Posted by Anne Marie Becker Nov 2 2012, 12:01 am in Anne Marie Becker, goals, inspiration, motivation, perserverance
It’s been six weeks since we saw each other last. (Where did the time go?) If you’ll recall, I gave you a little push in the form of a writing challenge waaaay back on September 19th, hoping it would generate a massive wave of productivity. Today is the conclusion of that challenge, and it’s time to check in. Drumroll, please…
My “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goal: Complete 60,000 words of a new project by October 31st.
My reality: 61,707 words as of 10/31.
There were struggles, and some very difficult days in which focus was elusive. At least five days, kids were home from school, sick and needing Mommy. Some days, I hit a roadblock in my plot that I struggled to get past. And some days I just felt like procrastinating. There were a couple days when I was traveling or family was visiting, and it made it that much harder to jump back into writing.
Whenever I felt like I wanted to slack off or let things slide, I remembered you were holding me accountable. (Um,…thanks? <grin>)
I also found that having a plan helped. I stuck to my decision to spend the first several days plotting. Using Hope Ramsay’s recent post “Using Scrivener for Plotting,” I was able to organize my thoughts and hit the ground running on 9/24. I found that, when I could, using the evenings to plot and organize the next day’s scenes helped.
What did I learn? That I can do it! But I also learned that my maximum of 5,000 words is not a pace I would care to keep up day in and day out, and 3,000 is a more comfortable goal. Some days I wrote 300-500 words and that was quite the achievement. Being flexible was oh-so-important on days when I felt like one more apple on my cart would topple the whole thing. Most of all, I learned to go easy on myself when I don’t make it. Some days are highly productive, some aren’t. But enjoying life is important to keeping my creative juices flowing, too.
What’s Next? I’ve decided to set this project aside for a few weeks before I go back and finish the last third of it. I simply need a mental break from it. Besides, while I wanted to start a new series, my Mindhunters series is calling to me, too. With National Novel Writing Month starting up yesterday, I wanted to begin with a brand new project that will (hopefully) rejuvenate me. Perfect timing. (I’m “Anne Marie B” on NaNo’s site by the way, if anybody wants to buddy-up.)
The best part of the Ruby Push: I am a writer who seems to make the biggest strides in the editing stage. Having something other than a blank page to work with will help me out so much.
If you missed the 9/19 post, let me know your goals for NaNo, or simply for the rest of 2012. If you posted goals on September 19th in the Comments section, let me know how they turned out (for better or worse or a totally different direction). If you met your goals and let me know in the Comments below by Sunday, November 4th at midnight Eastern time, you’ll be entered in a random drawing for two $10 Amazon gift cards.
Keep focused and GOOD LUCK to you all as you immerse yourself in the holidays, or NaNo, or whatever new challenge awaits you. Don’t forget the Rubies’ Winter Writing Festival starts in January!
Posted by Sara Ramsey Feb 22 2012, 12:01 am in check-in Wednesday, motivation, Pep Talk, perserverance, Winter Writing Festival
Where has the winter gone? It’s already time for the Winter Writing Festival Week Six check-in, and we’re entering the home stretch. There’s ONE WEEK LEFT (said in a British “Mind the Gap” voice, so as to incite calm progress rather than screaming panic).
Some of you have been plugging away at your goals and making consistent daily/weekly progress. If you’re one of those people, stand up and take a bow! I wholeheartedly applaud you (even while wondering how you did it, since ‘making consistent daily progress’ has never been one of my traits). You only have to keep it up another week. And once this week is over, hopefully you’ll carry those great habits into the rest of the year and achieve more than you thought was possible.
Some of you have been working in fits and starts, catching up some weeks and falling behind in others. That’s fine too! I’m a big believer in celebrating all progress, whether you technically hit your goal or not. If last week just wasn’t been your week, for any reason, don’t be shy about checking in anyway. No matter how much or how little progress you made, you’re still moving forward. You’re still eligible to win some of the book giveaways below (and get some encouragement/commiseration/motivation in the comments section). And you still have a week to catch up. There will be more sprints to help motivate you, and I’m sure you’re not going to be alone if you’re chained to your desk writing frantically this weekend.
We’re in the home stretch. The best part of this week is that it’s not quite the end — so you still have some time to catch up, wrap up, and end on a high note! And no matter whether you “win” or not, I would encourage you to think about what worked for you over the past few weeks and replicate it whenever you write, not just during the festival. If you love sprints, use Twitter to meet up with other writers and sprint there. If you like the accountability of a points system, suggest doing something similar with your critique partners. I would love to hear any strategies you’ve found useful for meeting your daily/weekly goals, whether you’ve applied them consistently or not!
Anyone who checks in today (on the Ruby blog – check in there if you’re reading this on the WWF site!) is eligible to win one of the following:
In addition, if you report in and say I MET MY WEEKLY GOAL (in all caps), you’re eligible for the drawing for any of these awesome prizes:
- 1 chapter critique from Liz Talley (chapter of winner’s choice)
- 1 chapter (up to 20 pg) critique by Vivi Andrews
- $10 Amazon Gift Certificate
- Audiobook of Georgette Heyer’s Sylvester read by Richard Armitage and a copy of Elizabeth Essex’s The Danger of Desire
Best of luck, everyone! Here’s hoping we all meet our goals by February 29!