Planning ahead

Planning ahead

With November closing in fast, I find myself once more thinking about my writing goals. The goal for November is obvious, write 50,000 words in 30 days. What I’ll be writing is still up in the air, but I’ve narrowed it down to two possible projects. I’ll either be working on Remnants, hopefully finishing it this time around, or I’ll start on the second draft of the first book in the fantasy series, Echoes.

As I’ll be rewriting Echoes anyway, it does seem a good option for November, but I’m not sure I’ll be quite ready yet in terms of the worldbuilding I want to get done before I start the second draft. I know from experience I shouldn’t be writing before I get everything sorted, so I may just end up running out of time.

Remnants however, I have a fairly good grasp on where is heading, and the worldbuilding for that mostly revolves around events taking place a couple hundred years before the book takes place, so I won’t need all of it ready in order to finish the book. The the stuff I do need I’ll just take care of as I write it anyway, and mostly of it is already lurking around some dark corner of my brain, ready to spring forth when called upon. Or two weeks later.

The other 11 months

November is most definitely the one month out of the year that I actually get a fair amount of writing done. Which means I need to get better at writing for the remaining eleven months of the year. With that in mind, I’ve been looking at ways to plan out my writing goals for the rest of the year.

I’ve done this many times before of course, and even had a five-year plan written up at some point, but I’ve always found it hard to stick to the plan. Perhaps I was simply not cut out to follow a carefully laid out plan for how to actually get stuff done? I have to admit, I was starting to doubt myself a little.

That was until I learned about the SMART goal setting method. Now I think I may just have found a way to finally set goals I actually have a realistic chance of reaching. So lt’s give it a try.

READ: Setting a SMART Writing Goal

Planning the rest of the year, the SMART way

With three months left on the clock, so to speak, I had to think hard on what I wanted to accomplish, and then run them through the SMART method to see it I could actually get them done. I have to admit I had to shelve a lot of thing I wanted to do, simply because they didn’t stand up to the SMART test. Perhaps next year. Cause if this actually works, I am totally doing this for all of 2018!

Goal #1 – Finish Nanowrimo

Let’s just get the obvious goal out of the way. After all, I started this post by saying I intent to participate in Nanowrimo again this year. And by participate, I do mean win. Is it SMART? Of course. It is both Specific, Measurable and Time based; Write 50,000 words in 30 days. It it Attainable? I’ve won every year since 2010, I’d say it is very attainable by now. Besides, it is perfectly possible to accomplish even for those who have never tried before. Lastly, is it Relevant? Sure. My endgame is to finish my book, whichever I choose to write on, therefore using Nanowrimo to finish it (or at least get closer to the end) is very relevant.

Goal #2 – Finish the Next Draft of TAO

I’ve been working on this for a few months, and I have to admit I haven’t got very far. I need to actually challenge myself with these goals, therefore I will be attempting this as well. Let’s put it through the SMART test. It is Specific? Yeah, I’d say so. “I want to finish the next draft of TAO” sound very specific to me.  How about Measurable? Well, the end result will be a finish draft (fourth or fifth, I’ve lost track at this point), so I’d say it’s very measurable. It it Attainable? This one is tricky. Because it sounds fairly simple, and shouldn’t really be a problem. Yet, judging by my lack of progress over the past month, the obvious answer is maybe. Except, I’m doing this to challenge myself, while remaining realistic. And realistically speaking, I am more than capable of finishing the next draft by the end of the year. I just need to actually sit down and write! Is it Relevant? Considering the fact that I want to send this out to even more test readers, and maybe start sending off queries in the near future as well, the book needs another revision, at least. So yes, it is very relevant to my endgame. And lastly, is it Time based? The answer of course, is yes. I want to do this by the end of 2017. So I have roughly three months. Two, if you consider the fact that I probably won’t be touching it in November.

So there you have it

I’m only going to set two goals for the rest of the year. Parts of me are screaming that I need more. That two is nothing. That I need options. That my fantasy series needs attention, and I really should consider putting some worldbuilding in there. But I won’t. For right now, I’ll ignore the screaming madwoman in my head who thinks she can conquer anything (sadly, she can’t), and instead live in the real world, where a full-time job, long commute, and one slightly spoiled chihuahua demand much of my time, and whatever I have left is divided into resting, watching my favorite shows, reading, writing, and sleeping. And the sad truth is, resting while watching TV and then sleeping does tend to appeal more than trying to get something written when your brain is mush and just want to die.