Taking Stock – Top Thoughts on My Top Four Writing Goals for 2014

As I was saying, we are – as of today – a quarter of the way into 2014 and over half-way through Lent. I figure this is an opportune time to take stock of my progress toward my various writing goals.

46 Posts in 46 Days

As a way to motivate myself to be more consistent about writing on this blog, I challenged myself to publish an average of one post per day during Lent. Then I immediately upped the ante and challenged myself to do the same thing with my Facebook page.

Four weeks in, I’m definitely behind. As of this morning, I’ve published 17 new posts on this page and 18 on Facebook. I’m definitely not freaking out about it yet, though. Right now, I’ve got three weeks of Lent left to work with. Any coach will tell you that anything can happen in the second half. Aside from that, even if I fall short of my 46-post goals, I will have still managed to become infinitely more consistent on this blog than I’ve ever been before. And that consistency is the point of the challenge anyway. So even though I would hate having to admit that I couldn’t finish, I think I’d be able to hold my head up walking off the field.

Keeping a Writing Journal

I originally wrote about this in my first post on insights about writing gleaned from insights about strength training. My notes for the month of January are extensive and scrupulous. I totally fell off the bandwagon in February, unfortunately (more on that below). Between January 29 and March 5 (Ash Wednesday), my book is completely blank. I picked the journal back up at the start of Lent – if nothing else, I needed to keep track of my “46-in-46” challenge – and have been maintaining it in the month since, although not with the same level of detail as before. I’m hoping that as I get more consistent with my fiction writing again (see below) that I’ll find the motivation to go back at this like I did at the start of the year.

At Least 1,000 Words a Day

Much like with my writing journal, I was kicking ass with this through the month of January. No surprise, the two go hand-in-hand. I was on an absolute tear trying to finish my new manuscript, which gave me a lot to write about in my journal. Once the first draft of that manuscript was finished, though…

Yyyeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhh.

Now, I’m willing to let myself off the hook for falling off the wagon with my 1000-word goal in February – I spent most of my writing time in the ensuing weeks focused on reading, proofing, and editing – but in the process I also started ignoring my journal. Looking back now, having a record of how much or how little I was able to read through on any given day – in other words, how extensive the changes I needed to make and why – would be pretty damn nice to have. But I must not have thought it was interesting enough write down at the time.

Right about the same time I finished the first round of edits on Children of Genius, I dropped the previously mentioned 46-bomb on myself. As a result, I haven’t typed a word of new fiction since.

Separating “Writing Time” from Blogging Time

One of my deals with myself coming in to 2014 was to reserve my morning hours for working on my fiction. The inherent challenge then became finding time to blog. And my blogging suffered as a result.

I was, however, doing great at keeping to this goal in the pre-dawn hours. Then Lent started. And more and more often, I’ve found my mornings usurped by this arbitrary challenge I’ve dropped on myself. What’s more, now that rugby’s in full swing, the likelihood is that that won’t change until after Easter. In the meantime, I’ve got to find time to start my next book.

So…I guess you can call that the quarterly report. We’re still a few months away from half-time, but clearly adjustments need to be made.

And how about you? How are you coming along with your goals for 2014? Leave a comment and let me know.

As always, thanks for reading.

CVA

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