I hate jogging. I really do. But I hate jogging less than I hate bike riding, swimming, Pilates, and team sports. So when I need to get out of my house and do some exercise (because, let’s face it, I’m not getting any skinnier sitting in front of my computer), it’s jogging that I turn to. In all honesty, once I get going it isn’t so bad. The pounding of my shoes on the pavement, the beating of my heart, the memories of childhood… At least for the first two minutes. Then I start wondering why I’m punishing myself.
To keep myself going, I set little targets — mini-goals, if you will. I say to myself, “If I can keep going to the next corner, I’ll stop and walk for thirty steps.” And then I push through it, reach the corner, and slow to a walk. And I feel great. Not because I’m walking (although that’s pretty great, too) but because I made it to my goal without giving up. Sure, I’m a long way from home, and I’m only taking a 30 step break before getting back into it, but that’s not the point. The feeling of sheer exhilaration when I make that mini-goal; the feeling that I’ve achieved some small measure of success: that’s what keeps me going.
This week in writing, I did this: Insert –> Break –> Page Break –> ALT+C –> ALT+U –> Chapter Two
Awesome. Pure awesomeness.
You know what? I was only 5000 words into my 80,000+ word novel, but reaching that first mini-goal was exhilarating. And after my 30 step break, I got back into it with a vengeance. The words are rolling off my brain, and I feel good. (Big wheel, keep on rolling…)
In other news, I’m LOVING the 100 Words for 100 Days challenge. Again, this is just a series of short, sharp goals to keep me focused. But it’s working. Today is Day 16. And I’ve written my 100 words every day — obviously, or I’d be back to the beginning. If you haven’t tried this, and you find it difficult to get motivated to write every day, I seriously suggest you give it a try. In the 15 days that I’ve been working on 100 Words for 100 Days challenge, I’ve written just over 5500 words. (If you work that out, that’s 360 words per day.)
Am I going to break speed records with that? No. But forcing myself to just reach that next corner then makes it possible to keep on truckin’ and I know that I’ll get to the end.
Finally, I’m feeling about seven million shades of frustrated with a particular writing competition who shall remain nameless. I entered a story into the competition, and then quickly regretted it and wished that I’d submitted the story to a fiction market instead. But I figured that I’d either place (and that’s worth it) or I wouldn’t, and I could submit after that. Problem sorted. Right? Well, it would be. And it will be. But right now, I’m frustrated. The deal was that the shortlist would be announced “early June” and the winners announced “mid to late June”. Now, I could be wrong here, but I would think that the 22nd of June counts as mid to late. But there’s still no shortlist.
Frustrating. But moving on.
I’ve been having great success writing longhand in a beautiful new notebook, and then typing (and doing vague edits as I go) into my WIP of an evening when my brain is a little fried. I’ve always said that I think better when typing rather than writing, and often that’s the case, but apparently it doesn’t need to be. With a little practice, I’ve found that I can actually get my brain in gear easier when I’m writing longhand. Perhaps because it’s a little slower, my brain has time to plan further ahead?
How are your projects tracking? I’d love to hear about any ways that you inspire yourself to reach your goals. Rewards? Threats? Punishments? Anything else?