Today’s check-in may be more of a reflection than an update. It may also be a bit disjointed; if it is, apologies in advance.
It’s Day 35 of Round 3 of ROW80. I was just entering today’s wordcount into the spreadsheet I’ve been keeping to track my progress toward my goals, and I realized that in the last 35 days, I’ve written 48K+ words. This in and of itself is astounding to me, but then when I reflect on the fact that I wrote almost 80K words during the month of June while participating in CampNaNoWriMo, I’m further shocked at myself. Yet the problem…well, maybe problem isn’t the right word. The observation I can make from these reflections is that none of these words were “The End”. In spite of writing all of these words over the course of the summer, I have yet to type those two small words that give me such a thrill of happiness and exhilaration, and I’m not sure how I feel about this. Particularly since I had made the goal of finishing June’s CampNaNoWriMo with a complete draft of a story. On the other hand, one of the things I wanted most out of the summer was to be creative, and I have certainly been creative. I’ve let my imagination run wild, be inspired, be challenged, and those are all good things. Still, I can’t deny that I wanted that thrill of happiness that comes with “The End” and I have yet to experience it this year.
I also want to be honest with myself and allow myself to recognize that all of this writing that I’ve done this summer has reinforced my decision to change career directions. This summer has made it extremely obvious to me that I don’t really want to do the kind of writing I’d have to do in order to find the kind of job I thought I wanted in my current profession. I’m not sure I would have committed so strongly to making a career change if I hadn’t spent so much of this summer writing, and I’m not sure I would be so certain that it was the right decision for me to make at this point in my life. I thought that the writing I had planned to do over the summer would be a way to keep my mind engaged and to keep myself entertained and busy with a project while I waited for the return of school and steady income. It has been that, but it’s also given me time to think about what I want, what I’m willing to settle for, and what risks I’m willing to take in order to find a career that’s more fulfilling than the one I have now. What makes that statement even more extraordinary is that that discovery was a complete accident. I had intended for my blog posts to be the place where I made those kinds of discoveries, but instead it happened while I was writing fiction. I certainly wasn’t expecting that.
One other thing that participating in ROW80 has taught me thus far is to make a commitment to make time for myself and the things that are important to me. Writing has been one of my outlets for a long time, but it’s only this summer that I’ve committed to making time in my schedule on an almost daily basis to engage in one of my passions. Before I’ve always looked at my writing as an indulgence, but I’m becoming aware of it now as a necessity. Logically, I’ve known the importance of making time for myself, but this is the first time in a long time that I feel like I can say I have actually done that, and it’s amazing how much different life looks because of it. Not surprisingly, the determination to commit time to activities that will not only keep me sane but also healthy has spilled over into other aspects of my life, and I’ve already seen benefits in those areas, too. Maybe this is all to say that what I thought was the end goal of the summer–to write “The End”–wasn’t really the end goal that I needed most, but because I was in search of those words I found something else that was much more important.
End of reflection. It’s time to talk about my goals. Here are my current goals:
- Goal #1 – Write 1000 words. My last check-in was last Sunday, so in the days since then, I met my goal on 4 of the 6 days that I was scheduled to write, and I did manage to take Saturday off from writing. Considering that I spent the first three days of the week trying to get back into work-mode, I’m pretty happy with what I managed to get done.
- Goal #2 – Stick to my blog post schedule. Okay, really? I cannot seem to get back on schedule with my blogging. The good news is that I am making today’s check-in. Also, I want to post book reviews on Monday, and tomorrow’s review is already written and scheduled for posting. I also know the topic of my next blog post. So, things might be looking up, but we’ll see if the plan actually gets executed. Blogging definitely is something that seems to fall by the wayside when I get busy or distracted with other stuff.
- Goal #3 – Complete the first draft of my WIP. I still think this can happen during Round 3, and I’m still making progress. Like I said earlier, I’ve added just over 48K+ words to my draft since the start of Round 3. Today’s writing session revealed the identity of the individual who is threatening my heroine, but the why has yet to be revealed. Not sure how much of the story I have left, but it’s still moving along.
With school starting in just two weeks, I’m going to go ahead and make some changes to my goals now. Here are my new goals, which I hope will remain in place through the end of Round 3:
- Goal #1 – Write at least three days each week. In order to get everything in my life done, I know that I’m not going to be able to find time to write everyday. I do think I can find time to write at least three days a week though, and my goal is to write at least 1000 words on each day that I write. The plan now is to write on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
- Goal #2 – Stick to my new blog post schedule. I find that checking in twice a week is too frequent, though I can’t really put my finger on exactly why I feel that way. I plan to make at least one check-in each week, likely on Sundays. I also plan to continue posting book reviews on Mondays. Beyond that, I want to blog on whatever topic interests me at least once each week. I’m not going to continue to be so rigid in terms of saying these have to be posted on a particular day. As long as I post once each week, no matter which day that is, I’ll be happy.
- Goal #3 – Complete the first draft of my WIP. This goal remains unchanged. I find that I really like having a project that I commit to finishing by a specified deadline, and I don’t want to lose writing as my outlet once school starts.
Huh. I didn’t really intend to write all of that but I guess I just needed to get it out. I hope everyone has a great week, and thanks for stopping by my blog!