Sunday, December 16, 2012

Goals and lessons.

To sum up my writing vacation: Got some great stuff written--just not enough of it.

I want to pour the next 2 months into finishing draft 1 of the first Emerson book.  The way I think I can do that is by doing it in smaller chunks that will add up over the next 7 weeks.  I'll need to write 4,200 words per week to meet my goal of just over 75,000 total words.  This is doable, but to do this:

* I will write every day.  Even if only for 10 minutes.  I can crank out 200 words in 10 minutes; I've done it plenty of times before.  If I do that every workday, that's already a minimum of 1,000 words a week.
* Some days I'll need to write for an hour to hour and a half.  I will make that time on at least 3 weeknights (or weekend days) per week.
* Some days, due to holidays/work/gym/etc, I may not be able to write more than 200 words.  That's OK.  I will give myself permission to have a life outside of writing, and I will stop beating myself up over every moment I am not writing.
* I will also balance my writing (and work, and other commitments) with healthy activities.  On a daily basis, I will do brief exercise (10 minutes) on days that I am not already working out, I will reach out to one friend or family member that I do not talk to regularly, and I will give myself at least one treat (examples: trying out a new lip gloss/eyeliner/etc I've had hanging out on the vanity, eating a healthy but decadent snack, wearing a favorite item of clothing, collaging, a quick at-home spa/body treatment, etc).

I cannot expect the book to get done on a vacation away from work.  I did it one year ago--with a book that I'm significantly revamping, but not until Emerson's done--but I cannot count on always being able to do that.  Not when work has me insanely busy and stressed.  No, I need a good portion of that time to relax and recharge (or hopefully, in the future, go to writers' conferences, etc); I cannot spend all my time away from work working on writing.  But I can make my writing time more consistent so that I don't have to attack it in large chunks.

So there are my goals and what I've learned--and I'm gonna stick to 'em.  Consider them my New Year's resolutions several days early.  By the time January 1 rolls around, these things should already be habits for me.

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