Tuesday, December 3, 2013

IWSG: Setting Goals



The first Wednesday of the month is here, which means it's time for IWSG. If you're not familiar with this meme, it was started by Alex Cavanaugh. It's a group of writers who share their insecurities, encouraging words, and support with each other and our followers. If you'd like to join us, great! Click here for more information.

I've always been goal orientated. I also like to create to-do lists. Both of these things help me stay on task. By setting goals, I have a target to aim for and, because I like a challenge, I find a way to hit it. To-do lists help me keep track of the things I need to get done. Because I hate to have items looming over me, I tend to finish my lists quickly. These two tactics have always helped me accomplish what I have to do as well as what I'd like to do, so when work on my current project came to a halt I decided to use NaNo as a way to kick my butt back into gear.  

Last month I set a goal to write 50,000-words by the end of the month. In a way, I accomplished this. I added 21,000-words to my latest WIP which put my total word count at 53.500-words. Mid-month I hit a road block. I had too many plot threads and a few details that really needed to be smoothed out and/or developed better before I could write the last few chapters. I decided to revise what I had so far. As of Sunday night, I revised 34,000-words. That included re-writing a few scenes, deleting the slow parts, adding more detail to what worked, killing one of the plot threads, and, best of all, discovering the missing link needed to add more suspense to the middle of the book. Not too bad for thirty days of writing. If I can keep up this pace I will have a completed draft of book three in my Embrace series done before the holidays. 

If you're finding it hard to complete your projects, I highly recommend setting a goal or making a list. Let me know you're doing it and I'll be right there to cheer you on!

Happy writing, and happy holidays!


22 comments:

  1. I've spent all of 2013 revising, so I'm really hoping to get my revisions done in the early part of 2014. I'd like to be querying by March. That's my goal anyway! =) Happy holidays to you as well!

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    1. I did a lot of revising this year too. I'm enjoying getting into a new story.

      Good luck with your goals!

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  2. Hey Cherie, have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs? I bet you're a "J" like me--planning to the hilt. And then my best-laid plans go awry, ugh! I think it's awesome you took on Nano and made progress. :-)

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    1. I haven't taken it. I'll have to. I find those things to be fun. And I've had plans go awry, too. I guess it's how we bounce back from those times that count.

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  3. Hi, Cherie,

    Good advice. Goal setting CAN be really helpful. I wish it worked for me, but I am a "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" kind of guy. It must be the free spirited artist in me. I was ALWAYS that way.

    Hope you achieve your goal by the end of the year. ALL the best, and HAPPY holidays to you, too!

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    1. Hi Michael.

      When life starts to get too hectic, I have to have goals and lists or I don't get everything I need to do done. I wish I could just be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. Glad it works for you!

      Happy holidays!

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  4. Goals and lists, I'm into them as well! They truly do help keep the motivation going for me, even though I'm a pantser. I think you did wonderful last month, I'll keep my fingers crossed you get to finish that draft before the holidays ;)

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  5. "Insecure Writers"- I wonder if you can ever separate these two words...

    Lists only work for me when they are very short term- as in what to get done by the end of the day. Goals, when realistic, work very well long term. *Realistic* has been key for me.
    As to aspirations, I'm never short on those. I also never write them down...

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    1. Yeah, long list can be discouraging. I try to keep my goals realistic, this way when I reach them I feel good about myself and I'm eager to set new ones.

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  6. I hear you! Goal-setting is key for me too. The goals don't even have to be that particularly difficult to achieve, but it helps to articulate my vision for where I want to go. The goal setting definitely keeps me moving forward.

    Good luck with your latest novel. I'm still in short-story mode. I've targeted a few more contests I want to enter, and I want to try my hand at writing a true literary fiction piece.

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    1. Thanks, and good luck to you on the contests!

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  7. I'd say that's an awesome thirty days of writing! Well done. I find lists helpful too. I was using Post-Its but, um, that wasn't very effective for keeping things organized.

    co-host IWSG
    Elsie

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    1. I've used post-its too... I ended up with them all over the house, stuck round my monitor, it wasn't pretty. ;)

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  8. I love to-do and goal lists too. They really make a difference in keeping me motivated. Congrats on being so close to finishing your draft, that's awesome.

    Great to meet you through the IWSG!

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  9. Oh my gah! Good thing book two is now almost to the top of my to-read list! You are trucking away. Nice job. :)

    I always operate better with lists too...I really ought to make them more often, huh?

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    1. I have to admit, I haven't gotten too far this week. I plan to try to make up for that this weekend.

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  10. That's awesome! That's a NaNo win for sure.
    I'm a lazy writer and need things like NaNo to force me to stay on task. I don't like to lose either...

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    1. It's the first time I've done Nano, and I'm glad I did.

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  11. Good luck completing the draft of your third book! Setting goals is important to me, too. I set annual goals and review them every six months. Keeps me on track.

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    1. I may have to move up to annual ones. Mine are usually short term.

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