We are at the end of February, which means another goal from My Monthly Goals for 2018 is checked off the list. Here’s how things shaped up this month.
My goal this month: Write four new chapters for my second book
How it went: Great! I did it!
What went well: Simply put, I actually wrote four new chapters. Four new chapters live on my laptop now!
What could’ve been better: I could always write more or for longer blocks of time, but considering the balance of the other commitments in my life — I think I did pretty darn well this month. Not perfect (one chapter is a little sparse at this point), but I’m ending the month with the momentum I had hoped for with this second book.
What I learned: SFDs (shitty first drafts) are where it’s at. Get the idea onto the paper. Do not self edit, do not tell yourself ‘this story is dumb’, do not try to be overly creative in that moment, and do not go back and read the draft when you’re done. Write all the words and go back and edit on another day. Writing four mediocre chapters that may end up being one really great used chapter is better than struggling to write one perfect chapter that will go nowhere because you’re in your own way.
What helped: I had a very long list of chapter ideas I kept in my phone so by the time I went to write, there was bound to be at least one idea I was in the mood to write (and surprisingly/not surprisingly, the chapter I always think I’m not going to write that day is the one that ends up coming out). I also went back to my journal where I brainstormed and made editing notes for my first book. I do all my writing on my laptop, but sometimes you need to shut down and just write out some notes. I framed up the two sections of the book, figured out who the dedication will be to, came up with a subtitle idea (I already had a title idea — which, I’m not trying to brag, but I love!), and I started writing down what were workable drafts to actually include, and which ideas were no longer relevant that I can toss. Aside from the actual writing, this process gives me a boost of confidence and organization to really help make progress. As I mentioned in my mid-month update, it also helped to minimize the production of the writing process and just hop back in bed in my pajamas with a coffee or tea and a candle on my night stand and just write. I traditionally like to go to coffee shops, but I decided to just do some things around the house and clear my mind and then hop straight to it.
How I feel: Thankful that I made this a goal. I was feeling a little stagnant with the second book progress and this was a realistic yet slight stretch of a goal and exactly what I needed.
Next month’s goal: “Workout Around the City.” I plan to try new workouts, gyms, studios, etc. that I’ve been wanting to try for awhile.