It’s March 15, and we’re halfway through Speedbo.
Okay, yes, great minds think alike and Ruthy already posted her version of a Speedbo pep talk last Thursday. Well, by the time I found out what she’d chosen for her topic, my post was three-fourths written.
So you’re stuck with another pep talk, plus more suggestions on meeting your Speedbo goals.
So . . . did Ruthy’s kick in the pants help? Are you staying on track with your goals for the month, or were you expecting to be further along by now?
If you’re a Ruthy-type Energizer Bunny and are knocking out your writing goals faster than a speeding bullet—wait, that was a mixed metaphor, wasn’t it?—yay for you. Now stop gloating and get back to work.
For the rest of us, let’s take a timeout (just a quick one—March is flying by) to assess our progress and see if there are ways we could do better.
Did you set a word count or editing goal for the month? If you’re falling behind, take a look at what might have held you back.
- Family or pet emergency?
- Children’s schedules went crazy?
- Down with a bug for a few days?
- Unexpected houseguests?
- Day job stressing you out?
- Hanging around Seekerville too much? (wait, that’s okay—within reason!)
- Helping hubby paint the living room/dining room because you promised in a weak moment? (wait—that’s MY excuse for last week!)
Things happen—that’s life. So we just have to roll with it and do the best we can.
If you need a little help getting back in the groove, begin by taking a realistic look at how much you’ve accomplished since March 1.
- Tally your total word or page count (or whatever criteria you’re using to track your goals).
- Now divide that figure by the approximate number of hours you actually spent working on those goals. That will tell you what you can expect to produce on average per hour of writing time.
- Does your average hourly work output look like something you could reasonably maintain over the next couple of weeks in the writing time you have available?
The odds of more schedule interruptions are probably higher than any of us want to believe! But if we’re mentally prepared for the unexpected, it doesn’t have to completely derail us. Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog has been mentioned several times in Seekerville, and here’s what he says about dealing with interruptions:
Next, take out your calendar and look at what’s coming up between now and the end of the month. Mark blocks of time when you are 99% sure you can carve out some quality writing time. An hour on Saturday morning, thirty minutes over lunch on Tuesday, a couple of hours in the evening after the kids are in bed? Get it on paper! These are appointments you make with yourself.
Prepare for those appointments by making sure all the writing tools you will need are kept right next to where you’ll be working. Computer, legal pad, pens and pencils, reference books, research notes—don’t waste precious time hunting for things when you should be writing! If you don’t have a designated work area that’s yours alone, keep your supplies in a plastic crate that’s easy to grab when it’s time to start writing. (You did plan out many of these organizational details before Speedbo began, didn’t you???)
Okay, tomorrow is a new day, and you still have a little over two weeks to forge ahead toward your Speedbo goals. You know what you need to do to stay on track:
- Assess your average hourly work output.
- Analyze availability of writing time over next two weeks.
- Adjust goals as necessary.
- Keep all necessary supplies at hand.
- Set writing appointments with yourself and KEEP THEM!
- Don’t sweat the interruptions—that’s just life, NOT the end of the world.
If you need even more tips, review Mary’s Speedbo kickoff post from March 1.
How would you rate your Speedbo progress to date? Share your personal strategies for reaching your goals. What works for you? What doesn’t? What changes do you need to make to finish strong?
Join the discussion for a chance to win one of two giveaways! Let me know in the comments whether you’d like to be entered for a copy of The Sweetest Rain or a 10-page critique of your novel-in-progress (must be submitted between April 1 and July 1, 2016).
The Sweetest Rain. As the drought of 1930 burns crops to a crisp, Bryony Linwood dreams of cooling winter snows and the life she would have had if Daddy hadn’t been killed in the Great War and Mama hadn’t moved Bryony and her sisters to their grandfather’s struggling tenant farm in tiny Eden, Arkansas. Now Mama’s gone, too, and as times grow tougher, Bryony will do whatever it takes to ensure her family’s survival.
Michael Heath barely survived the war, and twelve years later all he wants to do is forget. A virtual recluse, his one passion is botanical illustration. Lost in the diversity of nature’s beauty, he finds escape from a troubled past and from his wealthy father’s continual pressure to take an interest in the family plantation.
When Bryony accepts employment at the Heath mansion, it’s just a job at first, a means to ward off destitution until the drought ends and Grandpa’s farm is prosperous again. But Bryony’s forced optimism and dogged determination disguise a heart as dry and despairing as the scorched earth . . . until she discovers Michael Heath and his beautiful botanical illustrations. As their relationship deepens, friendship soon blossoms into healing for wounded souls and a love that can’t be denied.
Award-winning author Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. Myra is a two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards, and her Heartsong Presents romance Autumn Rains (November 2009) won RWA’s 2005 Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript. Myra and her husband are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters who, along with their godly husbands, have huge hearts for ministry. Seven grandchildren take up another big chunk of Myra’s heart. Originally from Texas, the Johnsons moved to the Carolinas in 2011. They love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with two very pampered doggies who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.”