Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group, Great Expectations

Today I'm posting for the Insecure Writers Support Group that I belong to.  This past month I made good progress on my novel, but sadly it wasn't enough. Managing expectations--even great ones--is something I'm feeling particularly insecure about these days. 
I met my goal by about half way, mainly due to work, my summer schedule with my kids and also those pesky plotting issues I discussed during last month's IWSG.  I know. I know. It feels a bit like I'm giving excuses, which is exactly how I feel. Truth is, I did make progress, not as much as I expected...but still progress. And that led me to my question about expectations. Was my expectation of 50,000 words last month reasonable? I thought it was, but then life happened.  I realize that's not really an excuse, but reality just the same. I think it's important to set goals, but at what point do our expectations surpass what's realistic. Do you find yourself doing that? Setting goals that aren't necessarily attainable?  I think we all do that from time to time, stretching ourselves in the process? I guess it wouldn't be so bad if I didn't feel so bad about it when certain ones aren't met.  This month I'll continue pushing towards finishing the novel. I do my best to finish and begin editing too. That may be a stretch, but I still intend to try.

Anyway, what about you? Did you participate in any goal-setting last month with writing? How do you keep your expectations with your writing career in check?

Mina B.

16 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Remember, halfway is better than no progress at all! I missed BuNo by 5000 words. But I'm all right with it since that still means I wrote 45,000 words and I'm more than halfway there.

David P. King said...

I know I do that more than I should. I made a goal to be finished with my revision by now, but only about halfway through. Same boat, you and me. We'll get that sucker done, right? :)

Tonja said...

I was going to write 50K of a new story and didn't come close. I did finish a novel (which was my goal for the previous month). I came up with a plan for the rest of the year that is reasonable if I just do a little every day (or double up the day after I do nothing). You're definitely not alone.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I have a similar problem -- expectations that aren't being filled, therefore causing insecurity about my whole project.

It's not word count bothering me. It's the fact that I've reached the climax of mt WIP and it's not flowing out. In past manuscripts, I was feverishly writing by this stage, unable to STOP it coming out. This time, I have to flog myself to sit down and write.

Maybe there's something wrong with my plot. Or my concentration. Or maybe my expectations are to blame. Every manuscript is different. It's okay if this one has a climax that's hard to write ... isn't it???

Christine Rains said...

Halfway is better than nothing! That's great. I know what you mean about life getting in the way. I made some big goals at the beginning of this year, but I had to change them. There was no way I could meet them. I feel disappointed in myself, but sometimes life happens.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oooh! Thanks for the caged grave picture. I've been meaning to start collecting grave photos on Pinterest or Tumblir as part of my book promotions -- as soon as I can figure out which one is better.

J.L. Campbell said...

I tend to set unrealistic targets, but I realize that many of us do it. We expect so much from ourselves and feel guilty when we can't hit our next-to-impossible goals. The important thing is moving on. If we don't set goals then we're not likely to succeed at whatever we aim for.

Give yourself more time and leeway. You'll get to 'The End' when the time is right.

Anstice Potts said...

I think 50,000 words is a lot in a month- it nearly kills me doing that for NaNoWriMo so I can certainly see how life got in the way. If you even miss a couple of days you get too far behind to catch up. I think you probably did set the bar a bit high but that's no bad thing-the main thing is that you wrote something and made progress, which is awesome. If you hadn't set a goal for yourself or had set one too low you might not have written as much. Plus, it's not all about quantity of course- 25,000 well chosen, considered words are better than 50,000 rushed words. Don't be disheartened.

Morgan said...

You're awesome, Mina. And spot on. It's all about aiming high so we push ourselves harder. It's all about the stretch! :D

Allison said...

I find if I don't set goals, I don't get much done. But any writing done is a plus, and 50,000 words in a month is a huge goal, so congrats on getting done what you did!

Allison (Geek Banter)

Michael Pierce said...

Stretch goals are a great thing to have. If you just make goals you hit all the time, you don't necessarily push yourself as hard as you would if the goal was higher. Congrats on the writing you accomplished. More words on the page makes for a happy day. :) Happy 4th!

VikLit said...

Personally I find goal setting helps me, and I'm planning on doing CampNano and seeing how I go. I don't think by any stretch I would manage 50k but I figure some words is better than no words, right? You got half, that's great! More than you had the month before!

My first IWSG! Go you and happy 4th.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I ALWAYS seem to set too high an expectation for myself. It's definitely not the best way to get things done. But still, goal setting (even if it's a little overzealous) is the only way I ever get anything done. Still, no beating yourself up for not making it. There's always next month!

Elise Fallson said...

Progress is still progress! Keep setting goals and aim high. Who wants to aim low anyway? Just keep at it, you'll get there!

Jessica Salyer said...

That's great, half is good. Life does get in the way. I had been doing really well, then slacked off a little. I have a goal to finish my WIP by the end of this month. I have about 30,000 words left. I have to go write now. :)

Lexa Cain said...

It's amazing to me that you have over 1500 followers. Wow!
I haven't completed my June goals either. I've moved the deadline to Sept. No matter how much I screw up between now and then, I'm sure I'll make that!