First (and very helpful) is the idea that blogging doesn't have to happen every day. Completing the A-Z Blogging Challenge was intense and sometimes did take me away from that day's writing, though I gained much along the way. So, thanks to blogger Amy Tan's suggestions, I'll now post on the blog about 3x a week. Haven't set up a schedule yet, but already this feels good.
Second, do I really have a specific writing goal? Looks like we'll be going to Africa in Oct/Nov 2012 for about 6 weeks. As my mother would say, 'Ooofta!' I already know that will create a big hole in my writing, so it's time to figure out what I really want to do. That's easy. I want to finish the first draft of Years of Stone at roughly 90,000 words.
Do I have a schedule? Only six months takes me to October and the Africa trip. Can I complete this first draft in 6 months, sitting now at roughly 53,000 words and a good plot outline? That means some 5,000 words each month. That means 200 “good” words a day. Even on a bad day, I should be able to write 300 good words. Every day.
GOAL: 300 ‘good’ words a day.
GOAL: Complete first draft by October 2012.
After coming home (and decompressing -- and processing notes and pictures), I should be ready to go back to work about mid-December (if not sooner). So it's reasonable to send that my draft out to 'first readers' (a term used to describe those hardy and deeply trusted editing/writing buddies who are willing to read a first draft). If they return in 6-8 weeks, the timing is perfect.
Of course, I'm continuing to submit maybe 1-2 chapters a month (and critting an equal number plus) to NOVELS-L at the Internet Writing Workshop (an absolutely wonderful resource).
I'll keep you posted. So maybe writing goals don't need to be set only in January at the turn of the new year. How are your writing goals coming?