Sunday, June 26, 2011

Business Travel Doesn't Alway Suck

Actually, that's not true. I change my mind. Business travel does suck.

But sometimes... just sometimes... something unexpected makes it all worthwhile.

My Tweeps (Tweeps = Tweeter Peeps (Peeps = My Peoples (Peoples = you know... people... a lot of 'em))) got a handful of tweets from me when I was on my latest trip in San Diego.

I shared a picture of the marina from my room... If you haven't been to San Diego, find an excuse. It's one of those places that gets a hold of you and does not let go.

The trip itself was good. Conferences, coffee, workshops, coffee, one-on-ones with experts, coffee, meet new people, coffee, strategy sessions, and... let's see... did I mention coffee?

From 7 AM until approximately 6:30 PM I was busy with this stuff. And typically, my brain is fried when I go to these things. So much information, limited capacity left in my brain, and that typically results in no more juice left to be creative.

This time, it was a bit different.

Maybe it was the weather.

Maybe it was this statue that just spoke to me.

Maybe it was the coffee.

Or maybe it was the fact that I was still on a high from the James Scott Bell seminar that kickstarted the revisions of Rocky Peak.

Whatever it was, I had a phenomenal three nights of writing. From Sunday evening (when I arrived) to Wednesday afternoon (when I left), I had accomplished two things:

(1) I had added all the new scenes that I had identified ~ 12k words in 3 days
(2) I had completed the manuscript

And boy am I proud of how things have come together with this story. I am now doing a final read-through before I send off a copy to my mentor Michael Levin and my wife.

So I thought I'd share a couple of additional pictures. My "Hotel Room Office" and the elements that I use to get things done.

This is what's on my desk.

And when I look over my right shoulder, this is what I see.

It may be hard to figure out, but what I have on my window is a bunch of stickies.

Throughout the day, I jot down ideas.

It may be a new scene...

An inconsistency...

A good line...

A question...

or a reminder to further peel the onion layers of the plot challenges...

These are the things that bring everything together. The little accents that make the pieces flow with texture.

When I was revising, as I addressed a sticky, I would move it off of my "To Do Window" and set it aside in my "Done" pile. This is a very effective method that I've used for more than just writing. It comes from a project management methodology called SCRUM. Maybe I'll tell you guys about this rapid and agile process for getting things done in a future post.

Finally, Here's a blow up of my desk with some explanation

Research Material: 
  • My iPad with all the Evernote research in front of me.
  • My Revision plan -- A few sheets that includes the plot summary
The Avatar:
  • That's my now infamous Moleskin notebook and pen that are my avatar on Tweeter
  • Self-explanatory. In this case, I was listening to Evanescence
The JSB Flashcards:
Scrivener in Action:
  • Read my post on why I love Scrivener so much here and here
  • Really? You need me to explain this?

Fight the good fight!


  1. Wow. Congratulations on completing your manuscript, that's awesome!

    I am in awe of your technology. MacBookPro AND iPad? Do want. Heh. ANYWAY!

    Sticky notes. I like that idea. I might try it. Plus sticky notes are fun.

    Also, San Diego looks gorgeous. And I like that statue, too. Very cool.

    Overall it looks like you made it a very productive trip. Congrats again! That's awesome! :)

  2. Thanks, Ava. I forgot to mention that I also got a lot of encouraging tweets while I was there. But you already knew that... you were one of them :) Thanks for the voice of encouragement.


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