The Five Days of Mackie


So in the spirit of Lee’s Make-Something-Every-Day-in-February (which I am now four days behind on), I’m going back to an old blog plan, The X Days of ?. The plan here is to write on the novella every day, regardless, and since it’s a novella, I should get a fair amount done on it. And I have to report here every day, so there’s accountability. It’s a plan.

Plus I ordered a sketchbook and pencils on Amazon and then decided that tomorrow was too long to wait and went to the craft store today, so I can actually draw today. HUGE step forward. And I already wrote today. I revised the first scene when I had lunch at the diner, and then wrote 500 words in my therapist’s waiting room. I’ll get back to it later, but I’m feeling very pro-active right now. And really itching for that sketchbook. It’s only 8 x 10 (a larger one is coming from Amazon tomorrow) but it has lovely smooth pages and I have new pencils. Very exciting.

So this is the First Day of Mackie. Goal each day: 1000 words, not counting revisions. I can do this.

38 thoughts on “The Five Days of Mackie

  1. Does Make-Something-Every-Day have to be something special? I make myself at least one meal a day (even if it is only cereal). Does that count? LOL.

    I envy people who can draw. It must be amazing to be able to do something other than very bad stick-figures. I love an untouched journal or drawing pad. So much potential!

    And I love Scrivener for word goals. It doesn’t let me cheat by counting words I’ve deleted. 🙂

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    1. Of course that counts.
      Let me know when your book is out and you want an Argh Author post, too. You posted about that awhile back and I meant to answer you and got lost in the comments. It happens.

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    2. For gentle encouragement to go beyond stick figures, I highly recommend “Art Before Breakfast” by Danny Gregory.

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  2. I had a NY Resolution to get first draft of a YA book done by end April. I got a head start in Jan as I had first week at home quietly, and reached 20K. I’d like to try for 20K every month…I have another week off in Feb, March is no break, but a long month, and then I’m on Easter break for 2.5 weeks in April and because Minion 2 has major exams, no plans to go away until the exams are done in June.

    To help, I’m using an app that was developed here in UK by two writers – it’s called Prolifiko and it is a goal-setting website with a lot of pep talks and videos on how to get in the writing habit. I really like it and have managed to write every day bar 2 since NY. The habit is instilled. Draft 1 has everything plus kitchen sink, won’t be surprised if I need 100K to get it done.

    Also running in my head is Hamilton soundtrack. Work, work.

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    1. Sure. I’m supposed to put them on Instagram, but I seem to have lost my log in info. One damn thing after another.

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  3. You had to buy sketchbooks… Obviously you have been cleaning out the wrong things. I have sketchbooks everywhere: in drawers, in closets, tucked behind furniture, in among all the blank canvases that I may someday need (They were SUCH a good deal or at an estate sale or I couldn’t remember the size I needed). The most ridiculous thing is that I rarely draw because I was trained by a sculptor who believed if you did your studies by drawing, your sculptures were largely two-dimensional. I have no idea why I have so many drawing pads. And paints. I have many brands of oil paints in several sizes, I have acrylics, I have gauche, I have watercolor. And I will never need to buy another colored pencil in my entire life.

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    1. I have sketchbooks, but I don’t know where they are–the back workroom is closed for the winter and I’ve been dumping stuff there–but I also wanted new ones. I knew exactly what kind and then I got lost in drawing pencils. It was marvelous.

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  4. 1. What novella? (Mackie? Or is that a cute term for “making?”)
    2. Does one have to finish a thing per day or is sustained effort for several days ok?

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    1. I think you just have to make something, not finish something. WiPs must count.

      Novella: Ghost of a Chance. Except now I don’t like that title.

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      1. Don’t like that title either. “Ghost of a Chance” sounds like it needs a cover with a girl in 18th-century dress looking out on the ocean. Call it ‘Alice in Borderland’ if you like.

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        1. I’ll just wait until it’s done, then decide. I won’t know what the story is until I see what I’ve written.

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    2. You can set your own goals/rules. Mine is just consistency, at least five minutes every day. Because for me, getting started is the hard part.

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      1. Yes. I’ve realized that choosing a subject and spending five minutes photographing it will slow me down and give me a moment of peace amid all my lists and stuff to do for the house move.

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        1. Also if you photograph house stuff, you will be making a record that may come in handy years further on. Every major project, my husband does a before, during and after of each wall. And when we want to do something later (look for a broken pipe, the electrician needs to know how a wire was run or something similar), we pull out the photographs and see if that gives us a clue. Most of the time we never look at them. Two years down the line we find we have already forgotten major things about a project – or confused it with another project since my husband piles on so many projects it is hard to keep them straight.

