By: Marilyn L. Davis
NaNoWriMo is the National Writing Month, held in November. The rules are simple: write your 50,000-word novel from November 1 through midnight November 30. No edit, no revisions, just writing. Last year, I had two friends participating, and one finished the challenge, and one hit the wall at 30,000 words.
While NaNoWriMo might be Mt. Everest, there is a taller mountain. Mauna Kea is over 10,000 meters tall compared to 8,848 meters for Mount Everest – making it the “world’s tallest mountain.”
Referencing is Relative
Just as the criteria for measuring the mountains rely on different starting points, we writers trap ourselves sometimes with setting the bar too high, to begin with, or we expect too much in the beginning. And sometimes, how we measure our success, oh, and that distasteful word – failure, is not always straightforward. We have to understand our starting point and the point of reference.
My Goals – My Timeline
Steven Pressfield sums up the issue for any creative endeavor, “The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don’t believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.”
When people are only writing to accomplish the accolades and income, most get discouraged and quit. Now, before you think that’s a reference to my friend, it’s not. His schedule for November got bogged down with the end of semester requirements, completing an internship at the Press, his job, and making sure that he got A’s in his classes – which he did. Mission accomplished.
Sometimes, our goals change mid-stream, or in his case, mid-month. He realized that he couldn’t produce for NaNoWriMo and fulfill his short-term objectives. But he’s got a good start on his novel, and that’s more than some writers have.
2022 Goals and Tracking Progress
For 2022, have you decided what your writing goals will be? Without goals, sub-goals, and tracking progress, many writers keep writing, but without direction.
Bill Copeland sums it up as, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
In essence, if your goal is to score, you continue with progress, and when you are side-tracked with other life issues, you get back on track as soon as possible.
Publish It and Hold Myself Accountable
And before you decide that I’m only preaching and not performing, here are my goals for 2022:
- Write from 6 AM until 9 AM, break, edit until 11 AM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Write from 3 PM until 5 PM. The edits include guest writers for Two Drops of Ink and From Addict 2 Advocate.
- Publish guest posts on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
- Create a Sunday Spotlight – every Sunday
- Reduce the number of distractions by turning off the phone
- I won’t check social media except during breaks or after 5 PM
- Create “New Year – New Perspectives” (January, only) for FromAddict2Advocate
- Write two posts each month for Two Drops of Ink
- Write two posts per week for FromAddict2Advocate
- Solicit new writers for Two Drops of Ink and FromAddict2Advocate
- Unsubscribe to twenty-four mediocre newsletters
- Make an effort to comment on five other writer’s blogs daily
- Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark
- The Writer’s Options by Max Morenberg and Jeff Sommers
- Thinking Like Your Editor by Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato
I’m not sure if my goals represent climbing Mt. Everest or Mauna Kea, and it doesn’t matter. This time, next year, when I’m done meeting my objectives and goals, I’ll let you know how the writing, reading, subscribing, learning, and commenting went. Stay tuned. . .
Before I get myself bogged down, let me know your writing goals for 2022.