Stay On Target; or, Did I Set The Bar Too Low?

(This posting originally appeared on The Melt-Ink Pot)

Okay, first things first:

If there’s anyone on the face of the planet who hasn’t yet seen the pictures (hard to believe because I’ve been babbling about it all over the place), my office is more-or-less finished. You can take a little tour of it over on my LiveJournal account (which in turn links to my Flickr account).

Yes, I am all squee over it. It’s a warm (okay, at the moment, a little TOO warm), welcoming space. If we ever get to turn off the fans(1) again, I’ll be able to hear the babbling of the water circulating in the fish pond outside the window. There are actually two windows and an exterior door, so there’s at least some airflow.

But frankly, I don’t care that it’s a little warm. It’s my space, and I’m happy in it.

Which is good, because I really need to find my Happy Writing Place. It’s now July 15, halfway through my summer writing challenge, and I’m just over halfway to my goal. The problem is that with my energies focused on finishing the office, I haven’t had much left to give to my writing. Last week’s word count was not even what I would put out during one day of NaNoWriMo; the week before was half of that, and this week is on target to be even less impressive. Granted, this is short story writing, which is harder for me, but I’m still feeling pathetic and unworthy.

I could say that I’m having writer’s block. Or I could say that the muse just isn’t inspiring me at the moment. But I know that’s not the problem. I know that I’m capable of putting out 1,500 words a day without much effort, muse or no muse.

I’m beginning to wonder if part of the problem was that I set the bar too low on my challenge. I have another 14,900 words to write by the end of August. I know — because I’ve done it — that I am capable of writing over 10,000 words in one day. If I had a couple of really good days of writing, I could blow past that goal and coast for the next month and a half.

Maybe I just need to up my goal. If I were to write just 500 words a day for the next 45 days, that would give me 22,500 words. Five hundred words a day is certainly do-able; if I would just quit spending my lunch hour catching up on Twitter and write, I can easily do 500 words at lunchtime.

I know that another part of my problem is that my brain has been mulling over The Daughters of August Winterbourne for the last month or so. I’ve had four beta readers finish it now (Beloved Husband finally finished it on Sunday), and I’ve gotten some constructive feedback from them. So I want to dig my fingers into it and start editing. Now.

Perhaps what I need to do is offer myself a reward of editing time once I get my 500 words per day written. That could work.

I’ll give it a shot and report back in a couple of weeks. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a hard time swapping back and forth between writer-head and edit-head, so this will be yet another challenge for me.

And now, time to go see if I can find 500 words to say about a fairy invasion of the garden…

(1) Our house does not have air conditioning. It used to have a big whole-house fan, but that stopped working last fall and we haven’t gotten it fixed yet. And daytime temps here in sunny Colorado have been in the mid-to-upper 90’s for the last couple of days…

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About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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