Talkin’ ain’t doin’
Here it comes: actual, concrete goals to hold myself to. I’ll have to start with arbitrary numbers as I get back into the swing of things, and adjust as I go along. Naturally, I’ll try to push myself harder.
In terms of writing, I’d like to have a new novel outlined before August is up. That gives me three weeks, so I’ll set myself a goal of ten chapters outlined per week.
Revision is a little harder. I’m due for another reread of Yggdrasil to see what needs editing, cutting, and where new material needs to be fitted in. I can manage a reread in one week, then a second look over another week to target problem areas.
Of course, I’ll want to make hokey index cards to put on my corkboards to illustrate my progress with these goals. It helps to have them there, staring at me at all times.
I’ll be back next week with updates on my progress!
I’ve had many ups and downs as a writer, often wrestling with my identity and feeling ashamed for not writing enough. I feel confident and capable as long as I have momentum on a project, but quite often this falls away and doubt begins to creep in.
A big problem here is when I meet new people. The inevitable question is asked, “What do you do?” I talk about my desk job, and I’m quick to explain that my true passion is writing. Usually, people are interested to know what I’ve written. The longer it’s been since I’ve actively worked on anything, the more shame I feel at this query, and the more I question myself as a writer.
This gives way to a loop where doubt stymies my attempts at writing, which feeds doubt, and so on. Presently, I’m at a point where I no longer even mention to new people that I write. I’m not writing, so how can I call myself a writer?
The thought is toxic, and incorrect. I will be a writer no matter what happens, it is something that is part of me. However, I feel happiest and most like myself when I’m actually producing writing, or refining what I’ve already written. This is my main reason for coming back to this blog: it’s a tool that helps me plan and focus and hold myself accountable.