Reaching Goals

The decision to plunge into writing my first novel wasn’t easy. I struggled with self-doubt, but when I met Cresta McGowan something inside me clicked and I realized I could do it. I can write a novel.

As I write the first draft, I use Scrivener’s project targets tool to keep me on track. I’ve also installed the Writertopia widget in this blog’s sidebar to share my progress. At times I’ve found it daunting. On days when I don’t meet my word count goal I have to tell myself it’s fine. The world won’t end if you come up short today. And looking at that little writer in the sidebar…well, let me just say, when your goal is 70,000 words and it says you’re only 11% of the way there, it’s downright disheartening.

Something magical happened Friday afternoon. I had a really good writing session and felt good about my progress. When I typed my word count into the Writertopia widget and looked at it for the first time a warmth spread through me. (not really a good thing since it’s been so hot here the past few days) I’ve written 25% of my novel. Somehow, reaching that mark – a quarter of the way through my first draft – liberated me.

There is still a long way to go and at times I fear I don’t have enough of a story and plot to reach 70,000 words. But, knowing that I’m working toward a goal and actually making progress is thrilling. I know I’ll continue to have bad days and doubts, but from now on I’ll remember that Friday feeling and it will get me through the rough patches.