When it comes to my writing goals, I try to be flexible. It’s not good to tie myself down too tightly to these plans. That’s because I need to be able to work with the rest of my schedule. My work is kind of random, even if I have a goal for hours, I can have days where I work many more hours or many fewer hours.
So this week, my goal is just to keep moving forward. Last week, I got myself off track because of some weird spikes in my schedule. I wound up with a ton of work on days where I had a lot of energy about writing. This made me feel a little bit terrible. I was too tired at the end of the day to be able to write.
But that’s okay.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if you’re working on your goals, you are making progress. I was spending time at least thinking about the writing and what I wanted to include. Just because my fingers weren’t tapping away at the keyboard doesn’t mean that I wasn’t doing good work.
I understand that there are people out there, books out there, podcasts out there, and blogs out there that will tell me that I need to be scheduling time at some point during my day. That I should be working earlier in the day or getting less sleep (not a ton less) in order to chase this ideas and goals.
I don’t want to say that they are entirely correct. I want to focus on how it really works for me. I get it. Some people can schedule in writing and not feel terrible about their work. They’ll be able to sit down and get into it.
I can’t always do that. My work schedule moves a lot. If I’m traveling, it gets weirder. So how am I supposed to get my writing in?
Time goals. I say that I want to get an hour in. As long as I do more than one minute, I am within my goal. I am reaching towards it. I count the time that I spend staring into space thinking about the story or the ideas or the characters. Even if my fingers aren’t moving, I’m thinking. It doesn’t matter that I’m not sitting down at the same time every day for this work. It matters that I am working. I have notebooks and paper and sticky notes always around near my desk. When I get an idea, I jot it down. That kind of work counts too.
I’m not going to define myself by the number of words that I am writing in a day. I’m going to define myself by the overall progress that I’m making.