Welcome to the official blog of Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America! We're a local writers' group in the Toledo, Ohio area. Most of us write romance, but we also have members who write other genres too. New members are always welcome to visit or join the group. See the meetings page for details. We post every Monday and Friday about all things book-related. Whether you're a writer, reader, or both, we hope you'll stop by often and get to know our dozen contributors.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ho, Ho--No I Didn't Meet My Writing Goals

I had big plans, great goals, beautiful intentions this week. I would add 10,000 words to my manuscript. Easy, right? Just fit them in between a few last minute shopping trips.

Peace, Love, Happiness?
Photo by thestarmama

I had a last minute shopping trip every day this week. And then there was the unexpected illness Monday, Mount Laundry and groceries on Tuesday, don't-even-get-me-started Wednesday, and Thursday? Let's just say my drab brown hair yelled at me, and I prioritized by setting my book aside to do a root touch-up and add highlights.

In between the madness, I wrote 1000 words. That's right, 10% of my goal. Not even close to the word count I aimed for.

But, as I write this, I still have several hours to add to my work in progress. I'll push hard and try to fit at least half of my goal in before Christmas.

One reality of my life is that I don't always meet my weekly goals. Instead of thinking of it as failing, I ask myself why I struggled. 

1.  Did I set the goals too high? (This week I can honestly say yes, I did.)
2. Was I avoiding my manuscript because the plot veered off course but I didn't know it?
3. If the writing has been going well, did I assume it would continue to be smooth sailing?
4. Why didn't I make writing my top priority? (Hair, people. My hair came first!)

Another thing that helps me stay on track is to squeeze tiny writing sessions in throughout the week. Even fifteen minutes can add 100-250 words. They add up quickly.

If you've ever been on a diet, you know how easy it is to stop exercising if you miss a day. One day becomes two and before you know it, your progress has stalled. I make it a habit to revisit my book often, even if I'm only adding 50 words. I might lose a little momentum during weeks like this, but my engine still putters along when I keep my book front and center.

Do you struggle to meet your goals the week before Christmas? How do you keep your motivation fresh during the holidays?

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Peace be with you this blessed season!!

4 comments:

Shay Lacy said...

Jill: It's so difficult to write when we're pestered by the last-minute Christmas "to do" list, which never seems to end. I keep looking ahead to AFTER, when I will write more to make up for now. Merry Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

Patrice Kavanaugh said...

I wish I ONLY struggled to meet my goals during Xmas week. Even during those tough weeks, though, I do try (like you) to keep my ms "close" -- meaning, even if I don't write many, or any, words, I keep thinking about it, working through plot points, or character quirks, or lines of dialogue. So that when I do return to the page, it's not quite so blank!

quietspirit said...

Jill:
I have a problem with 'follow through'. I plan fairly well but I don't always see things through.
I love the picture. I have felt that way, especially when I am tired.

Sloan Parker said...

Great questions, Jill. I've been focused on doing like you said and trying to make the small moments count. Even on a busy day I can find a few minutes to spend with my manuscript. It makes it easier to jump back into it when I have more time if I haven't let several days go by with no writing at all.