Friday, September 28, 2012

(fourth in a series by the author of blogs written in 2007, 2008 and 2009)

by G.Parker

A measure of the immeasurable. This is my husband’s favorite saying. I think he got it from somewhere, but I don’t know so I give him all the credit. (grin)

He likes to use this phrase with our children when we talk about time and the lack of or a desire for it to hurry. He is quick to quote it to me whenever I’m trying to push myself to beat a deadline or accomplish more than I have time for.

Time. As writers, many of us have deadlines we have to meet. Each day becomes a deadline with so many words having to be written or so many pages needing to be done. How do you gauge your work day? Do you have goals for your progress?

I’ve found the simplest way to measure the immeasurable is to count words. I feel great satisfaction if I have the goal of so many words per day, and I see that I have met or exceeded that goal. At least I know I’m moving forward.

Several writers I know measure their progress by pages. They have a goal of 3 or 4 pages a day, and are able to use that as a guide post. A songwriter in one of my writing groups uses lines as a guide. It doesn’t matter what you choose, the important thing is to set a specific guideline to help you know you are working toward your goal.

November is National Novel Writing Month, ( and that is a wonderful way to start if you haven’t put pen to paper yet. They have a goal of 50,000 words for the month. It ends up being about 1700 words a day. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written a word, or have several attempts under your belt–they just encourage you to write. I have done this project for five years now - this will be my sixth. I’ve made my goal each year, ‘winning’ as they call it.

I am a little stumped for this year, and find myself wondering if I'll reach the goal as I have before. But here we are–facing November in a month and a measurement of time that is infinite, goals that bring us closer to our desires. Do we make it or not? Ask me again on December 1st.

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