Lately I have been getting all sorts of pressure from various friends and family members (cough, hubby) about getting off my duff and finishing my book (and they specifically mean HOC, the WIP that’s been through too many drafts to count, too many changes to follow such that everyone refuses to read more until it’s done). This has been really bothering me–I mean what am I? Lazy? Do any of them have spurts of 2-5k at a sitting? Do any of them have to try to fit this in between two jobs, housekeeping, and a family? No. So get off my back, whydoncha! But a myriad of others out there DO, as evidenced by many of the writing pals I have made and the writers’ blogs I read on an almost daily basis. This means that I can too. My big drive this year has been to establish some good, consistent writing habits. I set vague New Year’s Resolutions about it–of such amorphous nature that I cannot even remember exactly what they were (though I’m certain I posted them either here or in my other blog if I were so inclined to search them out). As a clinician trained in behavior therapy, I know that vague goals are the kiss of death for any program of change. So I decided to apply my training to myself.
There are 262 days left in this year.
My projected/expected/goal word count for HOC is 100k. I have, at present, not quite 34k written on HOC. That leaves 66k words to go.
My projected/expected/goal word count for Totem is more like 60-65k. I have, at present, 1864 words written on Totem. That leaves 58-63kish words to go.
If I write 250 words a day on each WIP, I can be finished with BOTH by year’s end. Which puts me in fine position to edit them both (a much quicker process), and then begin shopping for an agent.
Just 250 words. That’s about a page double spaced in manuscript format. Now a page may sound scary to a standard English Comp student, but I can totally do a page a day (or rather 2 if I am to work on both).
So see there? The psychologist can set herself realistic, measurable goals. Just to see that I stick with it I am going to keep a calendar and write down my daily word count on each. I should average 1,750 words on each a week. I’ll have to look at the average over the whole week to really measure progress on each WIP because I am not likely to work on both in one day–I’d be more likely to write 500 words on whichever one I was tackling that day. And of course some days I write considerably more than 250 words, so if I go over my weekly minimum, YIPPEE! Normally when writing up a behavior modification program, you list rewards for meeting your goals and punishments for not. Meeting the goal of writing would simply be a reward in itself, as I find writing inherently rewarding. I’d say my punishment for not meeting my daily/weekly goal is not getting to watch the TV shows I record each week on DVR. As I am terribly addicted to Ugly Betty and Men In Trees (which granted are doing reruns right now ANYWAY), that should be sufficient inducement. This should go considerably better than my behavior mod program to induce myself to run every day…
I’m going to get a special calendar to record my progress. I will likely do a daily word count post here (even though I’m not posting the actual work) just so my handful of followers can hold me accountable.
So there it is. That’s my grand plan for doing the thing I haven’t managed to do in ten years. FINISH SOMETHING!