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!
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.