Writing Exercises: "Writing Scenes"
Greaney's next lesson contues to focus on goals and making sure that they are achievable. In review: goals should be achievable, measurable and clearly stated. Greaney explores each of these aspects of an ideal goal, and I will go into detail about each in this post:
An achievable goal involves weekly or daily goals. These daily or weekly goals should also stretch your writing a little more each time as well (in my case: as I recoverfrom the stresses of graduating college and moving, I'll force myself to blog once a week and draft chapters of my novel twice a week). The most important goal of your dayly (and or weekly) schedules is that you feel a sense of accomplishment. What also is important to consider while setting an achievable goal is to keep your goals reasonable. Unless you are a word guru, making a goal of writing an eighty page essay in one week seems perhaps a little over the top? This is an enormous exagguration but I will assume you get my point.
A measurable goal involves setting your target word count. This is all about finding your comfort zone (because not all of us are word gurus who can whip ot thousands upon thousands of words-present company included). When you find this comfort zone, you then stretch it. Now, I do need to measure out what my own word count is in a sessioin of writing (as I have not done so in some time) but my last count was about twelve thousand words in...three in a half hours? My terrible habit for trying to be perfect the first time will send me looking back a few paragraphs while pausing my progress. Greaney also offers advice to those writers who work nine-to-five jobs (I will soon be among these writers myself) by suggesting a "word buget." What this word budget is, is basically a schedule that compensates itself and teaches you discipline. Travelling for work or simply do not have the time to write, can make up the word count missed to the next day. The overall goal is to have a weekly word count set, and as long as you reach that word budget by week's end, your goal has been achieved. This ultimately is the system I intend to use, as at times I simply am too restless to dedicatedly sit down and write every day.
A Clearly stated goal involves writing down your writing objectives. Whether you use your google calendar, a written calendar, your cellphone alerts, etc. plug in your goals to keep yourself focused and honest. This also involves (you guessed it) setting deadlines for yourself. D-D-Deadlines is a word I stumble upon too, but it is important to the nature of our work as writers to meet them. As Greaney says, deadlines are not deadly, they are our friends. Great ways to keep deadlines is to work with your writing community, subscribe to a writer's magazine and submit, join an online writer's group (I have joined several I desperately need to begin contributing to), or hire a literary midwife or life coach. Yes these are very real, and Greaney expresses how there are many out there (where they are however I have yet to research).
Overall our next step is to keep reminders for our goals and objectives. Surround your cubicle, workspace, writing desk with reminders, images of what you envision your book or stories to look like. Put pictures of your favorite books and authors all around you. The important thing here, is to surround yourself in an environment that encourages you to meet your writing goal.
Before including this blog's worksheet, I also want to provide a list of links Greaney provided in the chapter for links to online calendars for your use:
And next is our exercise for this week: