Having a Goal

Yesterday, I wrote a little about my writing process. I know, it is the most informative writing post ever. That is how I am approaching the sequel I am hard at work on. And it is working for me. But I realized I left something out that serves as a motivator.

Making a goal. Or perhaps I should say  goals. I have two basic goals. Long term and short term.

My short term goal is basically a daily target. Everyday I want to add 1000 words to the novel. This takes me about an hour. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It is a pretty comfortable amount for me, in that it is just outside what comes simply. In one sitting I can usually get through about 700-800 words without much stress. I like setting my bar just a little higher than that. Sure, it means there is a bit of a struggle at the end, but it think that struggle results in a bit of growth.

As for long term goals, there are two. The farther goal is that I want to do another Indiegogo campaign by the end of this year. I could live with pushing it back to January 2017, but would much rather have it happen this December. That means having final edits, cover, formatting, everything done by the end of this year. I think that is possible.

So, if I want everything finished by the end of the year, what about that rough draft? Bring on goal number 2.

For the past two years I spend a several weeks in the summer working at a summer camp. That looks to continue this year as well. It is a great time outside and with awesome people. It is also a time that it is pretty impossible to write. Which makes it a great time to just refresh and forget about what I’ve been writing. Also known as, a great time to let space set in before setting on the editing adventure. Everyone’s favorite part of writing!

That means that I should try and finish before camp. Now comes math. Camp starts in roughly 22 weeks. That is when I want to have this rough draft finalized. Deadly Troubadours clocked in about 86,000 words. I want to make the sequel a touch longer. Let’s go ahead and estimate 100,000. I currently have 16,500. So, 83,500 left to go. Pulling out the calculator, because math is hard, gives me a weekly goal of 3,800 words to be finished in 22 weeks. That is really attainable.

But wait! I have a daily writing goal of 7000 and a weekly goal of 3800? Yup. Because sometimes life. I love writing everyday, but life. I work and have a son. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes the writing just doesn’t happen. Sometimes days are just exhausting and attempts at writing just turn out so much gibberish. But hey, I need to make the attempt. And with a weekly goal at 3800 as long as I get above that I am ahead of the game. So, maybe it isn’t really a weekly goal so much as a weekly minimum.

All of this is just a way of thinking about getting those words on paper. But writing a novel is a marathon. Sometimes that goal can look so far away. Breaking it up in to shorter, manageable chunks helps keep me motivated. Even now, writing for 22 weeks seems like a ridiculously long time. That will never ever happen. But next week, writing a minimum of 3800 words? That is simple. I bet I can easily get out 5000 words. Maybe 6000. If I am really on the ball maybe even 7000! Holy goodness! Okay, honestly probably closer to 5000.

But the point is, the goal is there and it gives me steady motivation. And motivation is really what is needed to get a novel out there.

Oh yeah, and a story.


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