Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Setting (and achieving!) Goals

A few months ago, my husband and I were talking about something when he told me that I have dreams, not goals.  That irked me.  A lot.  So, I decided I needed a set, defined goal.  That's when I started training for the Lake Placid Half Marathon.  It's 13.1 miles, and I've been in training for about 7 weeks.  I'm actually training by using the Couch to 10K program which you can read about here.

I don't know why it irked (what a great word!) me so much that J told me that I don't set goals.  I mean, it's mostly true.  I often start sentences with "When we win the lottery..." but we don't even buy lottery tickets.  I really needed a solid goal to set, something tough, yet achievable.  I think running half marathon meets the specifications.

However, another challenge awaits.  This is another goal, tough yet achievable, sweat inducing yet fun.  What is this goal, you may ask? (Or maybe not, I don't think anyone reads this blog anyway!)  A 50,000 word novel in a month.  It's almost time for NaNoWriMo!!

What in the name of Jane Austen is NaNoWriMo, my invisible reader may be pondering.  It stands for National Novel Writing Month.  The brilliant folks over at The Office of Letters and Light started this program in 1999 for everyone that's ever said "Some day, I'd like to write a book."  That day is now!  It isn't about quality, just QUANTITY.  Just write, write, write!  You "win" just by hitting that 50,000 word mark.  The only prize is honor, and I think maybe a cute web badge or something.  They offer pep talks throughout the month, and there are forums where you can chat, whine, rant, and celebrate with other crazy Wrimos.  Because that's what we're called.  And it's awesome.

This will be my fourth year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I'm hoping this is my year to "win".  My first effort helped me reach about 25,000 words, and I revisited that novel last year ending with about 43,000 words.  Fail and fail.  Oh well, at least I tried!  My second year was laughable, only about 4,000 words (in my defense, I was pregnant and I could. not. think. of. anything. else.  I totally had baby brain!)  I already have a title for this year's novel, The Tribunal, but I may change it.  Or not.  We'll see.  I have a great back story, some good characters, and an awesome climax.  I really feel like this novel will be my winner.  It's my first foray in to the world of sci-fi/supernatural fiction, but I'm super excited about it.

I've been pushing this Nano thing on my students for years, and I finally got one to sign up!  I think I may host some write-ins at the college library, to boost that word count!  So, what do you say, invisible readers? Will you join in a month-long journey to 50,000?

If writing isn't your thing, you can sponsor me in this crazy endeavor!  Just click the link on the upper right hand side of my blog!  All donations are tax deductible, and it's for a really great not-for-profit group. 

If you do sign up for NaNoWriMo, leave me a comment with your screen name!  We can be writing buddies throughout the month!!

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