The Ticket to Huge Progress

Dear Blog,

Last week, I came up with a plan to take back control of my writing projects and my focus. I’ve been floundering around lately and not really getting much writing done on any of the projects, other than the first 9,000 words of the new shiny ideas.

Since this is a full-time arrangement, it’s only acceptable that I’d be able to make a ton of progress. And I have an aggressive publication schedule planned this year anyway. I had to make some changes.

So, last week, I decided that I would allow myself 14 days to complete one project – the latest book in The Hexon Code series.

Since I made that plan, I’ve added almost 20,000 words to my manuscript. And I’m thrilled! I was lucky to manage 1,000 words a day before. Now I’m pumping out a minimum of 3,200 words per day.

And the best part is, they are decent words.

I didn’t want to use writing sprints because usually I end up with a lot of junk words that I have to edit out later and if I’m being truly honest, I HATE editing my own work when it’s junk.

I needed a method that would get me to complete a project, but the end result had to be workable. With every book I write, I shoot for a manuscript that only requires minor edits. That means I have to work my ass off to make sure the words I’m typing are actually acceptable to me.

So, this new development is a huge deal. Including today, I have eight days left to complete my manuscript. And so far, I’m pleased with the results. Plus I’m experiencing some of the benefits of writing sprints (without having to do them) – I’m getting the words in and little plot twists and unplanned details are coming through as well. It’s great!

It’s amazing what laser-sharp focus can do. It’s not a new concept. We all know if we focus on one thing and give ourselves a deadline and a significant push in the right direction, we’ll see some great progress.

But we’re writers. We get easily distracted by the new shiny ideas.

Oftentimes, the advice is to write everything that comes to you. Get that new shiny thing down in writing and just let the words flow. That’s the advice I would have given before.

But the problem I have with that idea now is, when I stray from my current project, I tend to lose sight of it. Maybe I even lose interest in it. But since it’s part of the plan, an important part of my young adult dystopian book series, I have to write it and get it done.

That’s why I needed to focus. And I needed to commit to completing it.

Commitments. We have to make commitments and stick with them if we want to see huge progress. And I need huge progress this year because it’s going to be a huge year for progress! Right? Yes! 😉

Anyway, focus is a great thing. But we need a good plan that we can stick to as well as some solid determination.

And this doesn’t just apply to writing. It can be applied to virtually any area of our lives. We just have to figure out what we truly want and then set the necessary plans in motion to make it happen.

Jody Calkins
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