To Transcribe, or Not to Transcribe?

As I mentioned on Tuesday, this week I have a mini-goal to wrack up enough of a word count to bring my yearly total thus far to 200,000. As such I’ve been doing everything I can to get words down. I’ve been blogging (obviously), doing morning pages via 750Words.com, and repairing scenes in my supernatural romance. What I haven’t been doing is writing anything new.

Here’s my problem: since I’ve been home from out West, I’ve only been writing on my laptop. I type a helluva lot faster than I write by hand, so it only makes sense to use that speed. But for months now I’ve been writing in notebooks; thousands of words of long-hand.

So. Many. Words.
So. Many. Words.

Why is that a problem? Well, I have tons of my works-in-progress in notebooks…none of it on my laptop. For instance, I have the first four chapters of my epic fantasy novel on my laptop, then about a dozen chapters in notebooks. So if I want to continue on with that work-in-progress, I either have to skip a bunch of chapters in my Scrivener file in order to move on, or take the time to transcribe all the notebooks onto my laptop

Maybe I’m alone in this, but it would drive me absolutely insane to move on with the story without most of what I’ve written actually being in the Scrivener file. It’s just one of those things. I’d absolutely lose my mind. But on the other side of things, it will take me ages to transcribe everything that I’ve written in notebooks, and that will be time that I could have spent writing something else and wracking up word count. I suppose I could count word

s transcribed as words written, but that feels like cheating, since they’re technically words I’ve already written.

So I leave it to you, fellow bloggers and readers: should I take the time to transcribe, or move on to something else? If I take the time

transcribe, should I count the words toward my word count or not? Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Epic Fail

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

37. What to do if you’ve failed at the goals you set

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You’ve just gotta get back on the horse”? If you have, you should understand what I’m about to talk about. If you haven’t, what rock have you been living under for the past hundred years?

Everyone fails at goals. Maybe not all the time, maybe some more often than others, but everyone at some point in time fails at a goal they’ve set for themselves. It’s the nature of the situation that even if we have all the best of intentions, things will go wrong, other issues will intrude, and any number of problems will arise to keep us from reaching the end of the line. Maybe it’s something we can’t control, like the fact that our new job requires us to work 70-hour weeks and we can’t work on our goal if we want to be able to eat and sleep as well. Maybe it’s something absolutely controllable, like being just plain lazy. It doesn’t really matter what the reason is. It doesn’t make you a better or worse failure. Failure is failure.

But failure is also just a chance to start over again. Failure shows us what we’ve done wrong, which issues we failed to take into consideration, and what we have to change to do better next time. If you’re a really optimistic type, failure might even be motivation to try harder. If you’re the pessimistic type, things might be a little more difficult, but the same points still apply.

And excellent example of failure and moving on from it is rejection in writing. An author can put their heart and soul – and a ridiculous number of work-hours – into a manuscript, only to have it rejected by the publisher…and then rejected by another…and another…and another. Regardless of how good a manuscript may be, it is almost certain that the author will receive multiple rejections before (hopefully) receiving a publication offer. This situation really defines the whole “get back on the horse” thing because if these authors were to just give up, where would we be? Were you aware that J.K. Rowling received 12 rejections for the first Harry Potter book before finally getting published? We all know now that the Harry Potter books are well-written, well-loved, and have ultimately sold bucketloads. So why did she receive so many rejection letters? There are any number of reasons, but the point is that she had a goal set (to publish that damn book!) and she didn’t let failure upon failure stop her from continuing to try and try, getting back on the horse again and again.

It’s definitely hard sometimes…humans are naturally depressive and easily-discouraged creatures…but if the goal you’ve set for yourself is something that’s important to you, something that you know you’re not going to be happy just giving up on, then you have to press on. If you’ve done something wrong, figure out what it is. If outside issues are holding you back, figure out a way around them. And if the problem is just timing, situation, or reliance on others to react the way you need them to, you just have to keep trying, trying, trying, until all the puzzle pieces fall into place. In the end you’ll be better off for having to have worked for it, and the end of the line will be that much more beautiful when you reach it.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself, and I hope you’re able to hold on to that hope as well. 🙂