Last week, I offered a reminder that we can’t forget to live life while we’re building and destroying worlds, connecting lovers, or sending the chosen one on the path of no return. Often writers hyper-focus on their works in progress and don’t realize they need a break, or just to take time for themselves before they start up again. The worlds you create stem from the reality you experience, so don’t be afraid to experience your reality. Remember to take time for you, your family, your friends, whoever or whatever it is, give it the time it deserves and it will enrich your writing.
How’s it Going?
Well, my nugs, it’s time to check in. Whether you’re working on a first draft or the query letter to your agent, I want to know how it’s going. Checking in is a great way to keep the motivation up, or give you a kick in the pants to get your motivation up as you work on your story. Taking the time and effort to check in with myself and my support system is one of my weaknesses. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the meme below when I try to explain my story to anyone. I’ve started getting to where I’ll tell my wife that I got some writing done today, and sometimes that involves a rough word count. The reason you should communicate with someone about your writing is that it helps your support system know what you need and to understand that you’re putting in the work even if they aren’t reading your pages yet.
If those around you aren’t your support system, then find writers’ groups online to become that support system. I would love for the Myers Fiction community to become that for each other, so add a comment below, or send me a message through my contact page if you’re more private and would like to share. I want to be someone to pump you up and support you as I can. And other readers, if you see someone in the comments, give them support as well. We’re not competition here. Everyone is reaching for the same goal. So don’t forget to check in with someone, even if it’s yourself, and keep writing.
How are you setting your goals?
Some of you began NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Seven days ago, which would set your word count goal at 13344 by the end of the day. If you’re there, AWESOME! If not, STILL AWESOME! NaNoWriMo is one of the hardest challenges writers take on every year. Just setting yourself to take the challenge sets you apart from many. If you haven’t attempted or have no desire to take part in NaNoWriMo, then I don’t blame you. Everyone has their process and what they think of as a fun challenge. Respect your process.
One thing that both parties should consider is how they’re setting their goals. Are you tracking by time writing, daily/weekly/monthly word count, or do you work by segmentation? One thing I’ve found is allowing myself to work on chapters out-of-order helps me meet my goal of writing daily. How are you tracking your goals? Do you use a planner, or a notebook, or maybe an app on your phone? Reward yourself when you reach a goal. Even reaching the smallest goals every day can take your writing to that next level.
If you didn’t meet your goals, don’t harp on yourself. By beating yourself up too much about writing, you add a negative connotation to your writing space, story, or mentality. Find healthy ways to recognize that you didn’t meet your goal and assess what might need to change. The goal can be too large, not enough time, or maybe it was an off day and you just need to try again with the same goal tomorrow.
My Check-In With You
As promised by my newsletter, I’m checking in with my nugs today. For the longest time I’ve been working on a rewrite of my story, Extoria, which released for a short time before I realized how terrible it was. If you bought a copy, thank you for your support in my writing. One day, those will be a collectible. But I’ve dropped the project for now because I was too close to it and needed to step away because it was ruining my writing experience.
I’ve begun my Wands and Wandless book 1 (title still pending). So far, I am enjoying it. I tried to use the Novel Factory to try a new format, but kept having technical difficulties to the point it was unusable for me. I’ve since started working on it in Scrivener. When the Novel Factory software requested the main character and such details up front, I froze a little. I usually start with one scene and start writing, so this challenged me. I compromised and started writing about what might be the opening scene to identify my protagonist. Before this, I’d planned on the protagonist being a 19-year-old woman, but it turned out to be a male. Then I kept seeing the climax scene in my mind, and so I wrote that next instead of working chronologically. It made it a lot more fun for me. So two scenes down and so many more to go.
I hope you’ve checked in with yourself or supporters, or started identifying who those people may be. Thank you for giving me some of your time to learn more about checking in and a bit about where I’m at. Again, drop your progress in the comments, or send them to me via my contact page. Don’t forget that setting goals and checking in with whoever you need to can keep you honest with your writing and develop the skills you need to be a better writer. No one is perfect, so review any times of not reaching your goals as a learning experience and take it with you into the next day’s writing. These posts keep me honest, and keep me working on something new every week.
Speaking of, tune in next week for some tips on Chronological Writing vs. Free Form Writing. Don’t forget to keep writing, keep learning, and stay fresh, my nugs.
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