And speaking of goals, I like to look on fall as the start of a new "year". I know, January is when people usually choose goals and resolutions. Any time of year is a good time to pin down those hopes and dreams and come up with concrete ways to make them happen. For me, fall ushers in a change in weather, a change in scenery. Here in the south, getting rid of all the heat and humidity is such a blessing! Granted, it's early in September and Georgia is notorious for granting you a few weeks respite and then slamming you with a hot streak from Hades in mid-October...but right now, it's raining, I'm sitting on my patio in a sweater, and Starbucks has released the Pumpkin Spice Latte. All is right with the world at the moment :)
Back to goals: writing. I'm finishing up a Creative Writing/English degree. I HAVE to write at least five days a week in order to get all my assigned work completed (and keep up those "A's"). However, I have fallen short of the personal writing goals. Thanks to these past two weeks, I've had a renewal of my writing commitments and am ready to take on some stories that appeared to me during my break. Please feel free to ask me who they're coming...I need all the accountability I can get!
And speaking of writing, in order to accomplish those goals, be they to compose a poem or finish a 60,000+ word novel, we MUST be committed to the entire project. We must be willing to see the story through to the end. More often than not, I find myself excited at the beginning and then, sometime around the lull between the first and second wave of conflict, I get bored. This could mean that I need to close that gap and chock that book full of conflict. It also could me I'm lazy and need to plow through until I reach the next part that excites me. What I MUST do (and what we all as writers must do) is KNOW our story and where it's going.
I'll admit it, I'm guilty of skipping ahead with my eyes to make sure a character is still there on the next page, that nothing blows up, or that the spies aren't caught. We have an innate need to know the end of a tale and we aren't ashamed to peak ahead just to give ourselves a bit of relief! What I really liked about this little picture, is that it reminded me that as a writer, I MUST know where my story is going. I need to constantly be "flitting across the page in my book" to gain momentum and get my characters to the next chapter, the next scene. That's where outlining and brainstorming come in handy.
So what do you do when the lazy times set in? When you just don't want to finish? Easy. You plow through. Don't worry about getting the conflict so tight that there isn't a lull to be found. Not yet. Get to "The End". Once there, you can sit back, breathe a bit, then come back and do the editing. That's where you'll tighten up those scenes and gouge out those lulls.
Know thy story! Give yourself permission to suck while you get to the finish line. Make your way to "The End" and then bask in the relief of having completed a novel. Editing will come easier. You'll know what path your characters and plot are taking. The stones and bumps in the road will be easier to see and much, much easier to remove!