This month I’m doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The point of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. ideally, the writer begins with a fresh story, but I have a book I’ve already started to write that I really need to finish. So, I started where I was, opened a new document, and went for it. What I didn’t take into consideration was that jumping from the dark paranormal manuscript I just polished to a light story would be quite a jarring experience. My muse balked, and I had to spend time convincing her to help me.
To finish on time, I “should” be around 35,000 words. Actually, I’m closer to 8,000. To catch up, I’d have to write 4,000 words every day between now and the 30th. I don’t see that happening, but I’ll try my best. So what if I don’t win? I’ll still have a bunch more words than I did. I’ll just keep going into December.
There was a time, not that long ago, that I would have been beating myself up, feeling like a looser, working way too hard to try to catch up—and still not getting there. More guilt. More feeling bad about myself. What good would that do. By relaxing and being proud I’ve gotten this far, I’ll actually get more done.
This doesn’t mean I don’t work hard. I do. I write six, many times seven, days a week. I want a career in fiction, and I’m not afraid of working long, hard hours to get there. Many times my body refuses to let me write, even in the recliner. But I do the best I can.
I recently realized that simply pushing and struggling to reach the next goal is no way to live. Reaching a goal is sweeter when you didn’t kill yourself trying to get there.
Do you beat yourself up over not meeting goals? Do you set your goals too high? Do you enjoy the work you do to reach your goals—at least the feeling of accomplishment?
Have a wonderful weekend!