Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Goals are Depressing

Please forgive me, but for this Writer's Wednesday post I'm going to be a bit of a pessimist.

The only goals I seem to be able to achieve these days are outside of writing. I can start my writing day with my daily devotional from Our Daily Bread, which by the way is a wonderful way to start any day!! And I can even do a bit of decorating each day. But beyond that my goals seem to be geared around writing lately and I never seem to meet those goals.

Weeks ago I thought I'd be done the revisions I felt were necessary on my wip (work in progress). And it's not that I've been procrastinating, or dilly-dallying, either. Each day I put solid hours into this story and each day I come out a page or two ahead. A PAGE OR TWO.

And to top it off, just when I think I've gotten over the hump and will run right into a scene or two that shouldn't need revising at all, BAM, it's all crap again. Seriously, and I'm not being ridiculously hard on myself, either. I must have been living in dream land when I did my full read through and thought (in comparison to what I know now) that there was minimal work to be done to smooth it all out.

So I've given up on setting a goal date for this story to be fully polished. Instead, I'm switching my writing goal to putting a minimum of three solid hours in on this manuscript each day (which I've been doing so far) and let it be done when it's done. Not easy when I have new characters fighting for the stage right now and bless them, they want a Christmas setting for their romance. Maybe by the time the snow falls thick and heavy here I'll actually get to dig into their story, but until then, please Lord, help me revise, rewrite, smooth, go back and patch a little more, and finally polish to a gleaming shine this current wip I'm determined to finish. Amen. 

What's the longest time you've ever taken to revise/polish a novel? Did you do it in the allotted time you had initially set for the task?

Surrendering to Him,



Loree Huebner said...

These past revisions that I had to do on my novel took longer than I thought they would. I put unnesscesary, let me repeat, unnesscesary pressure on myself to the point of making myself sick. It started as a sour acid stomach and ended over last weekend with a prescription of Nexium.

I had several sleepless nights that were caused by the burning in my stomach...

I'm feeling better now that the revisions are complete.

I have set revision goals before and kept them...this time I pushed too hard, and it wasn't fun anymore.

I like your idea of daily writing goals.

Shauna Renee' said...

I will say a little prayer for you Eileen. I have been struggling with my writing as well. My full-time had some more significant changes and another physical move of our office, which created a lot of stress, and my youngest daughter developed mono the same time she had strep. our insurance rates are going up so significantly that we are having to move to a cheaper plan that pays less on office visits, etc. (Their thought is that if we have to pay more, we will take better care of ourselves and not have to go to the doctor as much. Whatever.)
So, in the process, my creativity went down the drain. I don't know if it helps to know this, but I think you are not alone in your struggle! At this point, I have questioned my pursuit in fiction and wondered if I should concentrate on nonfiction and just do magazine articles, but then when I try to do my market research, I come up lacking in that department as well. So I'll soldier on in the track I'm following. That still small voice won't let me quit entirely. He just keeps saying that everything is in His time, not mine. Gold and silver don't come out shining without a lot of hours and hours and hours of labor. Neither does a novel that is well-written. ;)

Shauna Renee' said...

Oops. I didn't edit very well. That should say "full time JOB".

Jessica R. Patch said...

A page or TWO is more than you had the day before!

You know I don't get all bogged down in daily word counts. Mostly I can't do the math. lol

Here's what works for me and I never feel daily depression. I don't make daily word count goals. I know I'm writing a novel that has to be 95-100K, so I set a date to have it done. Usually I give myself 3 months writing time. That doesn't include research time. I try to give myself 4-6 weeks research time depending on the book or I'll research myself to death.

Then I write. I write some days for 4 hours. Some days I'll write 8-10. And as the date nears, I do what I need to in order to meet my date. So I'm not depressed over not meeting daily goals, because I don't really have any! ha!

I don't edit much while writing first drafts. I read what I wrote the day before to get into it and if I find something big I'll fix it but mostly I pound it out and then I work on polishing. Again, I set a date to have it done. Not a daily goal. :)

Keep trucking. You're doing great! And your decor is darling!

Jessica Nelson said...

I don't know. I don't usually set goals because I know that I'll self-sabotage if I do. Deadlines are different. When I know someone is waiting, I meet it.
Don't feel bad. Just keep pressing on. And don't forget, I want to read it!!

Sandra Orchard said...

I think committing to three solid hours of writing/revising a day is a great goal. Perseverance is always the key. And I feel your frustration, believe me!!!

Sarah Forgrave said...

This post title cracked me up, Eileen! I'm right there with you on the revisions. I just want to finish this story and get it out of my hands, but I don't want to skimp on doing my best either.

Keep plugging away! We'll get there eventually. :)

Catherine West said...

I try not to set goals because inevitably, I never end up reaching them. Fortunately I have not yet had to work under the pressure of a deadline, so if that ever happens, I'll probably have to change my line of thinking!! Don't stress over it. Just do what you can do and it'll come together eventually! And now that the holidays are approaching you need to cut yourself some slack!

V said...

And the more behind you are on accomplishing your daily goal, the worst it gets! I like your plan of working a certain number of hours a day. Keep up the good work Eileen!

Erica Vetsch said...

Everything seems to take me more time than I thought it would!

Hang in there. There is nothing wrong with revising goals. :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations on your steady progress, Eileen. One page at a time is how we get a story written, rewritten, revised, or edited.

Joanne said...

I've never set daily word counts, or page goals. I think the nature of the craft is such that one day it'll be a page done, another day a chapter, and another day just ruminating. And we never know what each day will bring. I guess it's one word at a time :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I think setting a goal date to finish either writing a story or revising it is good in the beginning, but usually has to be adjusted. Not all stories are created equal and we just don't know how it's all going to play out further down the road.

The manuscript I'm working on right now...oh boy! I keep changing my daily and weekly word counts because I just can't keep up. The inspiration is usually hitting big time when I get to this place in a story, but not this time.

I'll be praying for you! I think it's great that you're still committed to working so hard on your story, even when it gets rough. I'm rooting for you!

Susan Anne Mason said...

I've been revising "Threads" for like 3 years now!! LOL. Don't despair!