My Thoughts

An Increase In Productivity

Jarrod’s Journal

The first week of 2018 has been productive. Towards the end of 2017 I found myself being lackadaisical, uninspired, and procrastinating the goals that I had in mind. This was a big part in my feeling down in the closing months and weeks of the year. Don’t get me wrong – the majority of the problem was pushing through and completing the first draft of my book (which I have yet to even take a look at). However, I wanted to continually exercise and do some other things business-wise, but my energy was just not there. When I came home from work I wanted to eat, play a video game, watch TV, and go to sleep. I don’t know if it’s the start of a new year that’s got me on this upswing of productivity or not, but I did watch a video by Marie Forleo that made a difference. In it, she says that she writes down all of her tasks for the day and uses check boxes to make sure she gets them all done. I’ve since adopted this method and its definitely helped. Check the clip here.

Increase Your Productivity

When I started doing this, it reminded me of when I was super productive a little over a year ago. I was exercising every day, writing every day, and just in a great space. At some point, I lost my practice of writing down everything I needed to do for the day. That’s right, I used to do exactly what Marie suggested in this video.

It’s funny how sometimes you get so comfortable in doing things a certain way that you forget that it’s a practice. It’s something that you have to do daily no matter what. When I stopped doing that, I definitely lost some productivity. Looking back, I think that it was due to my job search and subsequent hiring at the company I work at now. Through that process, I was so focused on getting a job that I left all of my other good habits by the wayside. It’s taken me until now to finally get back to a place where I feel comfortable enough with my daily routine and the amount of time I have that I can come home and do more work on my own endeavors.

If you have been lacking in productivity, I suggest you take this advice. At the end of the day, take a sheet of paper and write down your goals for the following day. As Marie says in the video, the key is “you have to do it.” Stick to it and it will eventually become a habit for you. I’m going to do my absolute best to make sure that I continue to be as productive as I am today.

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My Thoughts

As the Plot Turns – Plotter, Pantser, or Plantser?

Jarrod’s Journal

So there I am, lying back on the couch in my living room with my laptop open, pounding out new words for a peaceful scene in my WIP (work in progress), and BOOM – a gunshot! Things go crazy! Don’t worry, the gunshot didn’t happen in real life. Instead, it was an unexpected moment that I wrote into my latest work. I had no intention of things happening so fast, or for things to get so crazy, but they did, and I’m both excited and terrified to see where it goes.

Plotter or Pantser?

“Are you a plotter or a pantser?” This is a common question among writers and one that people in both camps feel strongly about. Plotters usually have a meticulous outline, research notes, character synopses, and more before getting into writing. Pansters get an idea and just run with it. I used to consider myself a plotter, but after this experience, and thinking back on writing Pangaea: Unsettled Land, I now believe I’m more of a hybrid. A plantser, if you will. I like to know as much as possible about the book I’m writing before I get into it, but I leave enough up to my imagination while in the process. Here’s a look at how my plansting has shown up in my writing.

Plansting Pangaea

*Spoiler Alert*

There are two storylines in Pangaea I can recall that were completely unplanned. One was that of Isidro, Douglassaire’s student, who as an Etherean (magic user) and was ostracized from his peers. I knew I wanted Douglassaire to learn something through his interactions with his student, but I had no idea how deep I would go with Isidro’s story. He was labeled a freak by classmates, had parents who warned him not to live out loud, and Douglassaire stepped in save him. I pulled from my own childhood for that story and had no prior plans of really going there.

The second storyline would be that of how Princess Annonymn (Anna) joined the Auctorati, a group a bounty hunters. She also fell in love with the group’s leader, Libra. I planned to have her find her place amongst a group, but who those people were, and the fact that Libra was killed so suddenly was certainly not in my plans.

Both moments had been times where I felt most inspired when writing that book. And now, I have experienced it again.


The title of my WIP as of right now is Synapse. As a result of plowing through my work in this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I got to a point where, yet again, my plans and my pants met. (That sounds dirty, but you know what I mean!) I can’t say more than what I’ve already described at the beginning of this piece, but it feels great to get this level of inspiration over and over again. This is the second time this has happened for me in this book. I feel it’s a great indicator that this story is something special. The stakes have been raised, and I’m not sure how it’s going to affect the rest of what I have planned, but I’m going to roll up my sleeves and trust my instincts.

For more information and word count updates on my upcoming novel, check out its NaNoWriMo page.

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