Setting a Goal
A new year has arrived!
Without going into too much detail, 2013 was definitely an interesting year that seemed to go by way too fast. It started with the loss of my job and ended with the near completion of renovations on our new home, a great trip out to Saskatchewan to visit family, and working on my first real attempt at writing a novel. I certainly can’t complain about where I’m at and I’m very hopeful about where I’m going.
Thus far, I’ve avoided setting concrete goals on where I expect the book to be at a specific time. I didn’t want it to feel like one of the various papers I wrote in University where I crammed and blasted out the whole thing the night before the due date with minimal regard for quality. Sure, most of those papers were good enough, but in this case, I don’t want to settle for good enough. I want the project to feel like it’s moving along organically, without external pressures.
But as I move into the final stages of writing my first draft, I feel like I’m at a stage where I can say to myself, “this is the date I want to have this done by”. Maybe I’m being ambitious, but for the first time since I started I feel like I can see the finish line, and it’s given me renewed energy and excitement.
So I’m putting it out there today – February 28th is my goal. That gives me two months to write the last five chapters (roughly 10-15,000 words). It’s taken me about 8 months to get to where I am now, at 65,000 words. But I’m coming into the first sustained stretch of time without distractions (like trips, guests, buying and renovating a new place) since I started, and I plan to take advantage of it.
That doesn’t mean the book is going to be done. I’ll still have to spend a lot of time doing edits and rewrites, not to mention figuring out the process of self-publishing. These are things I’ve never worked through, so I have no real expectation of how long it should take.
But finishing that first draft is going to be a huge victory, and I can’t wait for it to happen. So February 28th, watch out! I’m coming for you!