With a Fresh Start Comes New Goals

12 Jul

Current Status: Wrecked. Flat. Too exhausted for words.

Food Consumed: Nadda. Nuttin’. Zilch.

On The iPod: Lullaby; Sia

Word Count: Nadda. Nuttin’. Zilch.

My writing break didn’t go exactly to plan. I’m not coming back to the words refreshed. I’m not coming back to the words relaxed, full of energy, or raring to go. I’m coming back perhaps flatter and less enthused than I was before my break.

This has nothing to do with writing. Sometimes life throws you lemons – big lemons, super, ginormous lemons that squeeze their stinging, bitter juices all over you until you’re drowning in the stuff and can barely stay afloat, little own breathe. That was my weekend, and my time away from writing, in a nut shell.

But enough. I’m not gonna turn this post into a big whinge-fest about my sad little life. Every experience, no matter how negative, is also a positive because those experiences, the good and the bad, are what help us grow as a writer and as a person.

I’m not going to take the break further at this point. Although I’m not refreshed I still want to write. I have new ideas in my head that weren’t there last week – a plot for a new WIP that I’ve been struggling to make a neat concept for, fresh insights into the characters of my old WIP (Times of Bright), new scenes to add a bit more backstory to the tale, and a new goal.

I am going to share my goals with you, because if I do that I’m more likely to keep them. Not that I have any fear that I won’t keep them. My critique partner will certainly see to it that I do.

So, my goals are:-

1) I will finish the third draft of “Times of Bright” by September. I will. No joke.

2) I will write 5,000 words every week. If I happen to write more than that, it will be a bonus.

Simple, right? Well, almost. But I can do it, and I will. Now, time to open that word doc and get started!

What are your goals? Do you have a certain word count you want to meet per week or per day? Please share in the comments.


6 Responses to “With a Fresh Start Comes New Goals”

  1. Ann 12/07/2010 at 10:46 am #

    You have measurable goals – that’s always a great start!

    • thewritingant 12/07/2010 at 10:52 am #

      Thanks, Ann! 🙂 Yeah, I figure if I keep my goals simple, I have more of a chance to stick to them.

      I’m usually a 5K-word-a-day girl, but only when the words are flowing well (which they aren’t right now). I need to set goals that are more realistic, and then hopefully I won’t get so frustrated with myself.

      Thanks for the comment, and for the RT! x

  2. Rebecca James 12/07/2010 at 11:17 am #

    5000 words a week sounds about perfect. I make lots and lots of goals. I very rarely meet them.

    • thewritingant 12/07/2010 at 11:24 am #

      Thanks, Rebecca. 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one who is terrible at meeting goals. I make a lot of goals, too, but I hardly ever make them public so that when I don’t meet them, it doesn’t seem as bad. 😉

  3. Lila 12/07/2010 at 11:25 am #

    Welcome back! I’m sorry to hear that your break wasn’t quite as successful as you’d hoped, but at least you have some new ideas floating around. That’s something, right? 🙂

    I’ve always heard that the first step towards achieving your goals is simply to write them down, so you’re certainly on your way! My goals aren’t very concrete – I’m 2 chapters away from being done, so a more appropriate task for me at the moment would be trying to edit. Honestly, editing seems like so much more of a problem. I have to reshuffle and tighten the plot (later on in the book I changed my mind about the backgrounds of certain characters, so I have to rewrite their earlier bits), and stuff like that. But I’m also fairly wordy, so I’ll need to do some serious weeding. My WIP is hovering at 120k words right now (with 2 chapters left, like I said, so there’s more coming). But it seems like whenever I try to cut something down, I just end up adding even more words… :/

    Do you have any advice about editing?

    • thewritingant 12/07/2010 at 11:34 am #

      Yes, having new ideas is definitely something. I am pleased I took the time away, and it happened to be a good time to take a “break” since all the stuff I had to deal with over the w/end would have made it impossible to write, anyway.

      I’ve heard that, too, about writing down goals, so I’m sure that will help me stick to them a little more. 🙂

      I used to have the same problems with editing that you do (I probably still do, in a way).

      Somebody once told me that in order to edit properly you have to dislike your manuscript so completely that you want to change everything about it. A bit extreme, but what I’ve found works for me is that I print out the whole thing and put it away – literally away in my wardrobe – for months. The time frame could differ depending on the person or the manuscript, but each month I would pull it out and look at it, and if I cringed at the thought of deleting something or rewriting a part that was, in actual fact, really well written but just not fitting with the rest of the novel, than I wasn’t ready to edit properly and I put it back.

      I think “Times of Bright” was in the cupboard for 4 months or something, and I wrote out the second draft from scratch, and this third draft half from scratch.

      Editing is a really hard thing to master. How it is tackled is different for everyone, I think. I don’t believe in any hard and fast rule, anyway. But I would advise that you don’t edit straight away. Work on something new for a while, read, or just take a break, but let the manuscript sit and when you come back to it you will find the edits easier to do.

      I hope that helps. xx a

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