Persistence – My Writing Goals

*deep breath* Persistence is hard. Sometimes you need writing goals – or any goals, really – to keep yourself in line. It’s hard sometimes to keep motivated, to keep plotting that next project, to keep editing, to hammer out yet another first draft. And that’s just the writing stuff. Some days I wake up desperate to tackle my to-do list, and some days… like today… I have a big case of the MEHs.
You know – the MEH’s?


“How are you feeling today?”
“… … Oh. You know… Meh.”

There’s a message stuck to my desk. I have a few of them actually. But the one that’s getting me through today is this:

“YOU’VE COME TOO FAR TO ONLY COME THIS FAR.”

Isn’t that brilliant? It’s exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve come too far, worked thousands upon thousands of hours, to get to this point. If I let stuff slide now, then it will have all been for nothing.

So here are my final 2015 goals. I have two and a half months to do them in:

1 – Plot my Nanowrimo project more in-depth and stop dragging my feet.
Honestly, last year I was dying to start writing, but this year I’m so MEH. I’m not sure why. It’s probably because I haven’t written a first draft of anything since July and I’m scared I won’t be able to write anymore. You know. Coz that’s rational.

2 – Complete a first draft for Nanowrimo.
Get it done. If only to keep myself occupied, keep my skills honed, and to prove to myself I can still Do This.

3 – Do the final(?) edits on Agented Manuscript – BT – when they arrive.
This obviously has to be a priority when I hear back from my Wonderful Agent. I’m so excited to see the next phase of editing and see BT all shiny and ready. Like honestly. The idea of reading it, all edited and polished makes me giddy. It’s been so much WORK. But the good kind. The satisfying kind. It’s taught me so so much.

4 – Go back to my other manuscript – TWIU – which is a story absolutely love. I haven’t shown it to my agent yet. I want to wait until it’s as good as I can make it. But herein lies the source of my anxiety…

TWIU is a risky story, in both subject matter and structure. It’s one that’s taken me several attempts to write. It was initially a script, then an adult novel, and now a YA novel. It’s taken many forms, but the core is still there. It is CLOSE to being right. I know it. When it’s done it’s going to be something I’m really proud of. It’s a bold story. A story that has always been just out of my reach. And I’m levelling-up every time I try to improve it. And it’s almost there. ALMOST!

I’m just so damn MEH about it right now. I’m worried I’m not good enough. But here’s the thing: even if i’m not good enough right now, it doesn’t mean I’ll NEVER be good enough to write this story. I just have to try harder. Be better. I have to find where I need to improve and WORK ON IT.

Writing isn’t this “talent”. It isn’t a Super Power. It’s a SKILL. It’s something that can be improved. And I will improve, until I can write this story to the level it’s supposed to be written. And on that day I’ll be proud. But until then, it’s sort of an anxiety inducing project that I’ve been putting off editing. Coz I’m a coward.

So by the end of 2015 I will have:
A shiny agented manuscript ready for submission – BT
A first draft of my Nano Project (as yet untitled)
A “ready to show my agent” draft of TWIU that I can be proud of

There it is. In black and white. And I’m already more motivated. I’ll check this in January and see if I succeeded. If you’re battling a small army of the MEHs, write down your goals – preferably publicly – and rise to the challenge.

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