Setting Writing Goals.
Will make your book writing process less scary because if you sit back and think to yourself;
“Today I’m going to edit my 900 page manuscript”
You then open page 1 and get started. 4 hours later you’re on page 4 of 900. It’s at this moment you realise;
“Shit! This is gonna take me FOR EVA!”
And yes. Yes it will with a lazy ass attitude. Cowboy up and get to it!
The thing is you don’t have to see it like this. Like a 900 page behemoth. A 900 page word avalanche. An F5 tornado filled with words (not sharks).
So look at it like this, you know the story. Or at least you should if you’ve finished writing a first draft. So just take it 1 chapter at a time. Whether it’s 4 or 40 pages, it’s smaller than 900 pages of word death. Tackle your master works in a way which seems less daunting. Writing is fun, editing is work.
Now set out to edit 1 chapter a week. Or 1 chapter a day. But do the work. If you’re bored because your 18 million TV channels have nothing on then guess what? EDIT! If you’re sitting in a restaurant and the food is taking an age to arrive, guess what? EDIT! If that compulsory work meeting is dragging on just a little much, guess what? EDIT!
I break my chapters up farther by putting (temporarily), a space between paragraphs. This way I can focus on one paragraph at a time, get it right then move on to the next one. Once they are all done, I put them back together and read through the chapter checking to make sure it flows right.
The point is I handle my blizzard one hand full of snowflakes at a time.
Now, set a goal. Maybe edit a quarter of your book in a month. Or 2. But get the work done.
My writing goals for the next 3 months are as follows;
- Finish editing Shadow of Doubt.
- Outline next book (name redacted).
- Start writing next book (name redacted).
- Do something writing related every day.
- Start basic outline: Of Wolves and Crows and Broken Bones (Epic Fantasy)
- Start basic outline: 4 part Sci-Fi series (no title yet).
- Start basic outline: Blood Moon trilogy.
All these are goals set for the next 3 months. And this is just 7 of 21 though they are the only ‘pen to paper’ writing goals. I have other writing goals but they are mostly the business side of it all.
This writing thing, if it’s how you want to earn money, make a living, has to be seen as a job and not a hobby or ‘Just a bit of fun’. You have to ‘finish your shit‘ (Chuck Wendig). But if your shit is a 900 page snarling Rancor beast which tries to bite your hand off at every turn of the page then make life a little easier, throw the big bastard a bone to chew on while you do it’s toe nails. Work on your manuscript 1 chapter at a time. Soon you’ll be flying through it.
Set some smaller goals. Get your shit finished.