Or how to be disappointed by writing 58,186 words in a month.
You know I’ve drafted this several times in my head, but it wasn’t until I sat down to actually write it that I got that first sentence and frankly that sums it up! I set an outrageous goal – 68,000 words in a month, while working, being a dad, coaching soccer, having a bit of a life, and remembering to eat (most of the time). I remember the rationalization clearly — that is the pace that would allow me to finish the first draft of Book 2 in time to switch gears back to Book 1. Some back of the envelope math validated that this was a definite stretch, but achievable. So I set it as my goal.
I missed my goal and felt like crap about it for about a week. I had this really interesting internal debate about whether or not I could have used my time differently across the month and found another eight hours (about what I would have needed, but it might have been 10-12 hours). That debate was just me coming to terms with the fact that I hate missing a goal and I usually don’t miss them. The reality is that I couldn’t have done it any differently.
Here’s the funny part, the final night of it as I was wallowing in not making my goal I discovered that I could have changed my goal as recently as four days prior. Now four days prior I was still convinced that with a massive flurry of effort at the end I could still make a mad dash to my goal. Like I said, I couldn’t have done it any differently.
So ultimately I’ve got two and a half takeaways from this experience:
- Make your official goal the Nano suggested 50,000 words and also maintain a personal unachievable ridiculous goal.
- If you fail at #1 or have a bad month, change your goal before the deadline to make a change.
- It might be best not to sign up for this while coaching a soccer team.
With all of that blah, blah, blah out of the way here’s where I am today: 60,739 words, 283 pages, or ~76% complete of a first draft of Book 2 in my series. A book that 7 weeks ago I didn’t think I would be more than a few chapters into at this point with a completion goal of July/August. So I missed my Nano goal and I won’t get the draft complete before I switch back to Book 1 (sorry KD you’ll have to wait a bit to read the first draft), but damn! I got way more book than I was expecting. I might not have hit full on BadAss Word Ninja status, but that is still pretty BadAss and upon further review . . . I am quite pleased with it.