29STORIES Check-In #3: Balancing

29STORIES Check-In #3: Balancingfeatured

Another slow week, writing-wise. Still focusing on planning/outlining, mostly.

I’m pushing myself, also, to capture story ideas right as they come to me. I have an Evernote folder for this project, and I try to jot down quick notes on story ideas in there — even if it’s something as simple as a line like “Ben was always known as a snappy dresser” or “story about a girl named Cheryl…” or “they forgot the white zin.” At least something to trigger me when I have a chance to sit down and brainstorm in a more dedicated way.

29STORIES Check-In #3: Balancing {the ponytail diaries}

But, even though of course I have Evernote on my phone and of course my phone is almost never out of arm’s reach (pretty much only when I’m showering or running), I haven’t been great about recording ideas the instant I get them. I’ll be walking Onyx and scrolling through Instagram, or writing an email, or making breakfast, or whatever, and a line of dialogue or a name or a plot runs through my mind and I tell myself “oh, I should write that down in a sec.” And many secs pass and I’ve forgotten it. So now I’m constantly reminding myself to write or note ideas down immediately. They may be horrible or they may have a nugget of possibility, but I have to give them that chance by ensuring I won’t forget them.

I also realized that there’s going to be constant tension between this project and my “real” work (my money-making work). Obviously client projects come first, but then I have to decide: should I blog, or work on my website, or do some marketing, or send some LOIs or queries to potential clients and editors, or write? It’s so easy for a side project like this to always get the shaft, especially because I work at home and could very easily just keep working non-stop. There’s always something more to do and there’s no boss telling me “go home because labor laws.” Right now especially, I’m working on pursuing some more projects and clients so it’s been way too easy to say “oh, I’ll just work on insert story later; I gotta get these queries out first and then blog for tomorrow.” Right now I’m just accepting there’s going to be an ebb and flow to this project. It’s important for sure, but some weeks (like this one) “real” work takes priority. Later there will be weeks where I have my shit more under control and they can be more fiction-centric.