When Resolutions & Writing Goals Don’t Work

You may disagree with me, but I think everyone needs this friend:
Mean Girl with GunShe’s the friend that thinks you are so much smarter, more talented and ten times more amazing than your current achievements indicate. She’s the friend that will sit by you drinking wine and dreaming of better days for years if that’s what you really want to do. She would never willingly hurt you without a good reason.

However…

She’s also the friend that can be trusted to pull the trigger if you really NEED her to do it. If you hand her the gun, buy the bullets, and give her very explicit instructions on when to fire, she can be trusted to get the job done.

I am lucky enough to have this friend (though she shall remain anonymous for now).

When I tried to create my writing goals for 2013, I was stuck. Hopelessly stuck in my own messy quagmire of self-loathing because I had not finished my main 2012 writing goal. Specifically, I did not finish the re-write of my first novel before 2013. Argh!

I just can’t get past it. The current novel needs to be done and out there, but I keep failing myself:

  • I made at least 3 different resolutions in 2012 to finish my final rewrite of this novel
  • I posted a countdown on this blog – twice!
  • I even prepaid a huge sum of money for self-publishing
  • I’m only 60% through the rewrite

It’s time to pull out the big guns. As of Birthday 2013, I have one goal:

Finish the rewrite of my first novel and send it to the publisher by 2/8/1013.

Here’s how we’re going to get it done:

  • I am 60% finished
  • I am going to turn in the remaining 40% (calculated by word count) to my trusted friend on the following schedule:
    • 9,000 words on 1/13/13
    • 9,000 words on 1/20/13
    • 9,000 words on 1/27/13
    • Remaining (end of story) on 1/31/13
    • The finished product will be submitted to the publisher by 2/8/13

Here’s the most important part…Thanks to my friend (aka Book Coach), I now have new consequences for failure and a fabulous reward for success:

  • I have given my trusted (and much wealthier than me) friend access to my bank account.
  • If I fail to turn in any of my 4 assignments this month, she will donate $50 from my account to a non-profit organization that I would hate, hate, HATE to get one single penny of my money.
  • If I complete the assignment and submit the full manuscript on schedule, my wonderful man pillow and I will be going on a trip to Ireland in April or May of this year. (Woo hoo!)

Let the games begin…and may the odds (and motivation) be ever in my favor!

photo credit: Luciano Meirelles via photopin cc

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3 thoughts on “When Resolutions & Writing Goals Don’t Work

  1. Wow! Write the darned book, lady. But just in case you don’t…do you hate me? I’d love a charitable donation. 🙂 But more than that, I’d like to see the book published and I’d love to read some blog posts about Ireland and even about how the animals did while you were away.

    • Heh…the only way you could be one of my “hated” recipients is if you were my mean, chain-smoking, slave-driving agent. But seriously, this will work. Don’t worry. I had some second thoughts about posting this in case an editor or agent read it and thought, ‘Oh good grief! I will never work with this goof. She can’t stick to a deadline without a loaded gun to her head.’ Thing is, when my boss/employer gives me a deadline, I rarely miss the target. I have that annoying goody-goody, wanna-be perfect student/employee syndrome. But then I will let myself down over and over and over. I think I’m not alone in struggling with this issue. So I posted it in case my solution helps someone out there who is like me.

  2. Pingback: June is Writember | Slay the Writer

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