This one is probably going to meander a bit. My thoughts on the matter seem to be a bit jumbled, so I’m going to try to just throw them against the digital wall and see what sticks with minimal editing. I figure it’s not likely to matter since, at this point, no one else sees this blog anyway. (So why am I doing this?  Oh yeah! The “Dear Diary” thing.  🙂 )

I have developed a habit lately of setting some unrealistic goals when it comes to my writing.  First, I attempted to set myself an impossible deadline for “Streets of Payne”.  I guess because I already had a first draft of the first serial installment written, that somehow made me think I could knock out an additional 40 to 50 thousand words in less than six weeks. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.  The thing is, when it didn’t happen, I told myself I would ease up a bit and “only” try to write about a thousand words a day. 

I don’t know why I felt that was a more reasonable goal, but Life has a habit of smacking me in the head when I do something stupid like that, and this time is no exception.  Nothing specific, but a lot of little issues seem to pop up to prevent me from attaining that self-imposed goal. And for the longest time, whenever I fail to meet that goal I end up beating myself up, feeling like a slacker.

Quite frankly, I’m getting tired of feeling that way.  🙂

I regularly listen to a podcast for  aspiring writers (The Dead Robot’s Society) and one of the things I like about it is that they try to hold themselves to account for the amount of writing that they get done on a weekly basis. Each podcast begins with each of the hosts announcing how much (or how little) writing and/or editing they were able  to get done. There is a feeling of accountability, and a mutual encouragement that they inspire in one another – and in me. These are folks that have been working seriously at the craft of writing for several years now and their progress varies from week to week. Sometimes they have a good week, and they are able to knock out up to five thousand words in a week. Other times, Life kicks them in the ass and they don’t get much written at all.  The thing is, they chart their progress on a words per week ratio, not words per day.

That seems to make more sense, as I have noted that I generally get at least something written each day, even if it is only a few hundred words. When I get two hundred words one night, and five hundred another, and maybe seven hundred on a third night, it’s not that I didn’t get a chance to write each night like I wanted. Instead, it’s thirteen hundred words in less than a week. Rather than dwell on what goals I may or may not attain on a given day, and then feel like crap when the progress doesn’t seem fast enough. I think perhaps I need to concentrate on the more positive.

Yeah, so I’m giving myself a pep talk. I can take it even further, to the obvious analogy of life in general. When I look at it, I lead a pretty busy life. I work ten to twelve hours a day, I attend a martial arts class three nights a week, I write, I make knives, I have a fantastic (and very understanding) wife and kids. Youngest daughter has a birthday coming up and it’s a biggie (she’s turning 18), our son is getting ready to go into the Navy, and our oldest daughter has recently moved back into town with our grand daughter and needs help settling in. And all that’s without mentioning the fact that the holiday season is here so we’ve been shopping, decorating, and preparing for the food-gasm that will occur in a few weeks.

So there’s a lot of good going on in my life, and while it keeps me busy, when taken as a whole, it’s a bit more important than worrying about how many words I got written on a given day.

Hmmm…. I suppose when I look at it that way, maybe I deserve that smack on the head. Looks like Life knew what she was talking about after all.  🙂

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