Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anita's Attic: Making Goals

I mentioned last week that Dana and I were helping each other keep track of our goals. My goal was to write 20 pages per week. One thing I’ve discovered is that it’s difficult to track totals. With my goal setting, I didn’t really take into account that some days might be spent on editing, not new writing. And the new writing might be in older scenes where I’ve revised the plot and have to change a scene completely or add new paragraphs, which helps the story but doesn’t necessarily advance the number of pages.

Although I didn’t meet my goal in some ways, (I only wrote about 10 pages) I feel very good about my progress. For one thing, I’m excited about the story. That’s huge. I’ve made some great revisions, found missed opportunities, changed some scenes, edited some pages, and added a ton of ideas to my story IDEAS file, where I keep my brainstorming notes.

As Liz mentioned in her post, life will always interrupt. Your editor will ask for edits when you least expect it, or a kid will be home from school. Like today, our schools were closed but I didn’t realize it until last night. But I’m making progress, and I’m totally excited about my story. I think setting goals is going to help me get things done. (photo credit: winnond)

10 comments:

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Good for you, Anita!

I always set goals, and I think writing in any form (new pages, revised pages, brainstorming, etc) is writing, period. It all helps you reach the end, and that's the point.

Good luck to you.

Anita Clenney said...

Thanks, Kari. You're right. They're all necessary parts of writing. The bad thing for me is that I always get better ideas as I go, which means I'm always going back and changing things. I wish I could get those better ideas in the beginning. :)

Lindsay said...

I'm trying to set goals with my writing and keep them realistic, at least for me. Currently I'm not having much success in that area because I've had to go back and rewrite the beginning of the book.But shortly I hope to be able to move forward with the story.

Dana Rodgers said...

I'm glad to hear that our endeavor is paying off for you Anita. It has definitely helped me to have to be accountable to someone else at the end of the day. It's a lot harder to make excuses for what you didn't get done when you have to explain them to someone else. I did not reach my goal last week either, but I got more done than I had in the 3 weeks before that so I see accountability as a step forward.

Good luck reaching your goals this week.

Anita Clenney said...

Lindsay, as Kari said, any form of writing helps you reach the end. But I know what you mean. I want to see the page count increasing. :)

Anita Clenney said...

Hey Dana. It's helping me a lot. I'm excited, the story is improving and slowly moving forward.

Cassy Pickard said...

Anita: Good for you! That many pages is great. And, boy can life interrupt. I'm not boring you all with the last few weeks, but it continues. I look longingly at my thumb drive knowing it will be waiting for me.

Sometimes just making the goals helps keep us on track. Thanks for the post.

Liz Lipperman said...

Just popping in to say good for you, Anita. I am in writing deadline hell this week and my goal is 10 pages a day. OMG! I have never written more than 25 pages a week. I am like you and have to edit before it goes off to my CP.

Back to my writing cave now. Hang in there.

Anita Clenney said...

Cassy, I'm sure you understand life's interruptions, with so much travel and especially with everything the past couple of weeks. Even if we don't make the goals for one day, there's always another day.

Anita Clenney said...

Good luck, Liz. You can do it. I'm going to have to really up my goals at some point, but I'm trying to start slow so I don't get overwhelmed.