Friday, January 30, 2009

Biting Off More Than We Can Chew

Friday! Friday! I love Friday!

Sorry, had to let that out.

Okay, today's topic: Biting off more than we can chew.

How's the new writing schedule treating you? Are you finding the time to meet your weekly goals? How does it feel? Are you struggling to fit writing in, or are you finding the goals you set to be manageable?

When I started setting weekly writing goals, I was positive I'd set the bar too high. No way I could write that much in a week! But after a month of consistent writing, I realized I'd set the bar way too low. My pages were flying out much faster than they ever had in the past. (Don't throw up. I have days when the pages won't come. Next month, I'll tell you my sure-fire ways to get through those days.)

Pages flying out? How? Why? How is that possible? Do I have magic writing potion?


Writing consistently is just like exercising consistently--they both get easier the more you do them. You don't waste time trying to remember where you were going with that scene you started three weeks ago because you write regularly and already finished that scene. You don't have to pump yourself up to write because writing isn't a special event--it's part of your life.

But maybe you had high hopes a few weeks ago and you decided to go for it and push yourself to write more. And now reality has reared its ugly head and you know your goals are impossible. Writing feels like another chore. When something feels like a chore, it's only a matter of time before you drop it out of your life.

Wait--there's hope. What, specifically, about your new writing schedule feels impossible? Did you anticipate having more energy in the evenings to write, but you realize that you're exhausted by seven? Maybe your goal should be to write a few pages each Saturday. Or is the problem not time related at all? Maybe you sit down to write and nothing comes. Or it takes you twice as long to get a few pages out than you thought it would.

If it takes you longer than you thought it would, don't give up. Just cut your page goals in half. And keep at it, you might be surprised in a few months that you're writing faster. You can always increase your goal page counts later.

If you sit down to write and nothing comes, you've got a bigger problem. And you've come to the right place. The month of February will be devoted to delving into why we write. I'll share plenty of tricks and tips to get your writing mojo back and to kick up your excitement for writing.

Thank you very much for joining me on this journey. I'd love to hear any of your tips, struggles, goals, etc...

Enjoy your weekend!

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