As I’ve mentioned before, I started this blog largely to have some accountability about whether I wrote or simply procrastinated.
Recently, I was happy to discover another writer using her blog for the same thing, although in her case she’s pulling out the big guns and doing NaNoWriMo. (I shall take on the role of the elegant lady in the back, watching with her hands over her ears.)
I would like to do NaNoWriMo someday, but not this year, I think. This year has been quite eventful enough as it is, what with moving house, changing job (though not employer), bouts of ill health and so forth.
Of course, as with so many things in life, there will never be a perfect time, but some times are better than others, and the time for which you have prepared is better than the time for which you have not.
As I was mulling over the slowness of my progress this week (while I did some more character work last Monday, I didn’t add a word to the MS) I decided that in a non-NaNo scenario, the important thing is not so much how fast you go, but that you do not backtrack, go in circles, or stop.
Or as Tolkien more poetically put it:
O! Wanderers in the shadowed land
despair not! For though dark they stand,
all woods there be must end at last,
and see the open sun go past:
the setting sun, the rising sun,
the day’s end, or the day begun.
For east or west all woods must fail …
However slowly you trudge, as long as you keep going forward you will eventually get to the end of your book. Unless you’re writing War and Peace: The Extended Edition, in which case you may well die of old age first.
This Monday my goal is to get my main character out of her comfort zone and then knock away all the supports and protections she has had so far. As they say, get your character up a tree and throw stones at them. Or if you’re Tolkien, get them up a tree with slavering beasts beneath and then set fire to the tree.
I like to think I’m comparatively merciful.
So, in the great Internet Accountability, what are your goals (writing or otherwise)? And do you have any handy tips on how to keep motivated while wandering in shadowed lands?