Progress on the Journey

Thank you for all of your great ideas on how to balance blogging and writing. I REALLY appreciate all of you who gave advice and shared openly about your struggles.

Now, time to check our progress on the journey. For those who've been around my blog long enough, you know what I ask every Friday: Did you meet your writing goals for the week?

I wrote my usual 2500 words during the week on my WIP. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but if you look at my side bar, you'll see my progress is steady!

What about the weekend? Do you have any weekend writing goals? That's another one of my usual Friday questions! Since I don't have a lot of writing time during the week, I make a concentrated effort to get extra done on the weekend. I know many of you do too. Tell us your weekend goals in the comments and then on Monday I'll ask you how you did!

I want to encourage you (and myself) to keep writing. We will always have other things pulling us from our writing, especially blogging. Natalie Goldberg in Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life says this:

  • There is no excuse. If you want to write, write. This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don't wait. Make the time now, even if it is ten minutes once a week.
  • Keep your hand moving. When you sit down to write, whether it's for ten minutes or an hour, once you begin, don't stop. If an atom bomb drops at your feet eight minutes after you have begun and you were going to write for ten minutes, don't budge.
  • There is difference between procrastination and waiting. Procrastination is pushing aside or putting off writing. It is thinking the moment is tomorrow. Waiting is when you are already in the work and you are feeding it and being fed by it. Know the difference between the two. Don't procrastinate. Write now.

And remember: Writers write; everyone else makes excuses! Bickman


  1. I have this on a Post-It note on my monitor: BICFOK (Bahonkus in Chair, Fingers on Keyboard). :)

  2. I'm in the process of accomplishing my weekly goals. I think they'll be met by Sunday for sure. Thanks for sharing the bullet points - they are a good reminder. I especially like the one about not stopping. Often I'll start writing, then stop to check email or grab something to eat.... that is always a mistake for me.

  3. You must be inside my mind! Thanks for the great bullet points. I have been procrastinating lately...not good! Put me down for 2000. I will....I successful this weekend!

  4. I love this accountability, Jody. Thank You!

    I'm near 2000 words now, but I hope to get up to 2500 on my new ms by the end of today. I'm having to cut back on it's word count as I revise an old manuscript.

    Congrats on meeting your goal! Way to go!

  5. Great job on the steady progress Jody! Look--there's not much more of your book to write--that must feel terrific!

    Earlier in the year, I signed up for a few special volunteer opportunities this week, so I altered my goals to accomplish something I've wanted to do for four or five months. And I'm pleased to say, I met the revised goals. (I added a Proposals page and an Articles page to my website!)

    Have a super writing weekend!

  6. Angie: I love it!

    Katie: I thought the atomic bomb comment was too funny! Seriously, with our little ones, we have to be a little flexible--like if they're choking on a toy, we should probably stop, right?

    Sherrinda: Sounds great! You're nearing the home stretch of your novel--maybe you'll get on a huge roll! (Taking your advice today, can you tell?!)

    Eileen: You've made great progress on your WIP in spite of all of your other projects! Let us know if you finish your goal today!

    Jill: Now I'll have to go over and check out your website for the updates. I haven't written a proposal before, so I'll be interested to see how you put it together! You're such an inspiration! And I see another topic for a future blog post for you: proposal writing 101.

  7. Procrastination goes hand in hand with Editing doesn't it? Or was that just me! I have to PROUDLY admit however, although I did not meet my original goal of being finished by today, I did exceed my expectations for editing this past week! And I plan to continue today :) If I can finish by my birthday next week, I'll be doing the happy dance!!!! Thanks Jody for all your encouragement!

  8. Good suggestions here an in the last post. I find the blogging easy thus tempting to spend too much time on it. Self-discipline was good advice. Two other things about writing that are challenging: 1) Balancing research and writing 2) Editing what you've already written. Once it's written I want to send it off or do something with it. Really, once it's written that's only the beginning of another lengthy, and tedious, process of editing, promoting, etc. I get stuck on the editing!

  9. I agree, a CONSISTENT 2500 words is far better than a sporadic amount of more than that. I think it gives a good sense of accomplishment, of building your story. Plus with consistency you get into a writing rhythm that helps move the words along.

  10. Steady progress is key, Amen! I'm doing well on mine and hope to knock out another 2000 words this weekend. I also hope springs eternal, lol.

  11. Marybeth: Even with your new Blackberry you made progress?!? I'm proud of you!! BTW, I like the new picture!

    Warren: I struggle with balancing research and writing too. Very good point! I write historicals, so the research can be very time consuming! It is so much harder to measure accomplishment with our research but is just as important! Thanks for your insights!!

    Joanne: Thank you! Sometimes it feels very slow! But I'm nearing the end and can finally feel like I've made real progress!

    T.Anne: OK! 2000 it is! I'll check with you on Monday!

  12. I agree. No excuses. I am starting a new job on Monday and am still trying to figure out my writing schedule. But no excuses, I want to write. So I'll be writing during my lunch break and for an hour after my daughter goes to bed.

