For some reason, I always talk to myself as “we” in my own head.
As in, “Okay, we have four things to get done this weekend.” Or, “All right, we can’t beat ourselves up for not getting anything done this past weekend.” Which leads to, “Wow, my wife is really mad at us for not getting squat taken care of like we had promised this weekend.” Perhaps I am schitzo? Perhaps only the other half of me is? Who knows?
Yet, as I move towards the halfway point of the new YA novel I am writing, I begin my day with a small personal journal entry of, “Okay, we have 2,500 words to write in the next three days.”
This is how I measure my efforts as an author. Eat the elephant one bite at a time and chunk big projects down to small, more manageable goals. Quality, of course, matters a ton but at this stage of the writing process, forward progress is gold. During the inevitable re-write (s) I will deal with the exactness of scenes, characters, conflict, details, plot and so on. But getting all of those details spot on “right” can bog me down right now… and become like a siren to the rocks which will forever tempt me away from the bigger task at hand: completing the project.
2,500 words in 3 days is not really a lot for me, btw. (At least, personally, that is.) For some writers this might represents two weeks worth of work.) My goal yesterday was 4,000 words in 4 days but I nailed 1,500 in one day’s work yesterday so the target was a bit revised… but still placed firmly in my sights.
Email, twitter, FB and even blogging all have to take a back seat to MAKING FORWARD PROGRESS.
That’s how we writers think mid-book.
Note: I file this one under the category of “Yet another lesson that, as a student in school, I was never actually taught by a teacher in school.”