I like the saying, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” It seems to be credited to Brian Littrell, but not everyone agrees that it was. Being a Backstreet Boys fan, I’m going with it though.
November 2012 was a month where I set my goal for the moon. I always like to aim high, even knowing I might not reach what ever it is I’m trying for. But I often do. Not this time though. I’ve finally had to admit that I’m just going to be floating out among the stars.
I was a little nervous on October 31st at the thought of committing to my very first NaNoWriMo event, but I was determined to get those 50,000 words written so I could have a completed first draft in thirty days.
But me being me, I couldn’t just leave it at one first draft. Nope. To that number that many writers were sweating over, I added more goals. Finish a manuscript that was a chapter away from completion. Then a novella I could have ready for Christmas. And then I thought that I might as well finish yet another manuscript, which wasn’t even half done.
November 30th destination: 104,000 words
Actual word count: 81,556. Yes, I missed the mark by 22,444. I was pretty bummed out when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do it. Failure isn’t something I’m ever going to be okay with.
And then I realized I didn’t fail. Not only did I meet my first goal in twelve days (yes, I wrote 50,130 words in twelve days), I wrote wrote 31,556 more, too. I have three completed manuscripts to edit (two that are brand new), and the fourth is more than half finished now.
So I refuse to focus on what I didn’t get done. Yeah, it’s easier said than done. I keep thinking I should spend the next three days writing like mad to see if I can add an additional 15-20,000 to that last project.
But you know what?
My imagination, and my mind, are just really tired of being creative right now. So, while I’ll probably continue working on that book, I’m not going to push myself. I accomplished a lot.
And I learned something about myself. While I can push myself a lot further than I ever believed I could…I don’t want to do it very often. Not to that degree anyway.
I do, however, intend to do more 50,000 word months. In fact, a small group of us who participate in #wordmongering on Twitter are planning a challenge in February. And then again every 2-3 months after that until the real NaNoWriMo rolls around again.
In fact, if any of you are interested in joining us, let me know.
Misery loves company! The more the merrier!
Yeah, I know. This has absolutely nothing to do with writing. But since I mentioned Brian Littrell in the first paragraph… and that made me think about Kevin (who is by far the sexiest BSB), I thought…why not?
What kind of goal setter are you? Do you like to set goals you know you can achieve? Do you set them a little (or a lot!) higher than you should? What do you do when you don’t reach them?