Monday, January 9, 2012

ROW80 Update - Goals are like cats

(My late Sunday check in for ROW80)

So this week, I've discovered that goals are best like cats--with a strong, solid spine and claws and teeth, but other than that--soft, super-flexible, and pleasant to have around. If the goals are too rigid, it's like a stinky cat in rigor mortis. If I don't meet them at all, it's like a cat that's been sitting in formaldehyde so long that its bones are now soft like rubber.

I've been attempting to fill in the last few scenes of my novel WIP, which are sketched out but not written, in order to tell myself I have a finished first draft. Today I realized that what I'm writing is really boring. So I go to where my interest leads me, and that's back to the beginning, to fill in a bunch of holes and to bring enough depth to my characters that when I come to the last few chapters again, the characters can tell me what they want to do and how it's going to end instead of me simply trying to fill it in for chronology's sake. When I'm revising, the word counting is different, so I am adjusting that goal to one (or so) chapter revisions per day.

One of the great things about making goals is the instilling of self-discipline, but I'm thinking now that it's good to also build in some rewards into the goals, otherwise you have goals that are like those really annoying cats that meow incessantly, or they have fleas so you don't want to touch them. One of my ROW goals is to fast once a week, and that's simply formalizing something I've been more or less doing for the last month--but I thought that perhaps I would give myself a carb binge half-day once every two weeks. I just completed a month of eating extremely low carb to get rid of a yeast infection, and now that it's finally gone, I deliriously ate some gluten-free pancakes--and finally got rid of this carb craving that's been hounding me for days. 

And since writing has been on my to do list for every single day all the past year, I'm wondering what would happen if, in my goals, I put aside a day a month when I'm not allowed to write a word? Something to "cleanse the palate" like fasting or like carb binging. I'm not sure I dare try it.


  1. My goal this year is to write for 30 minutes every day, not counting blog posts. I'm finding it interesting to carve out the time sometimes, but so far so good. Hoping to have the first draft done by the end of the month. As for taking time off, I took about 4 years or so off without writing damn near anything, so I'm just trying to keep it going now.

    1. Yeah, I've spent MANY years not writing as well...but I think it's different not writing and feeling like you should, and not writing because for a day you're SUPPOSED to not write. I've never tried the latter before! I don't think I'm quite ready to though.

  2. What a perfect analogy!

    The thing about goals, they are easy to not follow through with. This year, I'm aiming at a revision and two new novels. Three books total. Never pushed myself like that before.

    Great post! :)

    1. It's really inspiring reading about multiple-novels-in-a-year goals since I've been working on the same one for many years. Maybe I'll visualize that happening this year too. One and a half perhaps. :)