One of the beautiful things about the Round of Words in 80 days challenge is that ability to change your goals, as and when you need to.
An admission: I love setting goals. I love aiming high, having deadlines, striving to complete enough to put a tick on my to do list. I love seeing my word count numbers switching from red to black on my spreadsheet when I hit my quota for the day.
In fact, I love setting goals so much, I regularly revisit my plans and change them. Often drastically.
On the one hand, I realise this is a ridiculous practice that will ultimately make it harder for me to complete anything, or to reach any goal.
On the other… it sort of works, somehow. For me anyway.
It’s not that I never follow through on my plans. More that I know when to quit. If something isn’t working – a book isn’t coming together, a blog isn’t gelling, some brainstorming isn’t leaving me lightning struck… Sometimes it’s better to accept that now isn’t the right time for a project, and move onto something else, something that wants to happen right now.
Basically, whatever keeps me writing, rather than staring at a blank screen in despair, has to be good.
For this ROW80 round 3, I’d planned to revise and submit my novel, Breaking the Spell. I love this book, I do, and it’s been languishing on my hard drive half finished for far too long. But I’m having trouble getting to work on it. I just can’t quite see the finished book in my head, and that’s a problem for me.
Maybe it’s that I’ve been doing too much revision this year. I think that maybe I need to get back to a first draft, to remember what actual writing feels like.
So, this week, I’ve dug out Tea & Devilry again, read through all my planning and character notes, and started adding words. It’s going well, it’s flowing, and I’m loving writing it – unlike when I first tried to get a draft together, straight after the planning, when I couldn’t get myself into the story. You may remember that goal from Round 2, actually…
I guess the message of this post is the cliché – to all things there is a season. And apparently for me, now is the season for writing, not revising; for teacups and ghosts, not calligraphy and curses. I’ll get back to Breaking the Spell, I know I will. But first, I’m going to write about Poppy and Tristan, and how they deal with the ghosts and the devils and the locals in the little English village of Hobdun Stonebury, all while drinking excellent tea and cheap whiskey.
And it’s going to be fun… which is the most important part.
New goal: First draft of Tea & Devilry. Again.