ROWing through Autumn Leaves

Photo courtesy of – Google Images – CC

Hi everyone! The weather has finally started to turn to autumn here. The kaleidoscope of natures palette is arrayed in majesty throughout the area. Winters first warning shot has turned the air to extra-crispy. The squirrels are in a state of nut-gathering frenzy as their hibernation clocks speed towards zero.

We wave goodbye to summer – hustle to finish outdoor tasks before the coming snow – and prepare for the warmth and family of the holidays.

Autumn is also a special time a year when untold thousands of writers migrate, at least in their creativity, to a magical island known as NaNoWriMo.

Let’s talk goals.

On the Writing front I was able to get in four hours on five of the seven days – 22 hours total for the week. My goal is 28-30 so this was not bad. I also created a time tracker Excel sheet that ended up evolving into a business planning tool, which was fairly cool. This gives me a record and overview of how I spend my time, with minimal input time to maintain it – so I can finally get a handle on my time management. And it is working so far.

Not much actual writing happened, but the outline is now fixed and ready to go. I’ll be entering it into Scrivener this afternoon and then joining Jen Hansen, Marcy Kennedy, Ingrid Schaffenburg, Juliana Haygert and a few others for a FastDraft session over this coming week.

I’m also starting NaNoWriMo prep this week, which means, yes, I will be participating this year. If you are a NaNo, let me know and we’ll hook up to support each other. Last year we had a fantastic ROW group and I know we can do the same again.

Last weeks cliffhanger: I am now on G+! Which is “one” social media expansion. Even put an icon for G+ and Pinterest on my sidebar – after 2 hours of wrestling with WordPress to discover that the nice social media bar widgit I wanted – only works with sites. Yep, thrilled I was (Yoda voice).

Last weeks progress: Project is ready to go. FastDraft group is ready to go (and some are already going). And 50/50 on social media.

For the Coming Week

I’ll be aiming at 30 hours focused on “Ben” this week, which will primarily be final Scrivener prep and then FastDraft starting tomorrow.

I’ll be updating my Gravatar – assuming I can get the photo one of my daughters took of me in Colorado off her camera. If you looked at my bare bones G+ page you’ll know why it is time to replace that old cell phone pic I’ve been using.

I’ll be expanding into one new social media area. We’ll call this the weekly cliffhanger (grins). I also have a plan for tweaking most of my social media accounts and getting everything linked together finally.

And new to the list – I have final approval from my financial officer (i.e. my loving wife) to expand the blog (because I shouldn’t have to fight to install a simple widgit). I’m looking at DreamHost for site hosting and the Genesis Framework for the site and theme. If you have any opinion on these, or ones you think are better, let me know in the next day or two as this will be moving forward by midweek.

That is all for me today. How was your week? I’d love to chat with you!

Be sure to link your ROW post into Linky Tools and support your fellow ROWers!

Peaceful Journeys.

About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. β€œOnly the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,” sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
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16 Responses to ROWing through Autumn Leaves

  1. Doing good, Gene!
    I plan on joining the FastDraft crew on Tuesday too, and continue writing through NaNo.
    If i could, I would turn the “don’t-care-about-social-media” switch off, but that’s nearly impossible. First, because as writers we should use social media. Second, because it’s addicting lol
    For my website/blog, I use Bluehost and used Genesis for a while. It was fine, no problems with it. Now I use the Striking theme – I think the pretty color sand the slideshows of Striking caught my attention.
    Keep up the good work! Have a great week!

  2. Katy Bennett says:

    Hey Gene, 22 hours a week writing is impressive. Going to give time tracking a go myself. Good luck for the week.

  3. S. J. Maylee says:

    Love tracking things in excel and even better if it can be done easily. Metrics spell out all kinds of truths. Yeah for taking the big leap to self hosting, I’m excited for you. I’m about to sign up for another year of, maybe next year will be my year for the big move??? You’ve had a fabulous start here, Gene, and I hope it keeps going for your first week in fast draft and right on through.

  4. Laura says:

    Great work on the goals. The time tracking sounds good and something I need.
    What’s fastdraft?
    I’m also doing NANO so see you there. πŸ™‚ x

  5. John Holton says:

    Sounds like you’re off to a good start. Keep it going…

  6. Jenny Hansen says:

    I’m totally impressed with your time and DYING to see this Excel sheet!!!

