FIRST: I will be signing books, chatting, and giving away magnets at The Reader's Guide (West Salem, Oregon) tonight, 5:00-7:00. Hope to see some of you there!
I love writing, and I love being a writer. Writing full-time means I am at my computer for at least eight hours a day, often more like twelve. Some of that time is spent handling other aspects of writing (like this blog post, for example) 🙂 but quite a lot of it is writing, copy editing, proofing and research.
The tricky thing about writing full time is there are deadlines you must hit. It doesn't matter if you're sick, have lost a loved one, or any other number of disasters that befall a normal life. If you're a writer, your job is to deliver on deadline.
One of the ways to hit those deadlines is to do a little math and figure out how many words a day (or pages a week) etc., you need to write in order to turn your project in on time.
While some writers are ALL HULK ALL THE TIME and stay well ahead of their word count goals, I'm not quite that muscled and green yet. However, the one thing that keeps me powering through to deadline is goal setting, and my most productive goals are those I share with other writers or my first readers.
Right now I have several goals I've made and shared with writing friends, who have in turn shared their goals with me. Reciprocal goal-setting seems to work best. That way we each know what the other is striving for.
We have a set check-in time. Weekly checks seem to be the most common and useful, though I also have a more relaxed daily check in too. Just the act of having to check in each week (or day) and knowing someone is expecting me to have hit my word count can really keep me focused. When I'm hitting my daily and weekly goals, I am a very happy writer indeed!
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