Sunday, January 6, 2013

Write Something Sometime

A few weeks ago some friends were chatting on Twitter about writing goals for the new year.  One of them asked what my goals were and I replied, "I'm going to try to write something sometime."

The past few years I've set big word count goals for myself and then I've been super frustrated when I realize I can't make them happen.  I'm not going to do that anymore.

In the five years I've been writing, I've realized something about myself and the way I write:

I'm not an everyday writer.

I think just about every book about writing I've ever read has said something like, "You must write every day.  If you don't you suck and you will never amount to anything."

I've tried MANY times to become an everyday writer. It doesn't work for me.

Writing does not happen when my kids are home on breaks, when anyone is sick, or when I'm prepping for anything big (holidays, vacation, parties, etc). I write when I have time to write, and that's okay.  My books get done eventually.

This year I'm going to embrace the "write something sometime" approach. I'm not setting any lofty goals.  I'm going to write when I have time and energy to write and I'm not going to feel guilty when I'm snuggling on the couch, watching Muppets for the millionth time with my two-year-old instead of cranking out a few more pages.

Do you have writing goals this year?


Keisha Martin said...

I am glad you realized what works best for you, goals are not easy and its attainable when one understands his/her situation.

For me writing is an obsession even if its one page which will never see the light of day so to speak I have to write. What changed though I am not so obsessive to get an agent/published not that I don't want that I really do but I realize learning the craft and writing a polished manuscripts is a better goal and also hope it will happen for me one day. Great post =o)wishing you the best for 2013

Wen Baragrey said...

Me too, Nat, me too :D I've been pushing myself really hard lately, trying to force something that just isn't happening. I'm trying to ease up on myself and not get so mad if I don't achieve my goals. Life is just plain not cooperating most of the time, and that has to be okay too!

And you know what? Two-year-olds become 20-years-old before you know it. Snuggling on the couch is every bit as important, more so, in fact, than anything else ;)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I think we all have to do what works for us. I have such tiny snippets of writing time (and so many deadlines) that I have to write every day, but sometimes it's only for 20 minutes. I've found that if I stop writing, it's incredibly hard to motivate myself to jump back in the habit.

And writing with kids is hard! I only have one so I'm in awe of all of you who juggle several kids with writing!

Ted Cross said...

I can't write every day either. I have to let the next chapter percolate in my mind for some amount of time, until I feel it is ready to go, and then I sit down and bang it out. Sometimes chapters will flow quickly one after another, but other times months will go by before the dam breaks.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Writing is personal. What works for one writer won't work for another. I'm aiming to write 365,000 words this year, roughly 1K a day. Doubt I'll write every day, but I'm going to try!

DL Hammons said...

I'm with you! I'm not an everyday writer and for me life doesn't work like that. All we can do is find a rhythm that works for us. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Some of the best ideas, scenes, lines, insights come when we're doing something else. I don't think forcing writing makes for the best work. You've written a book that's out in the world, you're raising children. I think you're doing just fine the way you are. :)
I am going to try to write more this year because I lost a lot of last year, but I want it to be fun.

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