This is sort of a simple idea, but it has some catches to it. A lot of writers I know are setting writing goals for the new year. And publishing goals as well. I have my publishing goal half set, my writing not so much.
And I have been focusing on exercise and on losing a few more pounds. (How cliche is that for a New Year’s goal?) So need goals there as well.
So here is how I have been looking at each segment. Time.
Exercise… I want to get back to 10,000 steps a day streak. For me that’s five miles. One to two miles are just my normal moving around, going from our place down to our office, that sort of thing. A few errands. But that leaves over 6,000 steps a day I have to make time for. That’s about an hour of a good solid walk.
So rounding up, going to call it 1.5 hours of focus time. I can do that every day to stay healthy.
Losing weight… That will follow if I eat better while doing the steps. No time involved there at all.
Publishing… Doing Smith’s Monthly and short story publishing is going to take a bunch of time. I figure about ten hours a week will get me to where I want to be with all that. So at least another 1.5 hours a day. I can do that too, although more than likely it will be 5 hours on two days. That will get me to my 70 books published and I might add in 70 short stories standing alone as well. Just for fun.
Writing… How I figure time on writing is about 1,000 words an hour (and that is with a break in the hour.) So for a challenge, I need to set a floor amount, something I can hit without an issue every day, get a streak going to give it power. When I am counting word count at the end of the year, I only count consumable words that make me money in some way or another, not emails or responses to assignments or questions answered. I don’t count that.
But I do count my blog, introductions to books and magazines, and fiction writing.
Also remember I have a day job. I am the CFO of WMG Publishing Inc., and I am the front person on the workshops, and I get upwards of 200-300 emails a day. That is my “day job” and it takes time and screen time on my one eye. So I have to keep that in mind as well.
The coming year will not be easy. 2021 is when we pull out of this mess, I hope, but it will take the entire year with a lot of ups and downs. Got to expect that. So I want to take that into account when setting a writing challenge I can keep.
My first thought (since I always go big) was 5,000 words a day, easy for me normally, on normal days, but one bad day and I would miss that and kill the streak. That is five hours of time. Not a good idea if the idea is to set a streak and make it powerful, like my blog streak is for me.
So it needs to be some level of word count that I can hit on the really bad days without much of an issue. So I finally decided on 2,000 words for a floor. Most days I will do far over that number, but 2,000 words I can hit on just about any day. Only two hours of writing.
Steps 1.5 hours
Publishing 1.5 hours
Writing 2 hours.
Daily total of 5 hours. Easy.
So my publishing challenge is set. Steps and Writing set.
So for the streak, I’m going to combine two challenges. Steps and writing.
A friend of mine up north does an occasional challenge of 10 and 10. Ten thousand steps a day and ten thousand words a day. She keeps it up for a week or a long weekend. Works great but is all-day consuming each day for her.
So my challenge is going to be 10 and 2. Ten thousand steps, two thousand words a day.
My streak (even with sore feet) is on day two. That’s right, I started yesterday.
I have under 1,200 words to finish on a short story tonight to hit day two. Already at 12,700 steps. Did both yesterday to see how it felt and it was a slight push, but managed it without a problem.
So this blog is 800 words or so. Off to write some fiction. Got a hunch by the time the evening is over, I will be way past 2,000 words and will be watching a Lifetime Holiday movie.
See how combining challenges can be helpful if you stop and figure it all out?