I came across this post on Writer’s Digest earlier: How to Start a Book Project. Sounds like kind of a daunting prospect, right? But what the article promotes is setting little deadlines, little goals, to get a book project off the ground. Because writing a book in say, a year, seems like an enormous task, right? How about writing the first chapter by the end of the month, just to get going? And then after that, maybe the next three chapters in another month. Or go by word count, borrowing a page from NaNoWriMo. Now maybe 1,600 words a day may be a little much, but several hundred a day could be more manageable to fit into a busy schedule.
Even before reading this post, I’ve been doing something similar. I set little deadlines of when I want to be finished with this revision or picking a chapter that has been giving me some trouble and wanting to work on it for at least a week. If by the end of the week I’m still not happy with it, then it’s time to reassess it’s worth. And sometimes that means just getting rid of it if it’s not adding what I want it, or need it, to add.
I think it’s helpful because there really is a sense of accomplishment by meeting those little goals. I’ve always been one of those people who likes that sense of accomplishment. I even love having to-do lists because I like that satisfying feeling when I get to cross off one more action item. Or whenever taking road trips, it is a definite must to get through a state. It’s a little bit easier on the east coast where the states are smaller, less so in the west. Like Texas. That’s a big state. So even if it meant staying the night in the first town over the state border, at least we made it out.
It’s worked for me. Currently have a word count goal that I’m so close to reaching! While I know I still have all day, I also know that I’m so close so I just want to sit here and write those last 50 words until I’m at that goal. Of course then it will be time to set a new one and with it a new deadline. But at lease I’ll have crossed one more thing off my list.