WorkIt Wednesday: Get Up and DO Something

Chess Board - TwitterI’m deep in the guts of revising my publishing schedule, so my WorkIt Wednesday is going to be simple. I don’t want to get stuck in this chair all day; it’s not healthy. But I do want to get this done. So here is the challenge:


For every hour, do five minutes of movement. Stretch, go for a walk, do a quick tidy about the office, or throw in a fast bout of yoga. Do not sit for more than an hour at a time. Use a timer to accomplish this.


Remember that book we’ve been working on together? Let’s plot our schedule from plot to finish. Need a guideline to help you get there? Here’s roughly what I use:

  • Day 1: Idea, outline, researching, rough cover idea
  • Day 45: finish rough draft
  • Day 65: finish first pass edit/ rewrite & send to beta readers
  • Day 95: do second rewrite/ edit
  • Day 115: send to editor
  • Day 135: do third rewrite/ edit
  • Day 145: proofread, finish cover, format
  • Day 166: submit books, pre-release, ARC copies
  • Day 180: (yep, six months later) release book

Your turn! If you’re feeling really brave, share your timeline here. I’d love to see it.


Side note: remember my goal to do 2k a day in run/walk, writing, editing, reading, and eating? Here’s my results:

  • Run/walk: goal of 34k (17 days).  Did 36.7k.  +2700 WIN
  • Writing: goal of 34k (17 days).  Did 12,593. -21,407. Ack.
  • Editing: I didn’t.  I just… failed.
  • Reading: goal of 34k (17 days). Did exactly (or close enough) 34k. WIN
  • Eating: goal of 34k (17 days). I went over, but I need better tracking. That’s on my to do list for today.

I can do better for June. I will do better. Are you doing this with me? How’s it going?

WorkIt Wednesday: Create-a-Plot and Pushups

Chess Board - TwitterThis is a two-part WorkIt Wednesday, as always. For the physical part, my goal is to hit 100 pushups throughout the day. I can do a single pushup or all 100 at once (no, really, I can’t). As long as they’re all done by midnight, I reached my goal.

Define a pushup: Because not everyone is at the same level, you can do any type of pushup you want. Do you have some physical limitations? Do wall pushups. Maybe you have some minor lower back issues? Do knee or “girl” pushups. If you can, do the regular pushups. If you’re feeling really ambitious, go for one-handed pushups or another variation. You don’t have to do the same kind all the way through, either. Start out at the hardest level you can and, if you need to, finish up with wall pushups. The goal is to get all 100. There’s a good tutorial here.

Now for the written part of the day, inspired by this article on The Write Life. Depending on which resource you go to, there are only seven/ twenty/ thirty-six plots in literature. For simplicity’s sake, we’re going with seven for this exercise. Also, because I’m a simple Figment, I’m referring to all humans as “man”. Feminists, I salute you, but writing all those bracketed [wo]man gives me a headache.

According to, here are the seven:

  1. Man vs nature
  2. Man vs man
  3. Man vs the environment
  4. Man vs himself
  5. Man vs machines
  6. Man vs supernatural
  7. Man vs god/God

Some of these seem repetitious, but work with me. (Only a few decades ago, school children were taught man vs man, man vs himself, man vs nature. I guess “supernatural” and “machines” are two different ones. I don’t really see seven here.)

According to Christopher Booker’s The Seven Basic Plots, there are seven completely different plots:

  1. Overcoming the monster (man vs the supernatural?)
  2. Rags to riches (man vs himself?)
  3. The Quest (man vs the environment?)
  4. Voyage and Return (man vs god/God?)
  5. Comedy
  6. Tragedy
  7. Rebirth

The writing portion of your WorkIt Wednesday (and mine) is to take a story idea you already have and put it through all seven plot ideas. Because enough people are familiar with Pride and Prejudice, let’s use that as an example.

On its own, Pride and Prejudice is either man vs man (Darcy’s prejudice versus Lizzie’s pride) or man vs himself (each learning to overcome their own shortcomings). Pride and Prejudice and Zombies takes the same story and makes it man vs the supernatural. What if there was a sudden blight or illness in England? It might change to man vs nature or the environment. It’s a bit of a stretch to picture it as man vs machines, but let’s make it Steampunk Pride and Prejudice for that one. If you want to change it to man vs god/God, maybe Darcy questions his morality in the story. You could do the same for the Booker list.

Your assignment is to take your basic work in progress and morph it into each of the seven plots. Again, you can use either list, but use the same list throughout. If you want, share your mutations here. I may share mine next week. You can use the original The Write Life article for ideas on how to morph your story.

How did you do last week? Did you make your goals?


WorkIt Wednesday: The Five-2K Challenge

Write2kI’m going to put a challenge out there for everyone. I’ve already made it to certain friends. Now I’m opening it to you.

For the next year (or one year from whenever you decide to start), do the Five2K challenge:

  • Write 2k
  • Run/ walk 2k
  • Edit 2k
  • Read 2k
  • Eat 2k calories (2000 calories)

Do this daily for one year (52 weeks). Tag your progress with #Five2K.

Miss a day? Don’t stress. Make up your 2k on another day. 2k walking or running is only 1.29 miles or so. Do a little extra one day and “bank” it toward another day.

Didn’t write enough? Have a marathon writing session and get in 10k at some point. Same with editing.

2k words is, roughly, eight pages, although your average will vary.

Do it for the fun of it and as a way to push yourself. Do it for the cool name.

Are you with me?

WorkIt Wednesday: Challenge 1

Chess Board - TwitterI’m going to try something new on Wednesdays until either I get bored, I get no response, or I think of something new to do: every Wednesday, I’m going to post a challenge. You will have 36 hours (out of respect for those in other time zones) to do both the physical and the writing part of the challenge. I’ll randomly select one winner for a free ebook every week. Eventually I may solicit giveaways from other authors.

You don’t have to sign up for anything. You don’t have to promise me your firstborn child– in fact, if you send me any children, I will disqualify you for life. All you have to do is respond in the comments before the 36 hours are up and tell me how you did. Simple, right?

Week One Physical Challenge

Let’s start off somewhat easy. Get in 10,000 steps. Period. You can post a picture of a tracker or you can just do it. (10,000 steps is about five miles, for those who track distance, not steps.)

Week One Writing Challenge

Write a flash fiction short story with this first line:

A man that don’t believe in destiny don’t need to know what his destiny is.” – Laura Moncur, Merriton: Twelve Hours From San Francisco

You can post a link to the story if you put it on your own blog or Facebook page or you can just post it in its entirety below.

What About the Winner?

I’ll use to pick one winner. That winner can choose either a free ebook or a free critique of their flash fiction story.

Ready? Set? GO!  You have until Thursday, May 12th at 8pm PT.