Remember when you first learned how to ride a bike without training wheels? I couldn’t wait to get those wheels off and be like the big kids. When the training wheels came off, I fell more than a few times. The rose bush hurt the most. True story! I careened full throttle into my mother’s red rosebush next to the driveway. To this day, I won’t plant a rosebush next to a driveway, walkway or any other way where a person could get harmed! There were some thorns to pick out of my leg and I still have a slight scar on my leg that only I can see because I know it is there.

Of course, I eventually moved up to a ten-speed bike and then I had to learn how to use the brakes and balance. One time, I hit a crack in the street and went flying into grass. Lucky for me my pants were torn and a minor cut was the only issue.

The last year, I’ve watched my youngest bike faster than ever even with training wheels on this tiny bike. Next year, she’ll still need them but I’m sure will want to be like the big sister or other kids who don’t have them. 

Thinking of being a kid and learning how to bike, I realize I was so focused on the goal that I didn’t enjoy the journey of biking all that much. Maybe I did and I just have over-simplified the process as an adult. However, I noticed that lately I’ve haven’t been enjoying the journey I’m on now which is writing my first manuscript.

After some thought on this, I realized I want to enjoy it. Just like my pregnancy, I want to savor the daily growth of a baby on her way in the near future. My other baby, my manuscript, is also growing in word count. The problem? I’m not enjoying the journey since I’m worrying about everything I’ve been learning.

The stream of thoughts go something like this:
  • Word count matters. How many words did I type in the last hour? (Checking...)
  • Voice. Can I hear my writer voice? 
  • What will I do for the next chapter?  I need to outline. Wait, I can just wing it! 


The thoughts were overtaking my creative mind and I had  lost that enjoyment of writing. Perhaps I spent too much time trying to learn how to write this way or that.

I want to enjoy the journey of being a new writer learning the ins and outs of the publishing world or the new options that await us. For any new writer, there are more options than ever for getting a book published. If you realize this, you know that no matter what, you can end up having your novel done and published even if it is only in an e-book format. That goal is the destination.

With that thought, I realized that this journey I’m on now will happen to me only once in my life. There will be only one time I get to write my first manuscript. Even if I don’t publish it, I want to finish it.

The age to use to training wheels goes by quickly. My kids are proving that time flies. In a matter of months, we can write our hearts out and lose that first time feeling of our first completed manuscript. No matter how painful the process may be, how many falls we make, or scars we my have at the end – we only get to be the newbie one time.

So let’s finish it but enjoy the journey along the way but stay away from rosebushes! 

 
 Even though I didn’t participate in #NaNoWriMo, I can relate to having a plan to write X number of words within a certain time. I’ve always been goal oriented. What I had to learn along the way, especially as a former manager of direct reports, is that I can’t let a missed goal become more of a distraction. That thinking has, in the past, caused me to delay any additional positive movement to attain the goals set after the missed goal. The chain reaction would spin me farther down the negative black hole. I’ve had this struggle the last few months due to health reasons but even before that I would miss goals. Either way, I’m still frustrated that my first draft sat around this long with the word count needle nearly stuck in the same position.

When that feeling of hopelessness creeps into our brains (and many of us writers hit this wall now and again), we need to hit the brakes before we head face first into the palms of our hands and give up hope!

During the last 24 hours, many of my writing friends have been bummed with missing their goal (especially some who aimed to complete the #NaNoWriMo challenge). What we as writers must realize is that even if we missed the goal, we should celebrate any accomplishment. Don’t celebrate to the point that we make excuses though but rather think about how many more words we have because of having the goal in the first place! No matter how small that word count is, it is more than what you would have otherwise. What was the starting word count? Zero. Now what do you have? More than zero I hope. If not, there must be a reason to explore. (For me, October was a near zero because I got that pesky blood clot/ DVT in my left leg.)

Lately, I’ve been diving back into writing my first draft. For example, I had a goal of 1Kaday over Thanksgiving and I got a whopping 2245 words written (sarcasm may not be clear here but it's there). It’s frustrating, but I let the fun of the holiday distract me. I have kids and they are getting older. Whatever the reason, I am accountable for that goal being missed.

I’ve learned that I wish I had a higher number to celebrate. At least I have more than what I had though.

The number one rule is to remember this feeling of guilt and learn from it. If we want to be a writer, we must write. Therefore, I am accountable to my individual goal of being just that – a writer. If I continue down the path and delude myself then I will have to be accountable either way. On the flipside, if I learn from this I can set perhaps a more realistic goal over the time I take off in December. 

I am accountable to take action to meet the goal of finishing the first draft. Step by step, word for word. It is all up to me. Given the last few months, I had to move out the timeframe a bit. I refuse to let one missed goal stop me from what the final goal is – my first finished draft.
  • Remember, don’t let one missed goal derail you from the overall goal.
  • Learn from missed goals.
  • Revisit your goal planning to plan realistic, attainable goals. 
  • Celebrate the goals along the way.
  • Keep writing with the long-term, high-level goal in mind. Every milestone counts.
  • You are accountable to yourself as a writer (first draft, revised manuscript, or whatever the end goal may be).

    Author

    By day listen to voice of the customer / client loyalty. Rest of my life listen to my protagonist & write her story. YA fantasy, mystery #writer. Live w/ #DVT..

    Blog posts are Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Follow


    Twitter


    Archives

    December 2011
    November 2011
    June 2011

    Categories

    All
    #amwriting
    Author
    #author
    Authors
    Blood Clot
    Creativity
    Deep Vein
    Deep Vein Thrombosis
    Dream
    Dvt
    #DVT
    Editing
    Goals
    Inspire
    Manuscript
    #NaNoWriMo
    Novel
    #novel
    Pregnancy
    #Pregnancy
    Protagonist
    Twitter
    Wip
    #WIP
    Writer
    #writer
    Writers
    Writing
    #writing
    Writing Goals
    Writing Tips
    Young Adult