This week: Focusing on GoalsEdited by: ember_rain
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I am a dyslexic mother of six still trying to find my way around the writing world but managed to find a home here at WDC. My newsletter is usually about lessons I need to learn myself or events that I find fascinating. If I write about it I tend to stick to it better... Well sometimes...
So How did Camp Nano go for those who participated? I hope better than mine did. I always find it funny how my birthday falls in November and I can write a couple hundred thousand words but when April and July roll around I always seem to miss the mark. I blame it on my anniversary in July when I don't make my word count in July but the truth is... If I was focused enough, I would hit my mark.
Loosing focus is a bad habit of mine. Its a bad habit of most writers. We all have our distractions. In November I have people reminding me that its just 1667 words a day and to put a gag on my inner editor and give a notepad and pen to my muse. But in July...
"Mom its to hot to walk the dogs. Wolf is already panting."
"Mom the raccoon is stalking the chickens again."
"Becca? This is Jill, I work with your mom... She took a nasty fall and we can't get a hold of your sister. We are sending her to St. Vincents down town."
"Mom, everything in the freezer has thawed and the milks gone bad cause the fridge feels kinda warm."
Why does everything always go wrong in July? Well, not just in July, in April too? The two months of Camp Nano tend to be more hectic than November even with Thanksgiving always looming around the corner. The truth... Every month is hectic. If your writing for fun and following your muse then writing when you have the time or are inspired is great. I miss those days.
Unfortunately or fortunately, as the case may be, at some point in time I decided I needed to write a novel and not just one but a whole series. This is where writing goes from being a hobby to being a job. This is where you realize writing can be a lonely job and let everything in the world distract you.
So how do you stay focused year round? You use something like NANOWRIMO to put your butt in your chair. Then you figure out how fast you type and limit yourself to a schedule. 500 words in a half hour then you will need an hour and a half of writing time a day. Some days you will write more or less due to Grandma taking the kids or your friends insisting you can't be a writing hermit crab all of November. You don't chase the mega numbers even if 50k doesn't finish your novel. Then when December comes around, you drag your self out of bed, sit down at your computer and write another 1667 words. It doesn't matter if its a new story or the one left over from November. You just keep doing what you were doing. Then come April and July, Camp Nano is easy.
Of course that is the dream... I know myself well enough to know come November I will be chasing that 250k goal all over again and unable to really type much in December because my arm will have fallen off.
Know yourself. Know what you can do. Know your limitations and by all means push those limitations but never forget writing is both a passion, and a force of nature. If you neglect the passion it will die but if you feed it too much... It will eat you alive. So pace yourself, stick to your goals and stay focused on the dream.
Maybe if we all take my advice, yes I mean me too, one day those of us who want to be published can be. Until then, here's me looking forward to the chaos of November.
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