Greetings and salutations my friends, and welcome to another bit from the Writing Fisherman!
Today I’m thinking about goals. Are they flexible? Should they be, and how often do you push them back? Do you set a goal with a firm date of execution to be finished then the date comes and goes so you set a new goal date. And then another. Then you write a new one in bold ink on your desktop, or perhaps set a calendar reminder in your phone like a countdown. Is it a confidence thing, or are the goals we set sometimes unrealistic?
If you’ve been following me for a few months, or since the beginning, you know my goal dates with my novel have been pretty fluid, to say the least. When I started this blog in 2015, I’d set a goal for that Fall. I intentionally left it dateless as I had no idea how to gauge my writing but to fit the paranormal nature of my story, I hoped for an October time frame. Then I pushed it to Spring-ish followed by a big announcement on my Facebook it would be coming in May of 2016. I thought that by announcing it to the world I’d freak out enough to get it done by then. My wife raised an eyebrow over that ill-fated decision which, obviously, didn’t work.
From there I went back to a Fall time frame again but I found myself floundering and thinking about another story. At the start of this year, I set a new goal of March and again I went bust. Then I began to notice a pattern and I think I’ve finally figured out what’s going on. If I announce a deadline, the writing Gods will conspire against me, throwing problems big and small to confound my writing! That’s gotta be it, right?!
Okay, maybe not. But just like in fishing, or other sports, superstitions can be mighty strong. For example when my KC Chiefs are playing football well, I will wear the same outfit, use the same glass, and try making the same food each Sunday until they lose again. Likewise in writing, I’ve heard of other writers who need certain music to be playing, or will only begin a new project on certain days of the week. Some must stand to write, while others must lie down, and let’s just avoid the topic of those who write sans clothes shall we?
Until I finish this first novel I think I’ve found a new superstition, deadline announcements. Just between you and me, I’m making a lot of progress in the past couple of weeks and the end is near. Suffice to say I will certainly be shouting from the rooftops when it is complete but I’m loving this sensation of writing for myself lately and getting lost within the story once more. With that in mind, I quote the immortal words of Elmer Fudd;
“Shhh! Be wary, wary quiet. I’m hunting word counts!”