The Journal, Tuesday, 8/25

The Day
Thanks to storms disrupting the clock at the head of my bed, I rolled out at 1:30 this morning, but thinking it was 2:45. So much for battery backups in the clock. (I never use an alarm, but have the clock there so I can see what time it is when I get up.)

Despite the alleged battery backup, when it turns off, the clock reverts to midnight and starts keeping time from there. So the best it can do is tell you how long it’s been working since the last time the power went off.

Wow. Remember back when stuff actually worked as advertised?

Anyway, it’s all good. I have an appointment with the eye doc this morning at 9:20 in Safford, so leaving here about 7:30 to head that way. My eyes will be dilated and all that, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to write again today. So it’s good that I’m up a little early.

I’ve had my coffee, checked email and all that, so now I’m gonna make a run at the novel.

Read back over some of what I’d already written and allowed myself to touch it here and there (in creative mind) and ended a session with a grand total of 943 words. Woohoo. Still, at least the novel’s moving forward. Well, inching forward.

I was distracted by a notification regarding an update on one of the websites I manage. That got me started in update mode and I spent the next two hours making sure all the updates were done. Sigh.

Then one more major disruption cropped up, so I’m setting the novel aside at least until after my appointment. I have to get ready to leave soon, so I’m gonna skip down and write the Topic of the Night now.
Then we’ll see what happens with writing when I get back and my pupils get back to their normal size.

UPDATE: Okay, all is well with the eyes for the next year when they’ll talk with me about Cadillacs or something like that. I’m scheduled for a hearing test too. Anyway, back in Dear Old Saint David and my pupils are still HUGE. Okay, plus I’m basically just feeling lazy.

So I’m gonna call today a day. Hey, life happens. So no more writing for today other than the little I got done and reported earlier. Got a couple great ideas for stories while I was up there this morning though. So all in all, a great day.

Topic of the Night: Setting Realistic Writing Goals
It’s important to set goals with your writing. I mean, if you’re serious, if you really want to write, nothing else will help quite as much getting you there as setting good, realistic goals.

And by realistic, I mean something you know you can achieve.

Most people who set goals in other activities will tell you that a good goal should make you reach. That isn’t necessarily true in setting writing goals.

So what are the hallmarks of a good writing goal?

  • It should be reasonable.
  • It should automatically reset each day (or each week or each month).

What do I mean by reasonable? If you write 1,000 publishable words of fiction per hour and are able to write two hours per day but only five days per week, a reasonable daily goal would be 2,000 words per day. A reasonable weekly goal should be 10,000 words per week. If you want to fudge a bit, make it 1,500 words per day and 7,500 words per week. (That extra half hour per day makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?)

Why should a good writing goal automatically reset at a specific time?

Because “reset” means “goes back to zero.” Neither abundance nor lack is carried forward.

If your goal is to write 2,000 words per day and you write 2,438 words today, that’s wonderful. But beginning tomorrow morning, you still have to write 2,000 words. (grin)

If your goal is to write 2,000 words per day and you write only 18 words today, that’s okay because beginning tomorrow morning you still have to write 2,000 words.

But since writing 2,000 words per day is well within your capability, isn’t the goal too easy?

No. Because life happens. People happen. Distractions happen.

There will be days when you won’t be able to write for two hours.

There will be days when, even though you have the time set aside, you’ll find that your subconscious is on hiatus. On those days, nothing will come.

And there will be days when you are beset by fear and allow your conscious mind to stop you from writing. Because again, if you don’t finish, you can’t submit or publish your work and risk rejection.

Or your fear will cause you to rewrite “just this once.” Because rewriting is better than actually finishing and risking rejection.

What’s best of all about good, realistic writing goals is that they’re personal to you. Trust me, nobody else cares, except maybe a few people who support you and want to see you succeed.

If you achieve or exceed your goal, Nothing Happens except that your work is that much further along.

But if you fail to achieve your goal, guess what? Nothing Happens then either and the goal resets the next morning or the next week.

But of course, you won’t bother setting goals if you don’t intend to achieve them.

And there’s one other tool that’s a great motivator for meeting goals: The Streak.

And that will be the topic of the night for tomorrow.

I’m going to post this now. Then when I get home from my appointment, if I’m able to write anymore, etc. I’ll modify it before it actually posts through MailChimp.

So if you’re reading it on my site before 5 p.m., you might want to check back in a while.

Today’s Writing
Just a little. Less than I wanted, but more than I had when I started the day. That’s why the daily goal resets. (grin)
Fiction Words: X943

Writing of Book 9 of the Wes Crowley saga
Day 1…… 3213 words. Total words to date….. 3213 words
Day 2…… 1046 words. Total words to date….. 4259 words
Day 3…… 1858 words. Total words to date….. 6117 words
Day 4…… 1023 words. Total words to date….. 7140 words
Day 5…… 1587 words. Total words to date….. 8327 words
Day 6…… X943 words. Total words to date….. 9270 words

Total fiction words for the month…………… 20501
Total fiction words for the year……………… 462901