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. 🙂

    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.

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

  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.

    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.

  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.

    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.

  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?

    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.

      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.

        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.

    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.

      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.

        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.

  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.

  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.

    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.

  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.

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

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

  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.

    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.

      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.

  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.

  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.

    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.

      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.

  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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