January – Writing Towards a Goal

At the end of every November I pledge that I will not touch my work-in-progress, usually from National Novel Writing Month, until the beginning of January. While I wasn’t furiously clacking at my keyboards I dusted off some books on writing, took notes, and  applied lessons in short bursts deepening my characters and energizing me for January when I would open my work-in-progress and write through to a finished first draft.

I rang in 2020 announcing on my Twitter that I would write over 600,000 words this year, averaging just over 50,000 words a month. I’ve never written towards a goal instead writing until my fingers and wrists ache, my eyes cross, and my brain slowly oozes out of my ears, but a few things have changed. 

Last year was my first year back on medication and even on the best days of considerable downtime, there’s longer an excuse to stare at whatever show I feel like or play video games until I fall asleep. This month’s 11,000 word output puts that into perspective as the voice whispering “You should be writing,” into my ear grows louder.

Regardless of the output, I am excited for the future. During November I never truly hit a stride in my sprint to 50,000 words and January saw me editing that project style and continuity only without my internal editor, a huge milestone for myself as a writer. The project flows smoother and is easier to understand even now less than eight thousand words from that November 50,000 mark.

The remaining January deficit, as of midnight last night, has been spread across the remaining eleven months out of the year including National Novel Writing Month in November, which I have already started prepping multiple options for.

There’s no excuse anymore to stare blankly at television shows that I can recite full seasons of or play the same video game for the hundredth time until I fall asleep. The breaks are good especially when my brain gets full and I need to do something that doesn’t require “active” brain power but that is why my work and gaming laptops are separate. No more temptation to tap on that game until I am done with my daily goal.

604,400 words in 2020 is a stretch goal but with January’s deficit now spread over the next eleven months it’s still manageable.

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