Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Page Count Countdown

Goals are stressful. Goals are sometimes intimidating. Goals can also be fun.

Right now I'm facing a 50 page goal. I fluctuate between which description it counts as. I've decided to go for it and submit the first part of the new novel, currently titled Zen and the Art of Beer Wenching. The problem - as of this moment, I've got seven pages of it.

In order to get through it, I've resorted to playing a game with myself. It's a simple game which can be summed up as keeping close track of my page count. Each page I finish is a little "hurrah!" for me, and tonight I'll probably add some chocolate as additional incentive.

Here's the question: When you're staring down a monstrous goal, what is your best strategy for takin' care of business? What's the scariest/biggest goal you've ever successfully met?

7 comments:

Jenny said...

Oooo, bold move. New novel. Get to work because I wanna see whatcha do. And maybe just borrow your bar stuff without doing further research.

Ali said...

So I have to hurry up so you can steal from me? Shame on you, that's hardly what I'd call a pep talk ;)

The One and Only John said...

One project I had to work on was the entire casework called in a five-story correctional facility, and I had to coordinate myself and two other draftsmen. Clearly I won't suggest you hire typists, unless you can get away with it, but I will suggest the other part: Slow Digestion. If you outline, take it and break it into four sections, then break each section into smaller sections. Then, take on one section at a time, determine how long that took, and then you can have an idea of how to gauge the pace you need. Keep that pace, and you'll hit the deadline with no problem.

However, I can't use this method that well, because I'm finding I'm too organic for it.

Ali said...

The breaking-it-down thing is useful. I actually made a few pages of outline-type notes the other day when I was firming up the idea, so I have a bit of a "cheat" already.

If I break it down math-wise, I've got to write approx. 3.25 pages a day in order to get it done in time. It's doable. I've just got to make sure and do it every day.

Jenny said...

I love book math! Of course, after a while it looks like:

must do 23 pages a day to be finished by goal date

And to answer your question about the biggest goal...well, I'm in the middle of it. Can I finish a second draft of a novel. I've managed to do a first twice, and that's cool, but I've gotta know if I can get the writing to an end product....

Marie D-W said...

I recently heard a writer in an interview say that writers should do 4 pages a day. Right now I'm averaging 1 page a day, on those days i'm not researching or rewriting. Is there a special dispensation from the writer's god for those of use that work full time?

Ali said...

Special dispensation would be nice, but no such luck. No, you just have to type that much faster :)