Sunday, May 31, 2015

Finished! (And a visual of the work it took to get there)

May is my vacation from the school year and I have to say I’m sad we're at the end of it. However, I’m also thrilled. Why? Because today I FINALLY finished the third draft of my WIP!!

*jumps up and down*

*falls over from exhaustion*

I guess, technically, I’ve only been working on this draft for a few months, but it feels like a really long time coming because this is the first full draft that I’m going to share with others. I’m really looking forward to hearing others’ opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript…as well as not thinking about this book for a few weeks.

Last month I posted my sticker calendar that I use to track my daily writing/reading progress. I promised myself that I’d keep posting the calendars every month so… *drum roll please*

Ta Da!

The green stickers represent days when I sat down and wrote something substantial (not including this blog). I’m pretty amazed with myself for writing 26 days this month. That HAS to be a record for me. Of course, I'm on vacation this month which helps explain how I was able to do that. I don’t think I’ll be seeing another calendar like this for quite a while.

On the other hand, who knows?!

Looking at all the progress I made this month (I finished a book!!) makes me really motivated to keep it up. I don’t want the June page looking like a loser in comparison. So, we’ll see. I’ve set a really high bar but hopefully I can continue to make progress (and get a few more orange stickers for listening to my audiobooks).

And maybe I'll add a new color sticker for watching movies…I have a lot to catch up on now! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Setting goals and accomplishing them (…even if it takes longer than you’d like)

So much of life is about setting goals. It’s something that I teach in my personality psychology class: in order to feel like your choices in life matter, you need to have goals to work toward. Without goals, there’s no purpose to life, no measuring stick to show you how well you’re doing. Life can feel pretty meaningless without them.

Now, there are many things that I’m still working on in life, but setting goals for myself is not one of them. I’ve got plenty of goals. Particularly when it comes to writing. I’ve got nothing BUT goals in that area of my life. ;)

This is my month off from school (YAY!) so I’m all about working toward goals right now. I’m trying to finish the latest draft of my WIP by the end of this month. I’ll send it off for a few others to read, banish it from my mind for a while, and then…start revising all over again. Ugh. That’s the way this writing thing works though. It’s never quite done.

So, that’s why it’s nice to meet some smaller goals along the way.

I recently made some welcome changes to my writing room, including getting a terrarium for my desk. I was also reorganizing my book shelves when I found some stapled magazine pages shoved behind the books. I pulled them out, having no idea where this trash came from, and saw that it was a terrarium article I’d pulled out of a BHG magazine a long time ago.

Specifically, in January 2012.

Looking at the pages now, I feel a weird sense of pride. I had completely forgotten about the magazine article. But I hadn’t forgotten my goal. I had wanted a terrarium then and now I have one. It's not exactly related to my writing goals, but metaphorically (and you know writers like metaphors!) it feels very similar. And I like the idea that I set a goal for myself and met it, even if it took 3 years. In the world of writing, 3 years is nothing!

Now, I’m close to the much bigger goal of finishing this draft. When that’s done there will be a bigger goal to accomplish and another one after that and another one after that.  It’s never going to stop. And that’s okay. I’m hoping that my ability to meet my goals won’t stop either. Even if it takes me years to get there.