Goals: Not meeting them and setting them anyway

As I’ve said already, I had a winter break this year! It was like a mini-preview of what life as a full time writer will be like and I wish I could have made it last longer. I set myself a goal for the week with both a minimum acceptable level and a slightly higher “aim for” level. I needed at least 20,000 words written in the last week, but I really wanted to hit 40,000 words total in the MS which meant writing 25,000 words.

Those extra 5,000 words may not seem like a ton, but it was enough to make the goal a stretch without making it impossible. And it was enough that I didn’t make it much higher than my minimum goal. At the end of the night yesterday, I was at 36,452 words in The Dream War Saga Book 2.

What I learned from this week is that, especially when you’re writing for yourself (the remainder of TDWS isn’t yet under contract), self-guided goals and deadlines are really important to make the most of the time you have. I am amazingly good at procrastinating and wasting time with very little to show for it, so unless I know I have some sort of progress bar to meet, I tend to lollygag.

I’m actually more than a little proud of myself for even writing 21,000 words this past week considering the week contained two major holidays, a sister visiting from out of state, and friends visiting from out of town. I think I can still hit 40,000 by the end of the week (it’s harder now because I’m back at my day job and so a lot of the day is devoted to that), but at least now I know I’m capable of pushing forward on a manuscript every day and that writing full time is actually a feasible option for me.

That’s really all I have to say this morning, but I’d like to leave you with this unrelated but incredibly pretty picture:

The Path to Fulfillment (c) Annika Banfield

Happy 2013! Hope your year is starting off well!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.