Monday, October 15, 2007

750 to Goal

Regular readers will have noticed that my novel-writing progress has been slow and painful for quite awhile. I try and try to devise a way to make my writing more fruitful, but so far I haven't completely figured out how I write best. I've been hesitating to give myself a deadline to finish the first draft, but at this point, I feel it's become necessary. If I give myself a hard timeline, perhaps it will help keep me on track. It worked in school, but I don't know if my own 'artificial' deadline will have the same power. However, at this point I think anything would help, so I am going to do something very scary. I am publicly posting my new writing goal on this blog for all to see. *Eeek*

I want my first draft finished by April 30, 2008.

Before I set the deadline, I made sure it was doable - I counted the number of days between Nov 1 and Apr 30, minus weekends and holidays. I calculated those days by 750 words per day, which is a number I think I can manage, and that gave me over 100,000 projected words, not including the words I've already written. I think my novel will be between 85k-100k words, so that gives me leeway for any bad days, unexpected trips or illnesses, etc. I chose April 30 because it will be the two-year anniversary of my last day at my old job. If I finish by that day I know I will feel very proud of my accomplishment, but if I'm still floundering two years after I left my job, then I probably need to start making a new career plan.

Surprisingly, I actually feel energized by this deadline. I have a plan, a goal, something to strive for and something to win. (Okay, so I'm a little competitive.) I thought about doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I think it has the opposite effect on me because the number of word you have to write every day (1667) to reach the goal of 50k in one month is something I'm not sure I can do, and every day that you don't reach your goal you get severely behind, which just makes me more despondent. I think setting my goal at a number that is both productive and conservative makes me feel like I have room for bad days (and good ones too). If I only write 500 one day, I know I can make up the 250 without too much difficulty. Plus it should allow me some time to continue my research during the afternoon. I'm giving myself the next two weeks to warm up to my goal of 750 a day and then it's game time. (Well, after our mini-break on Nov 3-6, which I'll tell you more about later.) I'm still deciding whether to plunge in completely and post my word count daily on the blog. Will have a think on that one.

So here's to 750 words a day and a finished novel draft by April 30th!


hellojed said...

Yeah! Love your attitude, I know you can do it.

Lane said...

That sounds very organised and 'accomplishable' Angie.
I set myself a deadline to finish the first draft by Christmas but of course am woefully behind schedule:-(

You can do this:-)

Helen said...

You can do this. Good luck! I'm toying with the idea of doing NaNoWriMo but I don't know if it would be counter productive too (I should concentrate on my first book before starting my second shouldn't I?!)

JJ said...

Oooh Angie you go girl. That sounds doable. Fingers crossed for you.

Angie said...

Ah, thanks everyone! Your lovely encouragement will be essential in helping me to complete this goal.

Rebecca said...

That is very doable Angie - You Can Do It!!!

why don't you put one of thiose wormy word-counter thingies on your blog so we can watch your progress??? (and shout and scream at you when you don't meet your goal --- only kidding)

Angie said...

Thanks, Rebecca.

I've thought about putting up a word counter - I'm scared to because I don't want people to see my bad progress days, but it would be a good way to keep me in order! I could use the accountability, though maybe a nice poke rather than a shout would do. ;)