Getting Serious, Setting Goals

Okay, time to get serious here. About writing. I’ve decided November is going to be devoted to writing and not much else. Well, except for the day job and the cooking and cleaning and laundry and the holiday baking and shopping and hiring a different roofer because four unsuccessful tries to find and fix that damn leak is enough already and of course I have to GO VOTE and then watch election results and . . .

Start over.

I’ve decided November is going to be devoted to writing. I’ve also decided I need a deadline. I function really well with deadlines. The day job is all about getting things done by a certain date. I might put things off– okay, I always leave things to the last minute, but I never miss a deadline. Perhaps I’ve become too dependent on that and lost the ability to be truly self-motivated, but I know I function well that way. The deadline has to be something that matters to me, one with consequences. And some accountability.

I’ve been advised that it’s a good idea (we’ll see about that) to make all this public. Nothing like a big dose of public shame and humiliation to get your muse to sit up and pay attention, right?

So this is what I’ve decided:

  1. On 5 January 2009 I am going to send a submission to an agent. Even if I’m not done writing the book. And since it will kill me to send a submission of an unfinished book, it WILL be finished by then. Why this date? No one in publishing does much during the holidays and it seems the first reasonable date. Coincidentally, this is also the date I’ll probably put the house on the market. What the hell, live dangerously.
  2. Once I send off the submission, I will buy myself a laptop computer, something I’ve wanted for a very long time. Someone suggested chocolate, but food rewards don’t work for me. I want a laptop.
  3. Every day in November, I will put up a short post here, detailing my progress, or lack thereof, with daily page counts. [With my method of formatting, the finished book will be roughly 400 pages; at 250 words per page, this will result in a standard 100,000 word single title novel.]

Now, one note about “progress.” I’ve already written a huge chunk of this book. But it’s a mess. No really, it is. Most of it is terrific (yes, humility in action here) but sections of it are out of order and parts of it have to be deleted and other parts have to be re-written. So I’m going to start over. What I mean by this is that I’m going to open a new document and start writing. There’s a scene I want to put at the beginning that I haven’t written yet — it’s been in my head all week and it’s good — and I’m going to start with that. Then, as I get to a part I’ve already written, I’ll copy and paste it in, editing as I go. So at first, page counts may seem very impressive. Don’t get used to it. I don’t write that fast. So things will slow down.

Feel free to stop by occasionally and chastise me if I haven’t made much progress or haven’t posted about it. Really.

And now that I’ve spent all this time writing about writing and not actually, you know, writing, it’s time to get started. Right after I eat lunch and clean up the kitch– ARRRGH!

Focus. Need to focus. I can do this.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Getting Serious, Setting Goals

  1. Merry

    Oooh, chastisement? Well, okay.
    Can I start now?
    Oh.
    All right then.
    It was just a question, sheesh.

    Moi* aussi** re doing 30 days’ worth of goal setting. Feel free to chastise at will.

    * i.e., not Moi, just Moi*
    ** French for “also” which you know that I know you know, but I wanted to clarify (ha) in case anyone thought I was referring to my Australian or something like that.

    nesess — Merry, you do write a load of nesess sometimes…

    Like

  2. Theresa

    Woohoo! You have a goal and a plan! Sounds like a great start!

    I realized that I was procrasting thinking I’d wait until Monday to start tracking again. But then I realized that you’re right, today is an excellent day to stop procrastinating. :+)

    Like

  3. Xenia

    Woo hoo! I’m totally jumping on this bandwagon and I will most definitely be checking up on you, Ms BCB. 🙂

    Like

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