Can you believe it’s already September? If I hadn’t filled my day planner every month this year I might not be able to believe it myself. It’s been a pretty crazy year, both on a personal level and a global level, and while some of the days have dragged on seemingly forever, the months have flown by.
As we enter the last four months of the year and students return to school, it’s important to assess what we’ve accomplished this year and decide how to move forward.
Last week I talked about creating a schedule to move your writing career forward.
Today I want you to make a big commitment to your writing career. I want to see you making progress by leaps and bounds instead of baby steps in these last few months of 2014.
How much can you accomplish in four months?
Everybody’s different. For some people, four months is about how long it takes to write the first draft of a novel. Other people can crank out four novels in half that time. Rewrites often take longer than first drafts, but line editing can be done quickly with focus.
Personally, I’ve got a novella to finish editing and four novels that I’d like to plan and write first drafts for this November. It’s a tall order, but I always write at a breakneck–or maybe I should say “breakwrist”–pace during Nanowrimo and this will be my tenth year, so I feel like it’s worth it. In the interest of writing first drafts that don’t make the eyes bleed, I’ve already started planning and will be spending far more time on that than I usually do.
If you take a look at what you’ve accomplished in each four month section of this year, you’ll get a good approximation of how much can be accomplished by the year’s end.
You can divide your goals into monthly goals–say, finish edits in September, plan a novel in October, write the first draft in November–or you can write a list of what you want to accomplish this year and put it in numbered order. Either way, make sure you have everything you really want to get done on the list and that your list is prioritized. Life can and will get in the way and the idea here is to make sure you get through your most important projects anyway.
Now get to work.
Creating a list of goals is great, but if you don’t make the time to meet them it will be a waste of paper. Find the time or make the time and get shit done. After all, when you’re on your deathbed you want to be remembering a life well lived, not a thousand opportunities missed.
What are your goals for the rest of the year? How do you plan to achieve them?