Ooops . . . I’m Doing It Again

Ooops . . . I’m Doing It Again

No fear, folks. This week’s blog isn’t a tribute to Brittany’s glory days. Instead, I’m talking about goals. Again.

It’s the fifth week of the new year, and by now, y’all are probably all talked-out on the topic of goals: setting and achieving. Well, hang onto your breeches, because I’ve got one more goal topic to cover: missing your goals.

In the past few posts, several of us have discussed Write or Consequences’ new parameters (turning in a minimum of twenty pages every other week) and our new consequence (a pie in the face). We’ve also mentioned how much the changes are working for us. Until…

Hang on a sec while I back up and make a few clarifications. Even though our new consequences are now tied to our two-week commitment, we still state mid-range goals, on a 90-day timeframe rather than six-months. Upside there, we haven’t set additional consequences for meeting those goals, so our 90-day goal is more aspirational, whereas our every-other-week commitment is designed to keep our productivity on track. So, with that said:

Until…I decided to up my personal two-week challenge. See, my 90-day goal is to finally finish the story-crafting stage of Peace of Heart. I know it’ll need another “wordsmithing” pass, but this was supposed to be the final, make-sure-it-flows pass, so I figured three months was all I needed to polish off my plot. After all, the darn thing is already written, right? I could do a final edit in 90 days, right?


Two-thirds of the way through our 90-day goal period, and I’d only been holding myself to the 20-page minimum every other week. Even if this final edit was a breeze, that pace would never get me through the process in three months, so I decided to up my bi-weekly minimum to 30 pages. No big deal. Totally doable.

Until…First week on my new minimum, and I volunteered to spend ten days helping my mother with some DIY paint projects. When she and I set our schedule, I told her I needed some dedicated writing time during the week, and I honored those set-aside times. Even so, I only managed to clean up and submit 27 pages.

I have plenty of legitimate excuses/reasons why I missed my target page count. #1) Momma and I added to our to-do list, and she’s my momma, which makes her a high priority worthy of shuffling my schedule. #2) Her printer and my laptop come from two different technology generations, and I spent over an hour of my writing time trying to figure out how to print my pages. #3) This week’s scene required a rewrite rather than an edit. #4) Since this was a travel week, I spent one full day in the car, cutting my available writing days by nearly ten percent. #5) I coordinated my visit with Momma’s 70th birthday, and she wanted to spend the day at the casino, so I had to bite the bullet, take another full day (10%) away from my writing time and suffer through a day of slot machines and all-you-can-eat buffets. What can I say? I’m an awesome daughter!

Despite all those great – and not-so-great – excuses, the bottom line is, I didn’t make my goal this time around. So this week, I’ll be the first recipient of our pie-in-the-face consequence. (Tune in later. Lorinda insists we find a way to share the experience with y’all.) And you know what? I’m okay with taking my lumps.

Being a part of WoC has taught me a lot, about myself as a writer and about the ins and outs of goal setting. Even though I didn’t make my beefed up page count this time around, I refuse to beat myself up over it.

Under normal circumstances, a 30-page minimum is completely realistic for me, but these past two weeks weren’t normal. I didn’t put in enough writing time, but I didn’t fart my time away. I simply rearranged my priorities. Nothing to be ashamed of there.

Goals, particularly our goals here at WoC, are designed to be motivational, so I am determined to find motivation in this week’s shortfall. Time to make my writing world a negativity-free zone.

And I challenge y’all to do the same. Set your goals. Make them realistic yet challenging. Work hard. Do your best. And don’t get down on yourself if you fall a little short. Instead, pat yourself on the back for what you did accomplish and, maybe, add a little extra personal challenge to your next goal. For me, I’m shooting for 33 pages next time around, to make up for this week’s shortage.

Best of luck to us all!

Dawn Temple

Back when her twin sons were young enough for daily naps, Dawn Temple took advantage of those quiet moments to pursue her dream of becoming a published romance writer. Sneaking in an hour here and there paid off in 2005 when she sold her first book, To Have And To Hold, to Silhouette Special Edition. She managed to secret away enough time to write and sell the second book in her Land’s Cross series, Moonlight And Mistletoe, but alas, her boys outgrew naps and Dawn let go of those stolen moments with her laptop to enjoy life with her two little guys and her big guy, hubby of 21 years.
But now, as an officially retired stay-at-home mom, Dawn has once again found the time and the creative drive to return to writing, and this time around, she’s set her sights on independent publishing. Her first self-published book, Peace of Heart, is scheduled for release in 2017.

4 thoughts on “Ooops . . . I’m Doing It Again

  1. I used to called Terri “Pollyanna” (back when she was much, much younger, and infinitely nicer), but maybe that title now belongs to you. I have a hard time being so upbeat when I miss deadlines and goals. And that first two week period I nearly killed myself to make the goal – all to avoid a bit of whipped cream in the face. This new era in the WoC group is HIGHLY motivational for me – and at this point, I’ll take that motivation any way I can get it, for whatever motive is at the root.

  2. Yeah, we kept trying to give you an out, but you just wouldn’t take it, would ya? 🙂 I personally think you shouldn’t take a pie. Life happens. Your momma needs help, my business sends me off on a trip for 2 weeks, Terri suddenly has a house-full of kids or back surgery, and Lorinda… Well, Lorinda just needs to get her pages written. ( 😉 )

    I agree that goals are motivational, but I’d argue that consequences can’t help being punitive. We miss a goal, we take the consequence. The consequence for missing a goal is never a pot of chocolate or extra “You can do it!” cheers or an all-expenses-paid trip to a Time Management course. (And don’t we have to deal with enough consequences in life, both intended and unintended?)

    So good on ya for agreeing to take the pie. I’d say you did everything you could, and no one can ask for more than that.

  3. Here’s the thing. If I’d wanted to make my goal this time around, I could’ve simply included the next three pages of the manuscript, even though I haven’t editted those pages yet. (Or I could’ve changed to a larger kerned font.) To me, both of those would’ve been cheating. Making our page count is essentially a win, and I don’t expect to win every time I play. That doesn’t lessen my love of the game.

  4. You changed your goal mid-stream and since you were upping your goal, no one objected. But what if I want to lower my goal to 19 pages. Nope, wouldn’t happen. I think we set goals as a group and those are ‘set in stone’ so-to-speak unless the 4 of us agree to a midstream change. You upped your personal goal so you could achieve your 90 day goal – but officially – you still achieved your official 2 week goal. That’s my 2 cents worth.

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