Goal Setting: Count Down to T-Day

Or “Eeek it’s February already!”

My thesis submission date (or T-Day as it is marked on my calendar) is getting ever closer and I’ve now had feedback on almost all of the new writing I did during November and December. This can only mean that it’s time to start a new round of goal setting and word count focused progress tracking.

Given that it is now February, calling this NaThWriMo seems somewhat out of place. Luckily the fiction writing blogoshphere has come to my rescue once again and given me Writer Recharge 2014.

Writer RechargeThis is a writing challenge hosted by Sara Biren and you can find her original blog post here.  The idea is similar to NaNoWriMo except the goals you set are specific and individually tailored, rather than the motivational but vague ‘write your novel in November’.

What this recognises is that you can’t always give your writing your total and complete focus like those of us taking part in some form of NaNoWriMo do. In November I took time off work and pretty much eschewed all responsibility other than my thesis. While not everyone participating in NaNo can afford to do this, what does inevitably happen is that focusing so fully on something as monumental as a daily output of just under 2,000 words means that you will inevitably have to let other things in your life slide. (Like doing the dishes – my least favourite chore next to ironing.) This level of sustained productivity is not only close to impossible, it can be damaging to your health, wellbeing and your writing in the long term.

This is something I’ve had to come to terms with in January as I returned to work and had demands on my time and attention that I couldn’t push to one side like I had been doing. As Sara points out in her post, we have had a lot of stuff to deal with in January because that’s just how January works – the weather is bad, it feels like it’s dark all the time and we’re suffering from post-festivus blues. What we need is to recharge our batteries and find our writing motivation again.

So, my writing/thesis goals for February are:

  • Write an average of 500 words a day
  • Write something every day
  • Complete the full draft of Chapter 3 by 28th February
  • Finish reading at least 2 whole items from my academic “to read” pile

If you’d like to join me feel free to post your goals in the comments, on Twitter (I’m @kar_took), or sign up to the official challenge on Sara’s blog.

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