Last weekend, as we wrapped up our day-long writing workshop, my writer’s group went around and stated what we planned to work on over the summer. We’re meeting again in September, so it was good to state our goals, especially after having received feedback on our work. Hearing others’ enthusiasm for their work and mine got me jazzed up to get back to working on a project I’d set aside as having too many thorny story problems that needed sorting.
Summer is often the odd season out. Vacations, the lure of weekends spent outdoors, kids off school, and all the summer events that beckon us make it a special time, when we might step out of our usual routines. For some of us, we might actually have more time, if works slows down. Or, we might feel pulled in too many directions between an onslaught of new activities. We can also feel like we’d prefer to enjoy the lazy summer days, and not focus on work so much.
But it’s possible to keep writing, even as our usual schedules get out of whack. I find it easier to get up earlier in the summer, thanks to early sunrises. I’m still struggling with the stuck places, but my goal for the summer is to finally finish a draft of this novel, even if it needs a lot of revision later (it will). I’ve stated this goal publicly (really publicly now!), and I’ve written it down. Some days I have a word goal, and some days I have a time goal, depending on if I’m powering through a scene or doing research (also, depending on the time I have – even 15 minutes per day is enough to do something and make me feel like I’m still on track). I will have to adjust my schedule to fit in the residency for the MFA program I work for, vacation plans, etc. but I don’t just have a goal now, I have a plan.
Goals, without a plan to actualize them, often remain in the airy realm of good intentions. If you haven’t already, sit down and write out your writing goal for this summer. Look at your schedule over the next couple of months. What can you realistically do towards your goal each week? Each day? Can you find a writing partner, and share your goals? Feel free to share them in the comments below, or just email me – I’ll be your accountability partner for the summer!
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