Writing Goals and Refilling the Well

I’m sadly behind in my writing goals, but I’m not really surprised since I set the bar so high for myself. At this point I’m about 5900 words behind schedule. The problem with falling behind goals is that you get to a point where you just want to give up on the goal instead of doubling down and trying harder to get the work done. For me, a lot of the nonfiction articles I write require a lot of research and that takes time, but I can’t justify counting that toward my writing goals. Instead, I create a rough draft of the article and count those words, then when I revise it’s just a matter of calculating my editing time as an equivalent word-count, which admittedly is a bit tricky to do.

The best course of action is to get back on track with my average daily writing goal. I’m only counting five days a week for that because I’ve found that it is unrealistic if I expect to write every day. Sometimes I just need to get away from the keyboard. I work full time and spending fourteen hours a day sitting here and being productive is just not going to happen.

I spent some time this weekend indulging in what Julia Cameron calls “filling the well.” That’s basically recharging your artistic batteries by doing something different and not beating yourself over the head for not getting your entire NaNoWriMo word count done in one afternoon. I’ve signed up for a Craftsy course on working with colored pencils and right now fighting the urge to buy excessively large collections of colored pencils just because — Oooh! All the colors! I have colored pencils but of course I want different ones, because as it turns out there is a difference between them. There are wax-based and oil-based pencils, and the oil-based ones are much smoother and have more pigment so they are a higher-quality artist tool than the cheap ones you get at the local mega-mart.

My writing goals this week are to finish revising and editing a bio for an encyclopedia and start working on a presentation that I’m giving the beginning of April. I’ll probably spend time trawling my notes so it may not be much actual writing for that, but I also have been putting off doing the final revision of my novel as other projects have just swept it off my desk. Time to pull it out and get started, I think.

And one more thing: my backspace key just fell off my keyboard, so I have to type perfectly! Have a productive writing week, and may all your words be typo free.


Thursday Writing Prompt No. 120


This is your stop. No matter what you are working on creatively, stop working on it right now and force yourself to do something else. Make some coffee, sweep the garage, or write some bills. You won’t believe how eager you’ll become to get back to working on what you want to work on.

This week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is about finding the drive to finish a project. I seem to have lost mine (momentarily, I hope) because I got derailed onto things I had to do for work and for the house. When I finally had some down time last night I couldn’t bring myself to look at my project. So what gives? If I want to work on it, why is there that block preventing me from doing so?

It’s because I’m angry. Work is incredibly frustrating right now and I’m letting it drag me down. I can’t. I shouldn’t. But there: I rebel against should. I don’t like being told what to do, even by myself.

When I’m so angry I turn back to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way for inspiration. I can’t say I’m incredibly spiritual, but there’s something about what she writes about and the way she says it that resonates with me. It’s also the one writing book that I pick up again and again and again.

So, to get my own lazy behind back on track with my projects, and as a nod to chapter three in Julia Cameron’s book, “Recovering a Sense of Power,” this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt will address how to deal with anger and writer’s block. Cameron writes that answered prayers are scary because they imply that you have power and responsibility for what you ask for. Let’s put that to work, shall we?

Your task this week (and mine) is to write a prayer in which you ask for what you want. This is much harder than it seems, believe me. Put in as much work as it takes to get this sorted out in your mind. Then, write it up, turn it into art, and put it somewhere that you can see it every time you write and every time you feel that you’ve lost your way. We all need a road map from time to time.