In my mind, I always start by telling myself what I need to do. That is wrong. I don’t need to do anything. I have a job that pays my bills, a nice place to live that keeps the rain off my head, and enough food on the table. Instead, this is about what I want to do. I want to be a better story teller. And my preferred form of story telling is through the written word.
One thing that I believe is that as long as I want to be a better writer, I have to actually write. Words have to appear on paper (or font shaped pixels on a screen) that were created by me. I suppose it is possible that I could just dream of writing, but then I might just imagine that I am a good story teller instead of having something to show.
In an attempt to understand my writing habits as well as see where I need to improve, I bought a calendar that I could use to take daily notes. I don’t keep anything else in the calendar except writing information. On the monthly sheet I make a note of how well the writing went for that particular day. On the weekly sheets, where there is a little more room for notes, I list what I was working on for that day.
Looking over the monthly sheet, I see that I didn’t get nearly as much writing done as I would have imagined at the start of the month. The good news is that there is a partial reason for this. I took a one week, unplanned vacation right in the middle of the month. My brother and his family were coming for a visit and I wanted to get to spend every moment possible with them. The bad news is that I didn’t write even when there wasn’t a good reason like I was visiting with my brother.
All total, I wrote on 14 days (not including today). That averages to about every other day. Not the kind of writing that shows any serious desire to improve. I also didn’t actually write on any of my days off. It seems like when I am at home, I never actually get any words to paper. Granted, some of those days I was busy at the doctor or dealing with other things that take precedence over writing. But that doesn’t account for all the time I spent at home.
Now I have no intention of turning my love of story telling into something I despise, but I am going to try to improve. With that in mind, here are my goals for the month of September:
- 20 days total writing.
- 2 days writing while I am at home.
One thing I am not adding as a goal yet is a certain word count for each writing day, or a total count for the month. While I do keep a rough count of my writing per day (rounded to the closest 500 words), I don’t want to set my goal so high that I feel excessive pressure and lose the fun of the story. If things go well for the month of September, perhaps I can consider working on a word count goal for the month of October.