I’ve found I work best to self-imposed goals. They have to be attainable, but they also have to require some effort to achieve.
I didn’t take part in Nanowrimo – I know there is no way my other time commitments could allow me to write 50,000 words in a month. But I did privately try for a half-nano. I aimed to get my work-in-progress up to 25,000 by the end of November. I had started it at the end of October and wanted to get it well underway quickly.
I didn’t quite manage it – November ended with my word count around 23,000 but that’s not bad. I’m now trying to get to around 30,000 by Christmas. That’s a third of a novel, in 2 months. Which should mean I can complete it by end April. No, let’s say end May, as I have a couple of week’s holiday at Easter in which I won’t get any writing done.
Then I’ll allow myself until the end of September to edit and polish the novel. Come October, a year after beginning it, it should be ready for submission to agents. This timescale, if I achieve it, will be substantially quicker than the last novel which took about 16 months to get to the submission-ready stage.
In October, I’m also planning on running the Bournemouth half-marathon. Eek! Much training required, as well as much writing!
It’ll soon be New Year, and as always I will set myself a series of writing and fitness resolutions. And I’ll publish them here. If you make resolutions, do tell people about them. That way, you’ll be constantly asked how you’re getting on with them, and it helps motivate you to continue. Well, it works for me.
Do goals and deadlines work for you? Do you have any tips for setting them? Now’s a good time to think about this, so in January you can set yourself some brilliant goals and make 2014 the year it happens for you!
Wendy Clarke said:
My goal for 2012 was to have a story published in each of the ‘big three’ womags and in 2013 my goal was to have an article published and to write a serial. Because my goals were very specific, I found it easier to achieve them. I’m not sure what my goals for 2014 will be yet but I think it might be a good idea to voice them once I’ve decided what they are. I think you did well to write over 20,000 words last month, Kath, and it was sensible to set your sights on something you knew would be manageable rather than busting a gut over something that might show quantity but not necessarily quality.
They sound like great goals and well done for achieving them, Wendy!
I’m not so good at setting specific goals and think I probably should. I completed NaNo last year but had to give up tis year because of too many other writing commitments. I do love having a deadline. Good luck with the half-marathon!
Goals work best if they are SMART – Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic and Time-boxed. I am happy with self-imposed deadlines but aren’t so keen on external ones which are too stressy for me!
Captain Black said:
I only managed 4/5 of NaNoWriMo this year, but I plan to complete the 50,000 words by the end of 2013. I think that’s an achievable goal for me, especially as I’m still enthusiastic about the project.
Good luck with the half-marathon and with the training. I did three this year. Each time, I told myself: it’s only a couple of 10Ks, one after the other.
It’s amazing how you can kid yourself, isn’t it? I am quite happy running 10km so might try your self-delusion method. Finish 10km and then keep running, pretending I’ve only just started out… Would like to do a half-marathon in training before the actual event.
Oh and 4/5 Nano is excellent well done!