Writing Goals Are Like Trying to Lose Weight

weight1  I’d like to lose 30 pounds in 3 months. And I’d like to write 30,000 new words in one month (outside of editing).

Would LIKE to.

A cousin of mine can shed 20 pounds–BOOM!–whenever she wants. Often, I’ve seen her at a certain weight, and when I see her again in a month or two, she has a seemingly different body. And she doesn’t exercise. She simply disciplines herself to eat less. I’ve watched her and lived with her at times, so I know that’s how she does it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the capacity to do anything in big chunks like that. I’m the type to pace myself and take small steps. I don’t want to feel as though I’m starving, so I cut back slightly on total intake and eliminate the worst of the worst foods. I lose a pound every couple of weeks. If I achieve the same results in a year instead of a few months, isn’t that okay?

It concerns me that a woman (or man) might beat herself up emotionally over her struggle with weight. And I worry about some of my writing friends who stress themselves out over their daily writing goals. A thousand or two thousand words per day is an admirable goal, but I wonder what it costs if their lives are already jam-packed with other goals and duties. I’d hate to think they berate themselves when the goal isn’t met.

I admire the highly disciplined. I really do. And there was a time when I was like that– I hit the floor running in the morning and didn’t stop until my head hit the pillow at night. But I’ve learned what I’m comfortable with at this stage of my life. I set my goals at amounts that don’t make me sick or take the joy out of my day. With 300 to 500 words written per day (including weekends), I can write one of my YA novels in 3 or 4 months.

tortoise  Not saying my way is right for anyone else but me.  But I reach my goal  just the same.

Do you have a goal you’re currently trying to achieve? What is your method of attaining it?

cynthia-toney Cynthia

 

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