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  5. Your productivity knows no bounds!

    Feeling a bit jealous and guilty. I should flip that to inspired, but I’d rather wallow for a bit.

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  6. While not for pay, I have written a few short stories and a novella or two. At least a dozen flash length stories, too. When I was working on my alternate history story and stuck, I said I would make a blog post every day as a way to jump-start my writing.

    That’s one of the many differences between an amateur and a professional. YOU make blog entries every day. I love them. I read them. (I’m way behind.) They may or may not facilitate your writing. Mine didn’t affect mine. They do make an interesting glimpse at what was on my mind when I look back, though. They also explain why I have so few followers on LiveJournal.

    Keep writing.

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    1. It took me ten years to write my last book. Okay, Nita took three years, but You Again? Coming up on fifteen years.
      You’ll get there.

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  7. The respiratory infection is now chesty. Hello intermittent cough! If it weren’t for being Summer, I’d be hibernating. I keep going to work but I need to rest. Argh.

    I make phonic charts daily as part of the lessons. That’ll have to count as art.

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      1. :* Well, then. I guess. That’s the one thing I’ve got!

        Resting a lot at home. Just still going to work.

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  8. That sounds great – I told a friend she wasn’t late until after Feb 27 – if there’s only one day left, daily is not so meaningful (except to the extent you carry it forward into March). Have a happy time with the new sketchbook! I find them sufficiently intimidating that I open them to a few pages in, and start work on the 5th or 9th page instead of the first. But then I also do my best work with a sewing machine, so.

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    1. The thing to avoid is the “I missed the first, so I’ll just do two on the second. Whoops, I missed the second so I’ll just do three on third,” which leads to, I’ll just do twenty-eight on the twenty-eighth.”

      Also I’m REALLY out of practice on the drawing (not surprising since I haven’t done it daily since the 80s) so I’m having fun with erasers. I’ll get it back.

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      1. Absolutely! It only took me several decades, but I have finally learned to do fresh starts for everything — new year, new month, new week, new day and even sometimes a new hour. Kill that lingering guilt, because the self-flagellation just makes it harder to work once I do start.

        So, consider today a fresh start for daily creativity. No pressure about the missed past days.

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  9. Oh, I fell into that trap. I missed the first four days so I’ll do five today. Not going to happen. Not sure I’ll even start at all.

    I think I want to, but when I think about actually sewing it seems like a gargantuan task and I just want to go to bed. I’m afraid winter has me in it’s clutches. I’m in a funk again.

    Or perhaps it’s because I applied for four jobs on Monday and it feels like a failure of some kind. ‘

    This time of year is not good for me in general.

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  10. I’ve been really pushing to get a rough (well, polished rough, since I edit the previous day’s words before starting the new ones) draft of the new Baba Yaga novel done before I leave for a big trip on the 11th. It’s not likely to happen–I lost a couple of days to a wrist injury, and the Big Bad Freeze slowed me down–but I should be somewhere between 60K and 70K words of the 80K I’m aiming for. [Unlike you, I tend to add words when I revise, not lose them. Well, I lose some “that’s” and “justs” and such…]

    The new goal is to have a polished first draft done by the end of the month and out to first readers. We’ll see how it goes.

    And off topic, but I was wondering if you were going to go to RWA Nationals in NYC this year. You know, so I could stock up on chocolate.

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    1. Nope. The problem with conferences is that they make me manic, and I have this heart condition . . .
      But thank you for thinking of the chocolate. It’s not really an RWA conference unless I see you with chocolate.

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      1. Well, it’s starting to look like I won’t be going either. I should just take all the money I’m saving on the conference and send it to you in chocolate. Mind you, that probably wouldn’t be good for your heart either.

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  11. This idea of daily creativity has got me thinking. I’ve got a slightly crazy amount to do, and when I’m not busy, I’m feeling overwhelmed and just want to sit and read. I’ve been giving into that (I love good-book Thursdays, so many new authors!) but I’m not sure that’s doing me good long-term. I feel a bit sluggish and meh.

    One of the things that has me busy is that I’m working towards a career change. I guess that counts as creating something, or anyway I sure hope I’ll end up creating something. At the moment, I’m mainly doing online courses, but it still uses the part of my brain that’s about dedicated creativity.

    Or I could use it to emphasize health, in the sense of every day I will do something energetic. Or really, anything that gives me the sense that, yes, today I created something. When I don’t, I miss that feeling.

    Must keep thinking. And studying.

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