  7. You’re inspiring, Gene! I should start doing some kind of time tracking too. I get a fair amount done, but I still end up doing a lot of “frittering” and I *know* I could be more effective. Congrats on all the hours writing time, that’s impressive!

    I’m going to be doing NaNo this year too, have decided to go for a prequel to Yseult, since the Pendragon books are my bestsellers. Might as well go where the readers are, right? πŸ™‚

    Have a great week!

  8. Gloria Weber says:

    The keeping track of writing time (and other things) is something I always wanted to do, but wasn’t sure how to approach it. Glad you found a way that works for you. One day I’ll have to break down, figure out a plan, and do it. I wish you the best with NaNoWriMo. I will not be taking part due to liking my sanity. πŸ˜‰

  9. I love your Week-by-Week strategy Gene! What a great way to make the who exercise seem much more managble! Congrats on your success this week!

  10. Julie Glover says:

    Every year I look into NaNoWriMo like I’m standing outside a store and trying to decide whether to enter and buy something. It all looks so appealing in the display window. But I’m not sure I have the resources available for that kind of purchase, you know. Meanwhile, I cheer y’all on! You inspire me.

    Best wishes with those goals, Gene. I’m excited for you with all of your writing hours and FastDrafting.

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Juliana: Awesome! I’ve seen you in the loop, writing starts tomorrow – excited πŸ™‚ I hear you on social media. While we should use it, we also have to use caution that it doesn’t take away from the work we are trying to accomplish. For some of us, like me, this requires a bit more self-discipline, or well, I won’t get anything done (grins). See you in FastDraft πŸ™‚

      Katy: Thanks and good luck with the time tracking!

      S.J.: It will be good to have some metrics on myself. I plan better when I know where I’m out of sync. So, in a month or two I should be doing much better on time management. I’m excited and terrified by the big blog upgrade, but I’m confident about making it through.

      Laura: Thanks! FastDraft is basically 5k a day. No stopping to reread, revise, fix spelling, nothing. Just write. It is a bit intensive but I’ve done them before and the production cannot be matched. Yes, you will revise a bit more intensely as well but once the story is there, the rest is just paint πŸ™‚

      John: Thanks!

      Jen: Thanks! I will see about putting together a few brief posts to tag onto my ROW updates that explain my tracking sheet. Great idea πŸ™‚

      Ruth: Efficiency is the one place where we could all, always, improve. Even with my sheet, I still “fritter” away plenty of time, thus the sheet. It will be great to have you in NaNo, and a prequel for Yseult, even better. Great plan, Ruth πŸ™‚

      Gloria: I’ll be figuring out how to share my tracking process in the hopes it will give others a few ideas for how to do it themselves. Had to laugh at the NaNo sanity comment. Funny thing is, for NaNo I will only have to write 1667 words a day – I do between 2500 and 5000 a day currently. Which means, NaNo is only about a third of my normal goal. (shrugs). It did seem like more last year though.

      Mandy: Thanks and yes, the weekly strategy is working better then trapping myself in longer goals. I have them, of course, but I’m not letting them free roam and beat me this round πŸ™‚

      Julie: NaNo is a light purchase, but I understand and am happy to have you with as a cheerleader. Thanks for the support, Julie πŸ™‚

  11. Pingback: New Facebook author page, time-tracking, and another freebie (Shadow of Stone) | Ruth Nestvold – Indie Adventures

  12. I’ve been soooo much better at using my time wisely since I started tracking it. You might even consider a timer-based tool rather than an Excel sheet or database. There are lots out there, but I use a product called Hours Tracking (, which is more affordable than most. Good luck!

  13. I’m preparing for NaNo even as I’m heavy into another project. This will be my first year going into NaNo with an outline, which will likely help me to complete the 50K-word challenge for the first time. We shall see. πŸ™‚

  14. angelapeart says:

    I am always so impressed with your goals and how well organized you are. Good luck with NaNo! I read your answer to Laura about FastDraft. Holly smoke! 5k a day. I want to do that. Are you guys virtually getting together and write and then compare the results? Tell me, tell me!

  15. August McLaughlin says:

    This week has been nutty! The squirrel photo–perfect. πŸ˜‰

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo! Wow. I feel like a marathon cheerleader around you speed writers. Go team Gene!!!

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