Schedules, Lists, & Goals, Oh My!

Quote of the day from Mahtab Narsimhan:  “I set a reward before I start writing and will allow myself that reward only if I finish the quota for the day. Normally that entails surfing the Net or writing a nice long e-mail to a friend; stuff that usually makes me feel extremely guilty if I have written nothing on any given day! I’m very strict with myself. No quota=no reward. On the other hand, when I finish the word count for the day and go a little over, that itself is a huge reward. I’m then compelled to do it all over again the next day, just to feel that same sense of relief and accomplishment.”  End quote.

I like this philosophy. The thing about philosophies—you have to find one that works for you. For instance, I would have to tweak Mahtab’s philosophy, because she writes from 6:30 to 8:30 AM. I’m not a morning person. I would still be asleep at 8:30 if my son didn’t drag me out of bed at 7:30. My brain barely functions before noon.

Step 1: Find a philosophy and make it my own.

Writing is important to me, but it’s not my life. On my list of priorities, familiy comes before writing. That is why I like to write at night—when my family is asleep. Writing is my reward for taking care of my famiy during the day.

Step 2: Rank my list of priorities.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a Type A personality; my hobbies include organizing and scheduling. I get a thrill from making t0-do lists. Okay, now I’m exaggerating (not really). But I do think I thrive under a schedule, preferably one with built-in goals and rewards. The trick is not being too hard on myself when I fall short of my goals.

Step 3: Decide on short-term and long-term goals.

So these are my three steps. Feel free to use them or adapt them for your own needs.

Ideally, I could dive into writing right away. But you know I wouldn’t make it that easy for myself! Next week is Thanksgiving, and then we’ll start THE HOLIDAYS. Enter family gatherings, friendly get-togethers, shopping, gift-giving, card-mailing, decorating, school breaks, traveling, cooking, eating, and much more. I know none of these things should be the real focus of the season, but my family is still a priority over writing. Thus, the following schedule:

December: reading /preparing for 2nd draft of TRE.
January to March: 2nd draft of TRE.
April to May: 3rd draft (maybe more, based on feedback).
June: queries?

Dear website readers, I have not forgotten you. But since I throw myself into projects,  this time I’m dragging you with me.

Some of you remember “Summer’s Ultimate Novel” (SUN), in which I discussed first drafts. So what’s the logical sequel? You got it—a discussion of second drafts. I’ll introduce this second-draft project on Saturday. And in April, a project on third drafts. Very predictable of me, right?

Would anyone like to share a personal writing schedule or list of writing goals? Let’s motivate each other, shall we?



2 thoughts on “Schedules, Lists, & Goals, Oh My!

  1. My personal goals:
    Daily: finish revising one scene per day.

    December: Finish 2nd draft of Demas’ First Task. Format, print off, and send to CPs and teen readers. Start writing query letter.
    January-February: 3rd draft
    March – lifetime: send out queries. Start Demas’ Second Task.

    Phew. That felt good. It looks amazing to see my goals out on the screen.
    I can’t wait to hear your ever-excellent advice on 2nd and 3rd drafts.
    Your writing advice has thus far proved to be impeccable.

    • 😀 Your goals look amazing to me, too. I’m so excited for you! WOOT!!

      If I get my butt in gear, maybe we can query simultaneously. Having company makes it a little more bearable. 🙂

      Not sure what my advice will be for 2nd and 3rd drafts, LOL. Haven’t done as much research for those as I have for 1st drafts. I’ll try to get my act together though.

      Thanks for sharing your goals!! *hugs*

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