Wednesday, July 30, 2008

That Whole Discipline Thing

Well, after the insane two-week push to 50 pages, it seems imperative to try and avoid a repeat. So, the only logical challenge I can think of for this month is based on consistency. Consistency has never been my gig, I've always been the type of writer to go in spurts. The best I've done on consistency was when I had my habit of writing stories during boring classes.

Then, the past two weeks, I was remarkably consistent because if I wasn't, it would have been a very bad thing. The thing about falling in to a rhythm is it ends up being, if not easy, maintainable. I got on my computer and typed up an average of three or so pages a night. Being able to think to myself, "All I need to think about right now is the next three pages," made breaking down the novel into manageable bits much easier. It was cool.

This month, I'm aiming to add to the novel a little bit every day (with the exception of nights when I'm working at the bar). My goal is to average two pages a night. I think three pages a night would be doable, but a month of it might prove the path to burnout. So, two a night is my minimum and anything beyond that is bonus.

That said, here's my challenge for you:
Think about what your writing goals are for this month. Are you aiming for page count? For revision? For research? What is it that is your top writing, or writing-related, priority right now? Got it in your mind? Good. Now, I challenge you to do something to work toward that goal every day, at least five days a week.

Here's how this'll work, you decide that in order to meet X goal, you're going to break it into Y-shaped chunks. Then, each day you'll do one of those chunks. If you miss a day, you make it up. However, if you get ahead, you don't get a day off, you just keep on going. If you hit your whole-month goal early, kudos to you, but you've gotta keep going. Or, if you don't have a specific X, then your goal could be as simple as devoting a certain amount of time each day to writing.

The key here isn't so much that you reach X goal, but that you work toward it every day. It's the every day part that's important. Now, if you're in the CWC, I already know at least part of your writing goals for this month. But, I still want to know - how are you going to break them down? Do you have any additional goals?

If you're not in the CWC, then I have no idea what you're aiming for. So, what's on your plate?


Marie D-W said...

I'm not sure it's discipline for me. I want to have a chapter ready for UGWP each month or I'll be disappointed that I have nothing the next month critiqued. Then as for day to day motivation, I know if I don't write every day ( or at least do rewriting or research) I get very very cranky. And I'm cranky enough on a normal basis. So, unless I want food and other things thrown at me on a regular basis, I better write almost every day.

Debbie said...

Hmm. So, basically, I get punished for working ahead? I know, I know. It's to get more pages.

But it feels like punishment. ;-)

I am shooting for 75 pages of Vesta for CWC in September. So, giving myself time to polish a little and print and copy and soforth, I will need to write a page and a quarter a day. Let's make it an even 2 pages.

Guess I have to go change my goal on my blog.