This year my main goal, the goal to which all others are subservient, is to write two novels start to finish. Two particular novels, too, not just ones that I decide to write on a whim in November. It isn’t about word count, or beating someone else, but about writing those two novels.
Of course, writing two novels is a rather large goal to keep sight of in the writing trenches, and it is a bit indistinct on top of it. It doesn’t present a path to get there, or any way of breaking it down. Sure, I could say “I will have written half a novel by this point”, but half of an unknown quantity is just as unknown.
So I need something more specific. Something I can use to motivate myself. In years past this has been with word count goals stretched over the month, and it works really well as a battle plan. That is, it’s a great idea, but once the fighting starts, everything changes. The real difficulty is that, once I fall behind (and I will fall behind), catching up becomes a nightmarishly difficult task.
So this year I’m not focusing on the month. I’m focusing on it one week at a time, from the first week (1st – 3rd) to the fifth (25th – 30th). Instead of overall goals, I’ll have a total word count goal for the week. That’s all that matters, whether I make that week’s goal. The past and future are irrelevant.
The upside to this is that, if I fall behind in one week, it doesn’t change the goal for the next week. If I’m 10k short on Week 2, Week 3 is still whatever it was. I may hit an overall lower number for the month than if I stuck to the plan, but a couple of bad days are also less likely to cause a train wreck of two weeks or more. Which has happened.
I also want rewards for myself for hitting my weekly goals (except Week 1 – most of that is the first day, and that has its own reward (champagne!)). Thus far, I have a Halestorm CD, a bottle of port, and a rather hilarious game (like Apples to Apples, but blatantly offensive). I need one more, for the forth week, and am considering kitchen knives.
The actual numbers are up in the air, and actually a little unimportant. Yes, I will be trying 50kDay1, but other than that, it’s what it needs to be in order to write two novels that will definitely be over 100k each, probably well north of that (because I don’t write short).
It should be fun, though. Hectic, crazy, stressing, hilarious, and awesome. Everything NaNo is.