Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Did You Nano? Goal Setting

Angie here: Be sure to scroll down for the discount codes good on at the end of this post.

Did you nano? Nanowrimo participants set the goal of 50K words in a month. It's a tough one to do because in order to reach that goal, you have to write 1666 words a day. The problem comes in working, holidays, and little urgencies that pop up. It's a race against the clock.

One problem in goal setting is disappointment with failure to achieve.

Here's my question: Why would you be disappointed when you're so much closer? Confidence and success are built on small steps forward. Reaching a goal is a series of steps.

Look backward. How many more steps forward are you than you were when you started? This little exercise not only builds my confidence in my progress, but it builds hope and excitement that I'll really make it to my goal.

I did sign up and nano. I'm thrilled to report I am way ahead of where I started. No, I didn't reach 50K, but by the end of today I expect to be very close to 35K words. Am I disappointed? Not at all. I'm well over half way through my book and at the rate I'm going, I'll get Christmas off to spend with family. Because I posted my wordcount daily, I can see each step of the way. I can also see the days I had struggles. Excellent information for me for future planning. I can understand the patterns of my struggles and learn to overcome those patterns. That's a huge success for my future goal setting.

Did you nano or set a personal goal? How did you do?

Reaching a goal isn't because you magically hit it. It's because you keep shooting for it. My goal isn't really 50K words. It's to have a full edited manuscript to my publisher, Abingdon Press, by Feb. 15th. But I used Nanowrimo to kick start me in the right direction. I loved the daily reporting. I'm working on commercial fiction. I'm happy with where I'm headed because I set the goal and it feels reachable because I used the tools available to me.

Happy goal setting!
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  1. Hi Angie:

    I wrote 20,000 words in just seven days and then my computer lost the words. Not the file. Just the words! So there was no file to retrieve. The file was still there. A total loss. For a week I went through the complete grieving process. Then I started all over again. I finished my 50,000 words and my complete novel last Sunday. I think the book is better because I rewrote the first 20,000 words. (Though I would not want to ever do that again.)

    Past NaNo tries were very helpful in this. I am four out of ten. I remember my first win – 51,000 words. And what did I get? Just a very small part of a 120,000 word novel.

    The very fact that 50,000 words no longer seemed that big a deal made it easier to start all over again this time with just three weeks to finish.

    So many times when I have accomplished seemingly impossible goals, I find that once achieved, they no longer seem to have been so out of reach. I think this is why ‘positive thinking’ works so well.

    This was a good NaNo year. Now we need a 'Layering a Novel in a Month' month. : )


  2. I am seriously impressed! I agree the 20k was rough!! Most writers would have given up. But I bet it flowed right out of you again.

    You're so right about reaching a goal and having the new perspective. That's building confidence. Now you know you can do something, it's not a big looming fear. Thank you for adding your excellent and motivational comment today!

  3. Wow!! Congrats to both of you, Angie and Vince! That's great! And Angie, you're right. Don't look at the 15k you didn't write. Look at the 35k you did!

    I didn't take part but would love to try it sometime. Vince, I now know why you've been so quiet lately! :) I look forward to seeing you around the blogs a bit more now. :)

  4. It's worth the experience and the confidence you build in moving forward even if you don't reach the 50K.

  5. Vince---amazing! I love the 50K comparison when you are writing a 100K novel. So true.
    I did not do NANO--if I did, and reached the goal, my ms would be finished.
    I did NANO once, but really didn't get into the whole experience. Because I think that's what it is. An experience.

    Ang--congrats as well!!