Thursday 7 December 2023: Failed!

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

Well, that didn’t work very well.

Despite working on yesterday’s blog post offline, WordPress wouldn’t let me start today’s post offline. Which kind of defeats the object of not going online until after I’ve finished my first writing sector of the day. Even when I came in and started it online, the desktop version simply froze. So I’ll have to rethink the order of things there for the future.

The day otherwise started well. I didn’t wake up and immediately play a game (it only works if it’s connected to the internet). I didn’t check my emails over breakfast, or run through social media. I read a book, but on the Paperwhite and not on any other device.

I set a Pomodoro on my watch for 50 minutes, and while I had breakfast, I read several chapters of The Organised Writer. When my Pomodoro ended, I took a 10-minute break to get washed and dressed and let the dog out. (He’d already been out twice by this time.) At the end of the 10 minutes, I was already sitting on the settee and trying to open the desktop WordPress app.

In the end I had to digress, but it was all part of my first Pomodoro of the working day. The next job, after starting the blog, was to start the jobs I didn’t get around to the day before. This won’t become a habit. In future, so long as I’m working to the correct timetable, any jobs I don’t get around to will have to wait until they’re next in the schedule. If necessary, future weeks will be rescheduled to fit what works and what doesn’t work.

I’ve decided that in future I won’t be joining in with the People’s Friend writing hour on X as that runs from 11am to 12 noon, and my writing time won’t be over by 11am. This will also sever my last ties with the platform, apart from the 5-minute declutter I do every so often.

Here are the jobs I didn’t get around to on Tuesday:

  • outline The Map of Lost Places
  • draft 1 The Midnight Labyrinth
  • The Secret of Whitehorse Farm
  • edit naval book

Rather than try and catch up, I’ll just do what I can and move everything else along by one day. The ticked job is actually what I managed to do some catchup with.

Something else that will no doubt be knocked on the head (again) in (the near) future is daily competitions. I often drift away from those for several months and come back and do them while I’m eating my dinner at my desk. I want to stop eating dinner at my desk and removing the daily competitions gives me another reason to do that. I don’t think it will appear on next week’s to-do list.

I started brainstorming the fallen angel story on Tuesday and ended up having quite the brain murmur in the early hours of Wednesday morning (after letting the dog out the first time). I’d already briefly outlined the storyline, but I started to get lots of other ideas too, and even the titles for Part 2 and 3. So I may skip the other stories first and get a fully fleshed-out outline done for that.

Then I had another brain murmur and I created a new file in Scrivener for blogging. The images will have to be added later, when I connect. The actual editing interface in WordPress is a good trigger for my blog writing, but so is Scrivener for my other writing. I’ll give it a go and see how I get on. Starting with this one from, once again, below the line.

Other benefits of using Scrivener for blogging are:

  1. Whenever I choose to publish a collection of blog posts, I’ll already have them in Scrivener, and
  2. I can set a target word-count of 1,000 words per post and keep an eye on how close I’m getting.

Because I was already at my computer and already in Scrivener, I decided I’d have a spurt on The Secret of Whitehorse Farm. I plugged the laptop into the mains and got going. Saying that, I didn’t get a lot of actual writing done because first I had to type in what was going to happen in Sequences 2, 3 and 4.

I set a completion date of 22 December, and that gave me my allocated session target. Yesterday’s target was 2,148 words, which is almost an entire 2,500-word sequence. I had less than 15 minutes left of my Pomodoro in which to start writing. When the pinger went, I skipped the 10-minute break and carried on.

I added 1,548 words in the end. Not really anywhere near the target. Today, I want that to be much, much closer to the target. I had to stop, though, because I was starving hungry. I fed the birds, poured hot water on their water, and stopped for dinner, making sure to close the laptop and push it far, far away from me.

I checked my emails (there were quite a few but all but two were deleted), quickly had a look at FB (naughty! – this is supposed to be at the end of the day), and I read my book. Then I went back to the laptop to start organising my files and directories. That took the rest of the day and before I knew it the poet was home and making steak & kidney pudding.

Deciding that I needed to finish reading the organised writer book so that I could start using its recommendations efficiently, that’s what I did. I couldn’t open ClickUp offline, so that software’s days might also be numbered. Instead, I connected to the internet and started searching for applications I *can* use offline. Otherwise, this is all a non-starter.

Let’s see how today goes. By the new year, I WILL be more organised again.

4 thoughts on “Thursday 7 December 2023: Failed!

  1. I usually draft blogs in Word and then paste them into WP when I’m ready to post, or ready to schedule to post. WP has changed the way to add tags and I hate it. They “suggest” tags as it’s publishing and then add them, instead of letting me add them in the side bar the way they used to.

    Good luck on the fallen angel story. Sounds like fun!

    1. I’ve not seen that kind of behaviour yet from WP, but I’m still using a Classic Editor plugin. I found out that the tech needs to connect first and then work offline, rather than work without connecting. It could be a bit of a nuisance, but I’ll see how it goes. As I’m also trying to move away from Word, and as I’m already so happy with Scrivener, I’ll carry on with that too. It’s useful in case I decide to do a blog compilation. The copy and pasting has already been done, but the other way.

      I’m having lots of fun with my fallen angel. I never knew it would be possible. Just goes to show what can happen if you just let your imagination go and stop trying to write to specific markets all the time.

  2. Yes, imaginations are wonderful animals, especially when they go feral.

    Is it possible to draft in Scrivener in standard manuscript format? I haven’t been able to figure that out, only how to convert. I can’t draft single-spaced; it drives me nuts. Which is a shorter drive on some days than on others.

    1. Open a document in the usual way, call it ‘master’ or ‘standard MS’ or whatever. Choose File > Options > Editing, and choose the Formatting tab. Make your preferred changes here (preferred font, line-spacing, indentage, etc) and select Apply. Save it as a template. (File > Save as template) Close it down. Reopen Scrivener, choose your saved template, and create a new file as usual.

      Give me a shout if you can’t find something. 🙂

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