Friday, January 8, 2010

Goals and Accountability

NaNo was a huge breakthrough for me. Way way back when I started writing an actual novel, I wrote 2k a day, because Stephen King said I was supposed to. Then I quit writing for a long time and lost sight of my goals. The Dragongar books took 9 months to write, each. Shudder! For NaNo, I decided it was time to get serious. Please note the serious bold face type! And I wanted that sucker out to agents in 2010. I put myself on a 2k a day regimen and got 'er done! For myself, the way to finish books is to set goals and be held accountable.

A lot of writers post their weekly goals on their blogs. I, however, have only the mental where-withal to work on one project at a time. Not that I don't make goals, I do! Bare minimum is 2k a day on the novel in progress. My other goal is to write EVERYDAY! If I take a day off, I increase my goal the next day or couple of days to catch up. I have also taken the challenge to increase my goals on the weekend and Fridays to 3k. The result? It's the first week of January, and I've got more than 20K!

As for being accountable, I have several ways of doing this. On AW, I've got the JaNoWriMo, Anyone thread. The point is to go on everyday, talk about your word count, problems, epic fails or epic wins. There is also the 2010 Weekend Progress Report Thread. You can get shinies for reporting your doin's for the week! :) There is the JaNoWriMo board. I also use a calendar where I write my daily progress: total word count, word count for the day and what page I'm at. This seems like a lot - I tend to go all out when I get somethin' in my little noggin. I find it keeps me excited and I have to be accountable, to myself. I also update my signature with my word count. I love watchin' that thing as it goes up.

What about you? How do you get novels done? Do you set goals? Do you have somewhere (a board or blog) or something (a calendar, a word ticker) you use to hold yourself accountable?


  1. I post my goals on my blog and on a cork pinboard next to the desk where I write.

  2. << It's the first week of January, and I've got more than 20K! >>

    That is AWESOME! Good job!

    I'm another one who needs some sort of accountability and structure, and incidentally, when I'm writing something new, my daily goal is also 2K per day.

    Now what I need is to figure out some sort of workable daily goal and accountability system for revisions. I sort of stink at this!

  3. Congratulations on the great wordage! I've been getting about 2k per day done since Jan 1. I'm also doing a sort of JaNoWriMo. 16.1k and no end in sight.

    Great post!

  4. I think we are all awesome! ...and I also have a problem with revisions - as in, ever doing them.... I've never edited a complete novel all the way to showing it to someone. And I've written 4 novels. That is the big goal for this year!

    thank you for all your comments! :)

  5. For me, just getting a few words written is enough (coming off of some hard times that kept me from writing).
    Maybe that's what I need for my novel, to set up some goals and constantly check my progress. It certainly wouldn't hurt anything and if I comitted myself the way I comitted for NaNo then there should be no trouble finishing it.

  6. I keep track of my last 2 days' word counts. I find it helps. :)

    Also, I occasionally make a deadline then put it on my blog. A bit of accountability sometimes helps me, though sometimes it doesn't. I'm a complicated fellow really. ;-)


  7. Charlene - glad to see you have joined the madness that is JanNo! :)

    Adam, I've always known you were beyond my understanding... :) Lurve ya anyway! :)