  13. Jody: As I read your post the first thought that entered my mind was: "Hey, I accomplished my goals for this week...yeah for me!" I finished both of my papers that are due today. My block comes when I have my research finished ( enjoy researching) is to actually start writing. I love to edit, which is what I am doing right now. It is actual writing that stumps me!

    You have encouraged me today to try and write each day, sticking to a weekly goal. You are right I have one life to live and I need to write now to finish well the task ahead of me.

    What a good post for today, I feel inspired. Balance in blogging and writing, is something I am trying to achieve.

    I am glad I found your blog.

  14. Hey, Jody, I reached it. Got to 2,621 words for the week. That'll be my new goal, 2500/week as I continue editing and revising A NEW BEGINNING

  15. I did horrible this week, but my week was pretty off anyway. Scott was sick, kids were abnormally cranky, and I was irritable. ugh. I don't like weeks like that! but... I'm determined to have a GOOD weekend!

    I'm currently in editing mode, but I'm itching to get back into writing on book 2. I think my goal for the weekend will be to edit two chapters on book 1 and write 1000 words on book 2. We'll see how that goes:-)

  16. Your word count sounds great Jody! My plans for the weekend aren't different during the week because I'm just as busy.
    Great points too! Have a good weekend. :-)

  17. I want to do 5,000 words but with a major load of yardwork to accomplish this weekend i think I'll shoot for 2500! :)

  18. Dear Jody:
    Thanks for being our cheerleader!
    I plan on going to my crit group, which is a two hour drive, so that takes up most of Saturday. If I get in all my blog posts and revise two of my chapters for my book soon to be edited, I will be happy.
    If I can start a new chapter in my WIP, i will do a GTG dance!!! That means Glory to God!

  19. i'm hoping to hear back from my legal resource so i can finish my last chapter! you're on for who finishes first. :)

    already gave my post for that parts done!

  20. Joyce: Sounds like you have a good plan for still trying to get your writing time in with a new job. I'm sure it will take a lot of self-discipline; but even a little bit will keep you moving forward!

    Robin: I hope you are able to find some weekly goals that work for you. Everyone has different amounts they can accomplish, but we can all carve out a small amount that works for us! Let me know how it goes! And I'm so glad to encourage you!!

    Eileen: Horray!! I'm glad you were able to get in your word count even with everything else you're working on!! It sounds like you set a realistic goal for your WIP until the other things are done. Have a great weekend!

    Krista: Sorry you had such a bummer of a week. Hopefully next week you'll hear about the contests and have a GREAT week?! OK, did I get your waiting juices flowing again?! (Couldn't resist!) So, work hard over the weekend, and hopefully that will put the contest out of your mind! I'll check with you on Monday!

    Jessica: Hope you have a great weekend too! I'll pray you can find a few minutes of down time!

    Jamie: Got you down for 2500. That's still a LOT!! But I'm sure you can do it!

    Jen: Sounds like a really busy weekend!! But I'm sure meeting with your crit group is a highlight! I hope you get to do the GTG dance!! Let me know on Monday!

    Jeannie: The race is on!! I'll have to work a little more this weekend since I still have two chapters!

  21. I just wrote over a 1,000 words today, so I'm going into this weekend as one happy pappy. :)

    Enjoy yours!

  22. I want to hit 60,000 words by next Tuesday so maybe I will get it in this weekend. Hopefully!

  23. Jennifer: Great accomplishment for the day!

    Terri: If you hit 60,000 then will you be nearly done? Did you get past your block and get on a roll? I hope so! I'll check with you on Monday to see your progress!

  24. Goal: 500 words this weekend...have a pretty busy one ahead.

    I liked the, "keep your hand moving" quote.

    Sometimes my hands actually ache OR my they'll be cold from losing circulation.

    Have a blessed weekend!
    ~ Wendy

  25. Are your twins identical? Do they like to dress alike?

    Lynnette Labelle

  26. Wendy: Gotcha for 500! Hope you have a great weekend!

    Lynette: No, my twins aren't identical. But they have looked alike for many years. Just recently one of them got her hair cut shorter than the other. So now they are really starting to look different. But it's so funny that they've finally figured out the fun of being twins!

  27. I like your new formatting, Jody! ;) Works well, IMHO.

  28. Hi Jody,
    Wow, I love your blog and the challenge you constantly throw out to keep writing. I am going to make some commitments and post them. Hold me accountable!!
    Thank you, thank you!!!

  29. Sherrinda: I'm trying it, thanks to the wise advice of a wonderful friend! ;)

    Stephanie: I'll have to run on over to your blog now and see what you posted!

  30. I thought I commented last night, but don't see it. So sorry if repeating.

    I did meet my goals this week and very happy about it. I love your bullet points. I do have a tendency to procrastinate. Good kick in the seat. I have a full plate this weekend but no excuses. Going to try to complete 500 words.

  31. Hi Robin,
    Glad you met your goals! I didn't see another comment from you! So, no you're not repeating! Hope you can get 500 done this weekend!

  32. I'm planning to get quite a bit of writing done today (Sunday). Got some done last night, so hopefully will have good progress this afternoon!

  33. Hi Melissa,
    Hope you got some good writing done today!

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