Man, I love the New Year. I like being able to put the events of my life in context, even if it’s the somewhat arbitrary cycle of the Gregorian calendar. This year I was excited to reflect on my reading from 2013, which I tracked better than any year of reading before. The results weren’t great, but I have some fantastic goals to work toward in 2014: reading more diversely, with more purpose.
I’ve got a couple other forward-thinking goals or contexts for the year ahead. Firstly, I continue to keep my motto for 2012 in mind, always, because it has the perennially fashionable effect of keeping me calm.
And, following the lead of the lovely Erin Bowman, I’m boiling down my hope for 2014 into one word:
I’ve set a goal (inspired by Karen Kavett’s “Don’t Break The Chain” calendar) to write 1,000 words every day this year.
Yes, that’s crazy ambitious. That’s 365,000 words. That’s just 116,103 short of The Lord Of The Rings!
But the impetus for this goal is that for most of the last two years I’ve been revising one project. As a result that project is the best thing I’ve ever written, but dear god. After all that revising, when NaNoWriMo came around this year, it felt like an oasis in the desert of the same 60,000 words I’d been tweaking for 24 months. I wrote something brand new, and it was scary, daring, wonderful, fun. I realized that I didn’t ever want to feel so distant from the raw, make-it-from-scratch feeling of drafting ever again.
So, a thousand words a day. And those 1,000 words can come from anywhere, and go into any project. A hair-brained shiny new book idea, a short story I’m intrigued by, a blog post, writing in my personal journal. Anywhere.
Words. Words, words, words.
It’s already been difficult. On Jan. 1 the pressure of this new goal drove me to write a new scene in my WiP (the one I’ve been laboring over for two years), and it was glorious. Then, Jan. 2, I freaked out and watched Silver Linings Playbook instead. I’m 50/50 on my goal and January has barely started.
But that’s okay! I have a very good idea of what motivation works for me, I know that more often than not having that goal hang over my head will work. I’ll get it done.
And by the end of 2014, I’ll have so many words. All words I was capable of writing, but at a volume I’d never challenged myself to before.
I can’t wait.
Gratuitous picture of self credit: Megan