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Thursday, February 21, 2008
1:30 AM | Posted by MsHellion | | Edit Post
Though I am sure to be met with much chagrin from my pantsing comrades here aboard the boat, I have devised a goal spreadsheet of sort. A kind of time line in which I determine where I should be in my writing and how many pages I want to write a week, then how long total it should take me to write my book and sort of a tentative completion date.
May 25. That’s my completion date.
I see that you’re skeptical. If you think you’re skeptical, let me clue you in on the little conversation I had with myself over this date.
*GM cues the lights and allows her multiple personalities free rein aboard a makeshift stage on deck*
Little bitty voice: Whoooaa… huh? May 25 is really close. That’s, like, before the summer and stuff.
Calming voice: Yes, little panicky voice, that is before the summer and stuff.
Little voice escalating and becoming laced with hysteria: Well, how do you perceive we’re going to manage that?!
Calm voice again: Well, just like everything else happens, you naggy whiner. One bit at a time. It’s all mapped out here.
Little voice, now a loud obnoxious voice: Oh! I see how you are! You think this spreadsheet, with its color coding and pretty mathematical calculations, is going to help you in those moments of writer’s block sure to come?!
Calming voice, with a sigh: Um, no, I realize this is just a spreadsheet, nitpicky pain in my ass. I do know I will have to write the book myself.
*The lights return to normal and GM gives a sheepish shrug.*
I’ll spare you this part. Just imagine the amount of skirmish that would ensue if someone told the pirates on the RWR there would be no more rum. Ever. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty.
For some reason, the idea of a timeline frightens many and that includes me. Somehow, setting such goals/deadlines is more frightening than tackling the herculean task of writing a novel one page at a time with no definitive end in sight. Why is that?
I think it’s because if I miss the deadline, I could feel bad about it and lose momentum. This would jumpstart a downward spiral of declining self-esteem and loss of motivation, resulting in the imminent death of my WIP, perhaps even my writing in general. *panting in drama queen fashion*
I have thought of this, trust me.
However, I’m a procrastinator. If I don’t have deadlines, I’ll put stuff off until I can’t put it off anymore. Therefore, because no one is standing over me, expecting my completed manuscript, it gets set aside. “I’ll do it later,” I say. “I’ll work through that hard scene tomorrow,” I hedge.
Recently I realized that this was making me angry with myself. I’ve found out that I’m now that someone standing over me, expecting my completed manuscript. And the longer I put me off, the worse I feel about it.
Now, that isn’t to say that my date won’t get pushed back again. Originally, I’d set a goal to have my WIP finished by February. However, that was before changing it from a straight-up Regency to a paranormal Regency. I had to adjust. I assume that there may be more adjustments in the future. Vacations, family illnesses, etc. But, a little more accountability never hurt anyone. Or at least an attempt at accountability.
As the captain is so fond to say: this isn’t a rule, it’s more of a guideline.
How about it, wenches and pirates? How do you feel about goals/timelines/deadlines and the like? If you hate them, why?