu9GKw

    Thanks for more donations Kim! Go team #wipmadness .....

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    1. Oh, I love Have you ever seen the rain too!

      Wow, longhand! I've thought about trying that. Haven't quite gotten around to it yet.

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  25. The tortoise checking in here. Slo-o-ow start. Too many things going on in my house at the moment.

    BUT, I am keeping up with my twice weekly posting goal on my blog, Ephemera Captured. And writing a daily devotion for my mailing list and a weekly devotion for my Reflected Light Ministries FaceBook page. So I'm not a complete failure.

    Have made miniscule progress on my fiction wip - and haven't been able to touch the non-fiction proposal. DRAT!

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    1. I was talking to my husband the other night about the tortoise and the hare. Unfortunately, we're both tortoises.

      Great to have some goals that you're reaching though! Make sure you pat yourself on the back for that!

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  26. It was a slow start for me, for sure, but I think (hope) I'm finally in the groove.

    Sometimes I find music completely distracting (when I'm revising, I think), but other times I like instrumental stuff that fits the mood I'm going for (when I'm first-drafting). I know I've had playlists for earlier novels, and they included lots of songs with lyrics, but not lately.

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    1. Interesting that music can only be useful for certain writing for you. I haven't heard that yet! It was a slow start for me too. Pushing along, along with you!

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  27. I'm already way behind. Don't know why this MS scares me so much, but it does. It won't change until I change my attitude. Why are revising and dieting so hard? :)

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    1. Oh heavens, I'm glad we didn't include dieting goals with March Madness!

      Don't worry, you'll catch up. Just keep at it a little each day until you're not scared.

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  28. Tonette dela LunaMarch 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Under the weather today but made my daily minimum quota.

    With regards to music, I don't write with music playing because I find I end up listening intently to the words and/or singing along. Even if someone were playing music or watching television in another room, I can't treat it like background noise. Once I hear something familiar; a tune or a sound byte, I lose focus. There are days that the sound of traffic pulls me out of my writing zone.

    I do have soundtracks to my stories, though. When I visualize a scene, I can almost here the score in the background.

    Oddly enough, I find that I'm quite productive while sitting in the corner of a coffee shop. It's not a Starbucks, so there's less noise, but I'm able to work through the din when it's not in my home.

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    1. Tonette dela LunaMarch 6, 2012 at 8:11 PM

      Wow.

      hear

      I hear the score in the background.

      Sheesh, the one time I don't preview my entry. Wow, this cold is kicking me in the butt.

      Le sigh.

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    2. Hope you feel better soon. I'm running on short sleep and in some ways not having the entire brain available keeps me in a dreamier state - easier to wander around inside the story, just not necessarily productive!

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    3. Feel better! But congrats on still meeting your quota!

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    4. Tonette dela LunaMarch 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Thank you, both.

      Actually, I feel worse. So, I'm quite late to start today. I've been doing research and reading, but no writing yet. Hopefully, that will change when I check in for Day 7 later on.

      However, while I was working on other stuff, I kept getting more ideas for one of my WIPs, so I might just switch gears, get those ideas onto the screen, and maybe it'll jump start my creative juices for the main WIP. :)

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  29. My goal is struggling along, at odd hours and in tattered increments. The outline is emerging, slowly and clumsily. But any progress is still progress!

    As for music, it never occurs to me to listen to it while doing anything else. I even close my eyes and stop what I'm doing. This could be due to taking a lyric & libretto class and trying to understand what makes a song work and why certain phrases linger in the mind. I'm listening more than I ever have in the past. I like it. Funny that it's a new thing after all these years.

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    1. Glad to hear the outline is coming together. That must feel good.

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  30. Today feels a little like I'm running towards the ever vanishing horizon, but at least I got a few words down. Not my target count, but met the goal of writing something!

    I love both listening to music while I write and finding inspiration in lyrics - which happens a lot!

    Cheers,
    Deana

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    1. Slow and steady wins the race (sorry, I've been making tortoise analogies all day, probably because I feel like one.)Here's to even more words tomorrow...

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  31. I do listen to music. The same music. Every time. It's an anime soundtrack for a TV series called Gundam 00. No lyrics except for the last song (which is in Japanese) and fits well for fantasy or sci-fi. It kind of slips into the background, but helps me keep the pace and focus better.

    Bad start to the day. Lost my entire writing time to scouring the house for paperwork this afternoon (last afternoon...?). So, I'm up late. It's after 1am right now. I managed 1,881 words tonight on the WIP. Close to caught up, but still about 700 words or so behind on weekly goal. Should be able to pick it up the rest of the week, but it irritates me when I drop behind.

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    1. If you're dedicated enough to stay up until 1 am writing, I guarantee you're dedicated enough to make up 700 words. But I understand the irritation. I get that way too.

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  32. Finally the #dayjobblues may let up a little. I managed to get another draft of the synopsis tidied up and now I'm focusing on the finish line. So here I go...

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    1. Yay on another draft of synopsis! Those things are killer.

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