Monday, August 19, 2013

On Achieving Goals and Interviewing Authors

Scroll down on my blog. You see Ivan? He's celebrating. Why? Oh, I don't know . . . Maybe because I--


(I'm a little excited).

Yes, I have officially written over 50,000 words of Cosmo. The first draft isn't finished yet--far from it, actually--but it still feels awesome to have completed my goal already.

Do you have goals set for yourself in writing? How do you meet those goals?

Here's how I met mine:

1. I pushed myself

Yeah, sure I got writer's block at times, sure there were times where I hated my characters, and of course there were times when I had thoughts like, I have no plot. This is so boring. I wouldn't even read this book. Maybe I'll just watch some pointless YouTube videos.

But when that happened I stopped, took a deep breath, and changed Ivan's picture so he started destroying his computer. I hated seeing him so angry, so I typed and typed and typed until I broke through my writer's block and Ivan could be happy again.

2. I took breaks

No one can write for hours on end without getting tired. And when you're tired, you get frustrated. And when you're frustrated, you can't write. And when you can't write, you end up wasting time on Facebook and staring at a blank page. After an hour to an hour and a half of writing--or when I started to slow down--I took a fifteen-minute (or so) break. Some great activities for these breaks include:

-Eating (Snacks filled with protein keep you going! Also sugar and anything minty, which science has proven to be good for thinking creatively).
-Reading (Something well-written and inspiring, preferably).
-Watching TV (No movies! Otherwise you'll lose track of time).
-Reading blogs (Writing blogs, blogs your friends write, food blogs, your pick)!
-Checking e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (Do these things now so you don't do it while you're supposed to be writing)!
-Getting exercise (You've been sitting down at a computer for a while. Get moving so you don't feel so stiff when you're writing).
-Playing games (Something strategic so your brain doesn't fall asleep, but nothing too complicated, otherwise you'll get worn out)!
-Going to the bathroom (In case you're one of those ultra-intense writers that ignores this simple need. Trust me, I know some people like this).
-Listening to music (Again, something well-written and inspiring. Or maybe classical music so you can relax. But don't fall asleep)!
-Saying hi to your family (Is your dog giving you weird looks? Do your siblings/parents/kids look surprised that you've left your computer? Then you've been writing for too long).
-Taking a nap (Again, if you're one of those super intense writers that blows off sleep for a couple of days in order to get more writing done. Not a good idea. You don't write as well when you aren't rested).

3. And finally, I gave myself rewards

If I met a short-term goal, I let myself take a break, eat some chocolate, watch some YouTube videos, or play some video games. I tried to not get into anything too involved, otherwise I'd lose track of time, but something like reading a chapter of a book or watching an episode of "Friends" was a great way to relax after typing furiously for an hour.

Now that I've bored you all with the details of my writing goals, I have a little announcement to make.

(Okay, maybe not so little).

(I'm actually pretty excited about this).

(Okay, a lot excited).

I'm going to interview Em Garner! :D

Yes, I just figured out the details a couple hours ago!

And if that's not exciting enough for you, listen to this: she's giving away a signed copy of her new book, Contaminated.

Oh, yes.

If you want to win this fabulous prize, please, follow my blog to learn about the juicy details. I'm hoping to have the interview/giveaway posted here later this week, but it all depends on Em's schedule.

I can't wait! :D


Boquinha said...

Congrats on meeting your goal! I'm so easily distracted from projects sometimes, so it's nice to hear ideas. Thanks for sharing how you handle your work/breaks. Ivan looks so happy. :)

Looking forward to reading your interview with Em! That's really exciting!!

Anonymous said...

Oh that's so exciting!! Congratulations! :) I always get so happy when people meet their goals! It makes me feel so warm inside. :) Good job!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on hitting your goal! Meeting a goal is a wonderful feeling, no matter what that goal is. And thanks for the good tips on how to push through the rough spots to hit that goal!

Dr. Mark said...

Great job meeting your goal. I'm impressed!I enjoyed all of your suggestions for taking breaks. I suppose found all of them in a row would defeat the purpose?

Dr. Mark said...

Er, that should say "doing all of them in a row." Yeah, that was a proofreading FAIL.

The Magic Violinist said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! :D

@Dr. Mark Yes, that would defeat the purpose. ;) Sometimes I do two or three things in a row, but no more than that!