November 23, 2008

Motivation VS Procrastination

This month I have been on a crash course in both these topics.
I signed up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) intent on reaching the 50,000 word goal by November 30th. For the first week of November my mojo was in overdrive. I would slip in to my writing corner as soon as I could after work without totally ignoring the rest of my family. Dinners were quick fixes cheered on by my youngest son. What ever free time I could find I used to rack up word counts. I learned a lot those first days. What I did not have was a plan. I was not prepared for the stalls in plot or the point of view confusion that would rear its ugly head. I found myself slowing to a crawl. As the second week began I fell farther behind and still wondered which way to go. I found my motherly duties calling and soon moved from one task to another, leaving unwritten pages glowing in the dark. At the halfway point I knew I was toast. But I wasn’t completely burnt. I still have time to write as far as I can go. Maybe not 50,000 or 40,000 or even 30,000 but I could hit 20,000.

So now I have new goals to work on.
You can try one of these too.
1) Write a book in a month. (I’ll try again next year)
2) BIAW – Book in a week. (Were talking novella)
3) 100 words in 100 days. (Sounds easy)
4) Set a timer and write for 15 minutes. (Or what ever time you want)
5) Have a writing duel with a (writer) friend. (Make it interesting/make a wager) (I’m thinking chocolate)
6) Break whatever goal you have into smaller pieces for writing or personal goals.

I succeeded in my original goal. I signed up and participated and learned. That put me further ahead then not even trying.

Do you have any tips or hints for setting and completing goals.

Labels: ,


At November 24, 2008 at 12:43 PM , Blogger Dorinda Ohnstad said...


The old adage "Better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all (or something like that)," comes to mind. At least you had the courage to try.

If you come away with an additional 20,000 words on your novel that would be a huge success in my opinion. That's 20,000 more than you had before.

I find that for me, I have to set a smaller goal of let's say 1,000 to 1,500 words five to six days a week. I can't fret about each of those being perfect words, but rather words that move the story forward. When I stick to that goal I am hugely successful. The problem comes when all of a sudden I have other demands on my time and I excuse myself from meeting my writing goal for a day, two days, or more. That's when I lose momentum and it's hard to get back on track. Maybe it's because I allow my "excuses" to intervene when the writing gets tougher, rather than sucking it up and forging on. That way I don't have to feel guilty; after all I had no choice right?

However, what we both have to do is not let our guilt about not meeting those goals get in the way of setting new ones and venturing forward. Any forward progress is good--whenever and however it happens. Bottom line is not to give up, to know that eventually you will have a completed novel, so long as you continue to put one foot in front of the other.

At November 25, 2008 at 2:29 PM , Anonymous Sunny said...

I've just proposed an outrageous idea to my friend in NJ. We're going to work on our novels and send the chapters to each other, but no critiquing is allowed. We'll take notes on the other's story, but for now, we're just the audience. I've wanted to start the Bad Girl Mysteries, but I don't write if I don't have someone waiting on the other end. But this is not something I want critiqued yet.

I'm hoping this will jump start my novel. I keep telling myself I'm being too lazy these days, despite the fact that I'm still working on the children's book and have the next Christy Bristol coming out. But, I haven't done anything "fresh" in awhile.

I think we have to out-maneuver our potholes and find a way to keep the creative juices flowing.

At December 1, 2008 at 6:18 PM , Blogger Marilyn said...

When I'm actually working on a new book, I write at least 2 hours a day, every day, but weekends (though I might squeeze in a bit then.)

Because I have two series going, I have to come up with two books a year.

It's time I started putting down some ideas for my next Rocky Bluff P.D. novel. Sounds strange since I have one ready to come out in January, and another ready, but that's the only way I can work and be sure I'll have a new one ready when it's time.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home