Friday, June 08, 2007

Isn't There Any Real News Today?

Besides Paris Hilton?

So she got herself out of jail and back home. Although the fact that the court is dragging her back in about 45 minutes is quite humorous. But, methinks everyone is too obsessed with Hollywood trashlets.

Moving on . . .

Chip Scanlon over at Poynter highlights Anton Chekhov's advice on writing (he influenced many writers, including Mansfield, Hemingway, Joyce, and Raymond Carver) and his advice became the precursor for Strunk and White's handy little book The Elements of Style. Chip's review is well worth a read, for any writer, whether just a blog or a full-blown writing career.

Scanlon on Chekhov

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Do You Procrastinate?

Here's an interesting procrastination test:

Procrastination Central

I scored 30 out of 100. I'm a below average procrastinator, which surprised me very much. I think I may be too hard on myself with my to-do list. I do need to work on my goal lists and "granulating" down my big projects into doable-size pieces.

Cool, yes?

My Inability to Write

Oh the genius of Anne Lamott!

"Not that my mother is not a real person, but whenever I show her a copy of my latest book, she gets sort of quiet and teary, and you can tell that what she's feeling is "Oh, honey, did you make that yourself?" like it's my handprint in clay--which I suppose in many ways it is."
(from Bird by Bird)

I'm reading two of Anne's books for the one-thousandth time (Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies) and oohing and aahing all over again. After reading Anne Lamott, I stand mute, with nothing to say . . . or write, for that matter. Everything is quiet. But then I think, "hey, I need something to aspire to, don't I?"

Of course! The difficulty for me is describing things like she does--learning to write in such a way that people want to run up to her, grasp her hand, pump it furiously, hoping to gain some of her wisdom the longer they are in contact with this master of art.

It's a tall order, after reading such a writer. How the heck am I going to do this?

Ah yes. Anne reminds me.

". . . [A]ll I have to do is to write down as much as I can se through a one-inch picture frame."
(also from Bird by Bird)

Keep Moving Forward.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Busy day.

I need to update my WIP meter.

Just working on an essay and waiting for a promised article assignment to come through.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,111 / 70,000

Keep Moving Forward.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Reading to Writing Ratio

Interesting tidbit on the MFA from Seattle Pacific U from Nancy's blog.

He suggests we aim for 100 pages of reading at a minimum for every 100 words of writing!

That is an incredible standard. A tall order even for this reader.

The Hills Are Alive

I'm officially addicted to Any song you've ever loved is available. Even some songs you've never heard for that matter.

It's overcast and gray in Seattle today. Everyone's kind of disappointed. But it's a good way to keep the students focused on school. Because of all the weather we had this past winter, they have an extra week of school this month!

I just got off the phone with my boss and am waiting for my first batch of work. I'm really excited to get started. While I wait I am reviewing their style guide and starting to read the new American Medical Style Guide, 10th edition. I have put this off for, oh I don't know, two months?

Last night worked on an essay and began slowly reviewing the 11,000 words I've alrady written on my WIP. I need to make new WIP meters. I'll do that today.

Hubby and I are talking about being overwhelmed right now. (We both are a bit with school.) I went back to the War of Art, but also remembered I need to lower the theshold and quit trying to be amazing. A little bit each day is the goal.

Keep moving forward.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Lost in the Intranet.

Today is my first day on the job as a full-time medical copyeditor for a publishing company in London, England. I am on a team of editors working on a joint project between the London publisher and a large American medical company in the United States. The only thing changing is that I now work for the London company and not myself. Otherwise, I still work from home, during the same hours, using my own computer, but for one company instead of several.

Isn't that a great change? It was a bit nerve-wracking for me, because after twelve years of freelancing, I spent the past two weeks turning down project after project. (Also, to make this change easier, I raised my freelancing rates considerably and that helped the freelance project offers slow down.) I still have a few very good copyediting clients and I can still fit them in during my non-employed hours.

So, I made that transition. Whew. Now, I'm blundering about on the London company intranet and downloading style guides and handbooks and figuring out the process. We have a ton of work to do this year. I'm really excited to be on the team (they are scattered throughout the United States and England and Scotland). And of course, delighted to be doing medical copyediting (my favorite thing as an editor).

Onto my free-time favorite things: writing and school.

The writing has begun. I am so rusty at this. I can tell that I've spent too many of my recent hours copyediting like a mad woman. I stare at the blank page (a client has asked me to write catalog copy for a new travel alarm clock) and I blank. And I mean completely; there is nothing in there to draw from. But I woke up this morning with the copy half-written in my head; bless a good night's sleep!

I will get better and faster at this writing thing because I'm not going to be cramming in copyediting (70 hour weeks the past month to finish everything before today), and that is so very good for my brain. I'm also studying my pile of college exam textbooks and hope to take my first test in July.

Off to study style guides. I will update my WIP word counts later today. I was able to add quite a bit to Cake today.

Keep Moving Forward.