Saturday, March 1, 2014

Admitting Defeat

For those of you that don't know: my goals for this year were pretty damned ambitious. I had set out to write 850,000 or so by the summer (June, finishing the thriller series) and to do that had set a pace to write two books a month. I failed in January but accomplished the goal in February. I won't be accomplishing it any other month.


Because it's too damned hard.

Yes. It's too damned hard. As much as I write, as long as I've been writing, this is one goal that I cannot feasibly accomplish. Keeping that kind of pace (about 140,000 a month) is sheer insanity and as crazy as I am it just can't be done.

I don't often say "it can't be done" but I know when to admit defeat and I'm admitting it this time. Why? Because at the end of February I had to wear a wrist brace on my right wrist. That's right: I was writing too much and was starting to do permanent damage to my wrists.

So instead of stopping my writing career before it began I decided to slow down. It's probably the best decision I've made in the past few years. Slowing down has taken off all the pressure and I've found that I enjoy writing again.

I'm going to be honest (as I normally am) for a while there I was starting to see writing as a chore. It was something I had to do not something I wanted to do. That should never be.

As a writer: I was born to write and if writing becomes something I hate doing then I don't have the ability to write anymore, right? Rather than make what I love (what I'm supposed to enjoy) a chore I decided to turn it fun again.

From now until November my goal is to write a book a month. For most people that's ambitious but for me it's realistic. I can manage that. I don't have to completely shun my friends or family because I'm writing. I don't have to worry that I spent an hour watching TV because I have to get second novel done. I can meander along at a pace that I'll be happy with.

I'm not even entirely concerned if I don't hit the million this year. Hell, I've all ready got two MilWordy's under my belt and even if I only write a book a month I can get pretty close to that 1,000,000 word goal by the end of November. And since I've freed my mind I'll likely write more than a book a month. It'll be a book and a short story or two or it'll be a book and a half. That's what happened last year.

So yes: sometimes it is okay to admit defeat especially when admitting that defeat means you're saving you're health and something you love. The thing you love to do should never become a chore and when it does you have to re-evaluate why it's become a chore.

Until next time: comments, questions, rage, rants and everything in between can be directed to the comments.


  1. I get what you mean when you say it started to become a chore. I think that's my problem, I've lost the enthusiasm I had for writing as a child because I've become so concerned with how good my writing is and that I want success. Now I feel like a fraud because I never write and I really want to be a writer again.
    I have done nanowrimo and won twice but outside that I'm a fraud

    1. A writer is someone who writes whether it's once (or twice) out of the year or not. Some writers take five years to finish a novel and some take two weeks. It depends on the writer. You're not a fraud for only writing during NaNo.
      It may be cliché to say but: learn to write *for you*. Don't worry about how good it is at this moment, just know that no matter what happens if you practice enough then you will get better. Each new story is better than the one before and you can't get worse at something. On that note: success takes time too. I'm also convinced that it takes a bit of luck and a lot of good marketing (which I suck at).
      It will take time to learn to stop worrying about how good it is or stressing over success, trust me. I still worry about how good something is, if it's worth it and if I'll ever get to the point where my writing supports me as a full time career. Then I push that all away and go back to the tangled web of plot I've left my characters in. If you don't write it, you can't improve it and you certainly can't sell it.