I'm knee deep in revisions for my Jan book - Caught Off Guard - at the moment. I'm on a deadline, so what's new? :-) But this has gotten me thinking about goals, how and why I set them.
I'm not sure if anyone's noticed but my word meter on the side of the page hasn't moved in...a very long time. I've been writing, on a couple of projects actually. I just haven't been putting my progress into the word meter. I'm really not sure why, but possibly because I didn't need it this time.
Some stories I come to kicking and screaming. I don't mean that I don't want to write them, I do. But they're hard. Sometimes the words flow without effort and sometimes it's like pulling teeth to string one coherent sentence onto the page. When it's tough I need those goals to push me. I'm motivated by disappointment (not making my goal) - and possibly the fear of missing a deadline. :-)
As I'm going through these revisions I've found myself making goals for these too. They have to be back to my editor by the middle of next month (although I'm hoping to have them finished before then). I set myself a page goal each day. And at the moment I'm blowing it out of the water. I'm way ahead of schedule which is unusual for me.
I think we've had the carrot and the stick conversation before. I'm definitely motivated by the stick. But that means once I've met whatever goal I've set for myself the stick goes away for that day. I've made the finish line...why would I want to run some more?
Well, I've made myself. Actually, I had some prodding from Smarty Pants who pointed out I was wasting valuable time I could use to get ahead of the game. I did it. Reluctantly. But she was right. I have school field trips, Kindergarten Rodeo Day, the end of the year festivities, Memorial Day festivities and the beginning of summer all waiting to foul up my daily page count. Getting a head start is smart. Something I've never claimed to be. :-)
How do you set goals for yourself? Do you reward yourself when you've met your daily, weekly or monthly goal? Anyone else in the middle of revisions? Honestly, mine really aren't that bad. Although, thinking that makes me wonder if maybe I'm missing something important. :-)
P.S. Harlequin Executive Editor Marsha Zinberg is visiting today on the Blaze Author's Blog to talk about the new Harlequin Showcase program. Drop by and say hi.