True confessions: I suck at daily goals.
There it's out there and now you all know it! Recently, I've started writing daily sticky notes to make certain I finished what I need to finish--okay, I just started it yesterday. After I write this blog, my three line items will be down to only one. Whew!
The one thing I can't stress enough is for you to use your calendar and write down what you DID do on a given day. Why? Because in a month you'll be looking at your blank calendar and wonder what happened. BUT if you jotted notes down every day, you can find out what you did do with your time. I even put notes on the days when my kidlet is out of school, I'm running errands, have doctor's appointments, or when my kidlet comes home sick. I do this just so I know WHAT I did and how that derailed my writing goals.
If you spent two weeks researching, either on the Internet or the library--write it down.
If you were refilling your well by reading, watching all eight episodes of a sitcom, cleaning your house or working in your yard--write it down.
If you spent too much time visiting sites on the Internet, then this list of time-wasters probably needs to be documented especially if you spend more time in this mindless activity than actually writing--write it down.
Blog hopping--though very educational and a great way of networking and getting free books, it really doesn't help your writing goals
Facebook--again, good networking device--doesn't count
Games on Facebook or other venues--yeah, I'm addicted to Farmville, Cafe World, etc, but I've started limiting my time on these sites.
Setting daily goals are similar to setting weekly goals. Take a look at your day. If you are going to be working 10-hour days at the other day job, then go gentle with your goals. If you want to write 5000-words for the week, then break it down into doable increments. 5-1000-word days. Or even 5 days with 500-words in the AM and 500-words in the PM. Do what works for you and your lifestyle.
If you are having problems getting started, here are a few ideas.
One of my favorite tricks to jump start your goals is to set a 100-word goal. 100 words. That's it. One paragraph or one very long sentence. 1/3 of TNR typed page or 1/2 page of Courier.
Another trick is to set a timer. Start off easy, say 15 minutes. Surely you can spare 15 minutes before you go to bed? Or when you are drinking your morning cup of coffee?
Or simply walk--ALONE--to formulate your ideas, work out problems, or simply think out the next scene you plan on writing.
Here are a few examples from my calendar last year:
Ran errands/drs appts.
Submitted LC to ABNA
Subbed 2 agents online &
6 packets ready to mail
Wrote Fri blog
Wii’ed--worked out on the Wii Fit
Crocheted and watched movies (this afghan went to Brenda Novak's auction)
Wii’d and walked
568 words on Faerie—Finished it!!
Started reading Smoke in Mirrors- JAKrentz
During the last two weeks in May 2009, I wrote close to 4000 words a day. I had a deadline of the Delacorte Yearling contest that I wanted to meet. I needed to finish the rough draft of MOGG by the end of May to let the story rest before I started my edits mid-June. I submitted the entry on the last possible day of the contest--June 30, 2009.
You can do it. You just need a reason to finish that story. And the satisfaction of knowing you created something is wonderful.
And if any of my commenters have any additional ideas, please leave a note.
But for now--