Home Writing Tips The Sweet Taste of Focus

The Sweet Taste of Focus

by Vidya Sury November 3, 2014 4 comments

There’s nothing like the adrenalin rush from setting a goal. Yes, I believe in goals. And the reason is this: goals give me direction and a finish line to strive for. Early in life, my Mom taught me that merely wanting something was not enough. It is critical to plan, and have a process in place to achieve goals.

November has ushered in the much awaited National Novel Writing Month. You know it is my fourth year participating in this grand venture. Yes, I have drafts sitting around. This November, I have set myself writing goals with more focus. Also, I am being blackmailed by a couple of friends who keep asking “What happened to your book?”

Along with this lovely task – writing  – I must juggle my rather full routine so I can cruise past the finish line.

Let me show you how I am tackling the NaNoWriMo this year!

The goal is to write at least 50000 words of a book’s first draft in 30 days. Now obviously I am not going to be able to do that overnight. So here is what I’ve done:

Goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. Intimidating!
12500 words per week (7 days) Slightly better.
1667 words per day – that’s doable!

See what I just did?

I just split my goal into do-able bits. Short term goals that serve as stepping stones to my long term goals.

My focus now, is to make those 1667 words happen every day. And when I do that, that’s how I’ll make sure my daily goals support my weekly goals, which in turn support the month’s goals, enabling me successfully finish what I set out to do.

After that, I have a tentative plan in place with time frames to edit, polish, fine tune and dress my draft, taking it closer to its appointment with a publisher.

I’ve set aside a time to write every day and am trying my best-est to stick to it. It is one of the three must-do items on my list every day for November. A non-negotiable. On November 30, I’ll have a lot more than 50000 words, hopefully.

As of today, Day 3, I am very much on the schedule, with a little extra. Oh, I love the extras!

So my trick is this: focus on the daily activities that steadily lead me to my finish line. It goes without saying that I prioritize and shut out the noise that keeps me from doing what I have to do. Social media, I am looking at you!

I now have a specific and measurable goal in place and a realistic plan to follow, with a deadline to reach. Along the way, I have mini-goals so that I can track my progress, review and take action to put myself back on track where necessary.

Of course I am going to be distracted – I have a backup plan for those lapses.

I also have some rewards in place to motivate me. As I approach each milestone, I must pat myself on the back, right?

I am a woman on a mission.

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Lisa November 5, 2014 at 4:48 am

That’s fantastic! I’m going to sit down right now (ok, after I make a cup of tea) and write up a goal / action plan for the next 3 months. We go girls!
Lisa recently posted…The Drunk Elf on the Shelf

Proactive Indian November 5, 2014 at 7:24 am

Splitting the month’s goal into 30 daily goals certainly makes the month’s goal appear less intimidating.
All the best for successful completion of your mission!
Proactive Indian recently posted…Sweet gesture or publicity stunt?

Suzanna Catherine November 5, 2014 at 8:52 am

I admire your goal setting strategy. I need to take a lesson from this, because I am easily distracted!

simple girl November 5, 2014 at 10:22 am

wow.. you are really a woman on a mission … very helpful post …


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