Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Goals of a Part-Time Novelist

Setting writing goals is essential for being a writer. Goals that are often self induced and self enforced. Be it writing 50k words in a month or #500wordaday, writing regularly is manditory.

This month I opted to partcipate in Camp Nanowrimo, a smaller trafficed but identical competition to Novemember's 50k in 30 days challenge. I went into Camp suspecting I would not complete the 50k challenge, but hoped to get about 30k, or the 1st half of my WIP rewritten, which ever came first.

As June draws to a close, I realize that 50k is not possible for me, but I did achieve my smaller goal. So why do I feel so...unfulfilled?

At some point mid-month, it struck me that I might be able to meet the 50k challenge. I was on target; I was writing daily. What happened?

The realization that I'm only a Part-Time Novelist, for now. I don't have the time between filming and working my real job and spending quality time with my friends and family to spend multiple months of the year writing 50k. The overachiever in me is not happy about that. But I can look back at this month and say, I worked on cleaning (there was much yard work accomplished), I helped with a short film, I didn't call in sick once!, and I rewrote the first half of Tails. That's quite an achievement. I don't feel quite so bad about myself.

So, what am I getting at? We need to remember our priorities. Set goals that are achievable. Lofty goals like 50k in a month or 500 a day are not achievable for every lifestyle. Sometimes 100 words a week is a great goal. Picking something that's reasonable for you is what's important. Then remember to take a step back and look at your accomplishments. Reward yourself when you finish that goal, even if it was a small goal.

While yes, a full time writer can often produce 50k a month without batting an eye, I'm only a part time writer. I'm returning from Camp proudly with half a novel in hand. I think that means a cocktail, and time to finally Splash Into Summer.


  1. As I crawl up to 30k with four days left, the reminder to put it all in the context of the rest of my life is well-timed. Thank you!

    While I still hope to reach 50k with a last minute sprint, this may or may not work out. At least now I can remember that half a novel is way more than I started the month with :)

    P.S. Splash into Summer looks cool, thanks for the link!

  2. I'm glad I helped! I wish you best with making the 50k, and if you need a sprinting buddy, though, I know I won't make it, hit me up on twitter. I'm always up for streching my writing legs.

  3. It's funny. I really thought that I would finish this month. But the truth is I also am a "part-time" writer. Working 7 days a week just does not seem to allow me the flexibility to skip a day or use my off days for writing. I'm not sorry that I did this, actually it's been very beneficial to me in more than one way...

  4. You should be so proud of yourself for accomplishing what you did! Balancing current responsibilities with novelist dreams isn't easy and sometimes other things have to take precedence. Great job! :)