A Last-Ditch Effort to Meet a Writing Goal

Dear Blog,

I’ve been writing about distractions and overwhelm, focus, and progress lately. Well, today, I want to talk about plowing through.

My new plan to FOCUS and actually complete projects instead of constantly start new ones has been going swimmingly … for the most part.

I did really well the first seven days. Come Day 8 and I was struggling. I almost didn’t think I could pull it off. But I managed to plow through it and meet my goal.

When I started this plan, I wrote out all of my daily target word count milestones for the writing project. Some days I’m able to write a little more to get me ahead of the plan. Which is great because that helps for the less productive days.

Reaching my daily milestones is key to making this plan work. I know that if I allow myself to slip up and decide I’ll try harder the next day, I’ll fail.

Well, probably…

But I’m not about to get myself into that sticky situation. I have a goal and I’m sticking to it. If I cut myself some slack and think I can make it up the next day… well, I just know myself well enough to know that I would do it more than once and then I’d get so far behind that there’d be no way I could ever reach my final goal.

I’m determined to meet my daily goal because it’ll help ensure I get to the final goal.

To do that, I have to plow through whether I want to or not. And whether I feel it or not. There is no leeway here.¬†Mess up one day and I’ll fuel that overwhelm monster.

Overwhelm kills my creativity and motivation. But daily progress is what keeps me going. Writing leads to happiness. Not writing leads to many things, none of which are happiness.

It’s simple. Write, be happy.

But again,¬† I can’t just write random junk for the sake of meeting my goal. It has to be meaningful words getting on the page (er, document) every single day. I feel like I cheat myself if I allow junk words.

Certain times do call for junk though. Like when I’m brainstorming and just writing anything that pops in my head. But that’s different. Those words don’t count toward my novel writing words. I don’t get to add those words to my totals. Only words written specifically for a novel or short story get to be included in my word counts.

So, do I have any tips for plowing through?

Well, sitting in front of Netflix while I’m trying to write, although fun, does not help me. Unless I’m watching a show that makes me feel better. Like Glee, for instance. I find the show to be uplifting. But even then, I have to get back to my office to get any serious writing done.

Brainstorming helps if I’ve exhausted my current plan and outline. It usually reveals a few more details.

Setting an intention to focus better has also revealed details. I had no idea that a particular character in my work-in-progress was going to be a potential love interest. Things just got really interesting!

That’s about it for now. I’ll write more next week!

Jody Calkins
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