The Importance of Setting Goals and Deadlines

As October 31st is tomorrow, I have realized that it is unlikely that I will have a finished draft in hand. Even setting crazy goals of 5K a day (nearly impossible, since I have to work), I’m well under this draft’s goal of 70,000 words.

So, some people might say that setting that deadline was pointless. But I disagree. Because having that deadline meant that I got up and to work more than I might have otherwise. If I didn’t set that goal, I might still be hovering around 5,000 words for this draft. Any progress is better than no progress at all (I mean fast progress is better than SLOOOOW progress, but I’m sticking to my progress is progress guns here).

It means that my goals get transitioned somewhat. That now Draft 2 will be what I first work on in NaNoWriMo and I’ll send it off to betas and CPs in its entirety. Meanwhile, I’ll be working on Draft 3 (possibly playing with tense and POV) and incorporating their feedback as I go.

If all goes well, and I don’t need major rewrites, my 4th draft or 5th draft should be my query-ready draft. And that overall goal remains: query-ready at the end of the year.

Of course, this is all bearing in mind that if I do require major rewrites, I’ll do them. If that pushes my query date back… oh well. I think it’s more important to have written the best book that I can than it is to rush it.

Goals that are within the foreseeable future keep me WORKING. And that’s why, even if I don’t hit the target right on time, I’ll continue to make them. To do otherwise would feel too much like giving up.

This scene setting from Islands of Adventure’s Spiderman was applicable in 2006, when I took this picture, and it remains applicable today. I won’t give my resignation, and I draw closer to final story copy almost every day!

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