Epiphany: You CAN reach your goals with the help of mini-goals!
I’m days away from the finale of NaNoWriMo, which I’ve undertaken to write 50,000 words by November 30. My current total? 42,025! That’s…*mentally calculating, stopping the pantomime of mentally calculating, pulling out my calculator, typing in numbers, finding the result* 84% With Wednesday off from work (a dedicated writing day) and Friday off for the Thanksgiving holiday, I believe I am going to make it! Woohoo!!
So what have I learned thus far? The mini-goals thing, oh yeah.
How did Lewis and Clark explore America? One step at a time. How did Sir Edmund Hilary climb Mt. Everest? One treacherous foothold at a time. How did I finally wash that gigantic, bacteria-covered nasty pile of dishes I left alone while writing? One dish at a time. (Don’t ask me about the laundry, though.)
Setting the goal of 1,667 words a day was manageable for me. I might even be able to set a slightly higher goal, now that I’ve learned I can do this. Maybe 1,700. Or 1,800.
Ok. Let’s not get crazy.
But by sometimes choosing not to go to a movie and instead spending that time writing, or planning to go to a coffee shop with a friend (friends who have goals alongside you help you to accomplish yours!!!), it is finally happening.
Out of interest, I looked around the Internet to see if there were some infographics people had made about reaching your goals. Here are two great ones below. I liked the first, because it brings in some good points about how emotional the process can be – don’t compare your goals to others or you may start to wobble, and you may need to “fake it” or pretend you have more confidence that you actually feel, until you get there. The second one is great because it’s simple and clear.
So when this novella grows up, what happens next?
I’m toying with the idea of now doing something with this story afterwards. Perhaps filling out the story more to a more novel-sized length of 70,000 words and editing the tar out of it. I think it’s pretty good and interesting now, but that could be the happy, blinded glow of reaching a goal clouding my judgment. Editing the novella with more perspective and increasing it slightly could be the ticket to stating yes, it’s my second novel manuscript! (The first one is jealously waiting for this one to be finished so I can go back to it and do the real work: editing.)
NaNoWriMo sponsors have jumped into the fray, offering interesting deals to have the manuscript edited or published. I’m looking into the website CreateSpace, a branch of Amazon.com, as a potential way to self-publish this novel. Who knows? Could be fun and a faster way to get the book to market than through a traditional publisher. From what I’ve heard from more established authors, often working with a traditional publisher can put just as much of the onus of marketing on the author as self-publishing the book.
Thinking about it. Until now, I’m pushing for the finish line! Huffing and puffing like the pig in this picture, but excited to see the finish line loom larger.
Got to finish the race before you can contemplate what kind of foot rub you’d like, just as I’ve got to get this up to full wordcount before thinking about its future!