I admit I am mildly psychotic. I give myself goals, and once I see them on paper, they might as well be chiseled in stone.
I hit them.
No matter what.
It’s something that was driven into me since I was very young. I thank my father for this most of the time. Being driven has helped me get to where I am today.
But I have trouble dealing sometimes when I realize what I challenge myself with is sometimes too much.
Like this week, when I was thrown a little curve ball.
I got sick.
Really dern sick.
Flat out in bed, can’t move, stricken-with-a-chill sick. Then sweating-to-death can’t- turn-down-the-temperature sick. Horrible… zig zagging back and forth.
Yep, I even looked like a guy.
It’s terrible to have to take off from work, waste vacation time, and get NOTHING DONE.
It drove me crazy, laying there under piles of blankets, sometimes with a fifty-pound poodle on top of me for extra warmth… doing nothing when there is piles of work to be done in real life, as well as my writing world.
I couldn’t even THINK of my scenes. I couldn’t formulate a plan for when I could get out of bed. My mind was dead. Caput.
What a terrible couple of days.
I’m better now, thank goodness. But now I have to take stock.
First things first.
I just completed my immediate need: The interviews/blog posts requested by wonderful people who signed up with my marketing company to help promote FIRE IN THE WOODS.
Whew… That was a lot of work.
Today, I do something I have not done in a VERY long time.
I set the writing aside.
No aliens. No space ships. No conflicts (except a few real life kids)
The book will be there tomorrow, and I know the first thing I am going to do is look at my goal sheet (yes, I have one, with word counts for each day.)
I will see that I am now a month behind, with a deadline looming.
I will not panic. (You hear that? I WILL NOT PANIC)
Life happens. Vacations are needed. Current books need to be marketed. And hey, there’s not much you can do about getting sick.
Tomorrow I re-align my goals, and I suppose I should start lining up beta readers, because if I do manage to hit my publisher’s deadline, it is going to be close.
Deep breath. This can be done.
How do you dig out of a hole when you realize you’ve fallen far behind?
Glad you’re feeling better! What I would do is just make a list, prioritize, and start taking one task at a time… Pretty much what you’re already doing.
Yep! Hard to keep it all together when new stuff pops up though
I never seem to dig myself out of the hole, but I’m confident you will 🙂 Just give it your best shot. The only pressure comes from yourself, and you can choose to give yourself a break any time when needed!
Ha! Right now I am at soccer practice with kids speed walking around field to get exercise and reviewing scenes in my head.
Getting my house ready to go on the market is what has been getting in the way of my writing for the past week. Sick or paint and pack and clean? Hmmm. Well, I didn’t get a choice anyway.
But I’m back at it. A good two weeks behind my goals (yes I have them chiseled in stone – I mean written down too). I’m trying to ignore the nagging disappointment that I still have nothing to show for my year of full-time writing. I’m so glad to hear I’m not alone in these feelings. Even though I’m NOT glad to hear that you’ve been sick.
If you want to try me out as a beta reader, I’m dying for some experience (actually just want to be the first to read the sequel😉) Now….it’s back to work for me.
Ha! Sneaky- but I’ll keep that in mind.
Huh, must be something in the air. i fell down with the dreaded lurgy last week too. I’m at the point where I do one thing and have to stop and lay down for a few minutes. I guess that’s the answer. Do one thing, then do the next, and then the next, until they’re all done … must go lay down now.
Rest up and be well!
No fun being sick. Glad that’s behind you. I panic when I fall behind. Life happens. You can’t be Wonder Woman every minute or you’ll kill yourself. Maybe adjust your strategy a little.
❤ Anyway, I'm in awe of your accomplishments thus far. About that deadline…GO. 😀
Wait… I CAN’T be Wonder Woman every day? Then who am I the other days? Hmmmm I need to move fast. Hawk Girl? Isis? Does Flash have a female compatriot?
All God’s creatures need a little downtime to recoup. Even Wonder Woman. Wait. You just had a vacation. Seem even the little Blue Lady is taking time out. 😀 😀 😀
She stares at me every day. She hears I’ve been hanging out with a hot alien guy and she’s mad at me.
May be, but she’s darn C.U.T.E. ❤
Sorry you were so sick. 😦
It’s difficult to fall behind our schedules. I went to care for my mother a few times this summer after she had an unexpected surgical complication. Lost about a month of writing. But as you say, life happens. It is what it is. We just have to set new schedules and take it from there. And sometimes, that unexpected break can be just what the writing needed. Of course, if you’re writing to an official deadline like you are, it’s all the more stressful.
Yep. But I’m feeling better now and words are flowing. Now to catch up!
If I fall behind, I review all my goals and start my calendar again.
The only goals that actually matter are result goals (e.g. publish the book); the rest are just a way of measuring progress towards the actual goal (e.g. finishing the first draft feels good, but – while the effort might be different – writing and editing or writing then editing can both produce the same output).
Therefore the deadlines on intermediate goals only matter if your current process cannot flex enough to move them while still keeping the actual goal.
I agree. But seeing that inflexible publisher due date can be a bit stressful. I try not to think about it.
That is a joy of having the intermediate goals: you don’t have to think about the whole thing, just getting to the next step.
The thing I find most surprising about rebuilding around the fixed dates is how many targets turn out to have been too strict: even knowing I do it, I tend to build too much safety buffer into things.
Yes, I do too, which may be part of my problem. It’s the old “over achiever-itis”
It’s great you have goals, in this business you have to. I work and write so i have to set myself timelines when i can write without it being affected by life, work and anything else that may arise. A writer needs that quiet time, without distraction. Well done you.