Thoughts from a tree

Posts tagged ‘motivation’

Hard Goals, For Motivation

Another year (or two), another catch-up post. I *am* going to try to post regularly however. I have found that I follow-through more often if I commit to specific goals and if I tell other people what they are. So my goal for this blog is going to be to post *at least* once a week, even if it is sometimes short.

Let’s start with the general stuff: I still work at Disney (after having my contract extended several times, I was eventually converted to a full-time or “Cast” position). The downside of this was a nasty commute, so we ended up moving (yes, again). Luckily, we were able to get a nice house at a really good price. Unluckily, immediately after we closed the people who had been renting our VA house moved out (owing us a bit of money), and oh, by the way, the septic is no good. Due to the type of soil the house was in, we would have had to put in a fairly expensive alternative system to replace the failed septic. This was the last straw for us, so we ended up short selling the house. And we still owe the second lender a lot of money, yay, since they were jerks (stay away from PNC). Gary went back to work for Comcast; they are letting him work remotely, which is awesome! He is on a team with a bunch of our ex-AOL friends, so that is also nice. I finally found a Doctor that actually fixes problems long-term, so I’m very happy about that. I’m healthier, I’m sleeping better, and I have more energy to do the things that I want.

So, going back to goals. Previously I tried things like “lose weight” or “write more,” but these did not work. I think I am too much a procrastinator for that method. I went to DragonCon in 2011 and I attended a bunch of writing panels. It made me want to write even more, and I told myself I would. But, well, first we had to move, right? There were also games to play, shows to watch, and books to read, and somehow I never got around to it. I went to DragonCon in 2012 and I had accomplished practically nothing. OK, time to get serious. I made two goals to complete before the next DragonCon 1) To be at a normal weight (so, you know, if I get a picture taken with Felicia Day I won’t be embarrassed about how I look) and 2) I would have my novel SUBMITTED.

I actually thought this second goal would be easier than it turned out to be. I already had a book that was written most of the way that I thought had a good enough storyline. It was at ~80K words and just needed to be finished and edited. It was a fantasy novel that starts out in a world similar but different to our medieval age. However, the more I thought about it, the more I felt that it would be better if it started in our world (there are two worlds in the story), and in the modern time. I thought it would be simple and that I would just have to change a few references, here and there. However, shortly after I started I realized that I was going to end up re-writing the entire thing. Once I made this discovery, I felt a bit of a panic: how was I going to completely re-do it in that amount of time? I had been working on this book for several YEARS! Was this even the right choice or would it be better to work on the original version? But, I had a deadline, so I buckled down and got to work.

I started going to some local writer’s groups and I learned about an annual contest for writers. The deadline is 5/31 (DragonCon is 8/30). Can I finish in time to enter the contest? At just under 50K words, on 3/3, I created a schedule, just to see if it was possible (and it was). I wasn’t sure how many words I could do, particularly on a weekday, so I kept the daily goals low at first (500 for a weekday and 2000 for a weekend day). I blacked out all the days I was on oncall or had some other obligation. By the end of the first week I knew my goals were too easy, so I changed them to 1000 and 3000. So far so good, and I should have over 100K before before the end of April. That will only give me a month to edit officially, however, some of the writing I’m doing now includes editing, so I think it will be OK. I guess time will tell… meanwhile, I’m still going to try to write here, and since I’m committing to it publicly, you can hold me to it.