A couple of weeks ago, I joined a writing group, because I wanted to get an article cranked out. Did I mention that I haven't published anything on the new project yet? At all?
In any case, my goal for the last week was simple: read/skim three "classics" on the Big Picture Topic, and write a 400-word synopsis. The reading took a while, five of the seven days. And then, for the last two days, I sat down to write. 400 words.
And I couldn't make it.
What the hell? When I came back from my first big research trip, I was habitually setting daily goals of 600 words and whizzing past them without even trying, doubling that on most days. This week, I couldn't get a lousy 400 words in two days.
Is it because it's new material? No, it was even newer back then. Is it because I'm trying to Write An Article, rather than shitty-first-drafting? Well, perhaps that's part of it. But mainly, I think it's because I'm creaky and out of shape. It's been a long time since I've written every day. And yet I know from experience that "Write Every Day" actually works. Just let go of the need to be perfect, and write.
So, in the spirit of an Autumn of Modest Goals, I've set myself three goals, provisionally for this week only:
- Get up early
- Write 200 words first thing every day -- even if they're crap.
- Make sure before going to bed that I have the next day's writing task laid out for me.
And this morning, I got up early (for me, anyway), meditated, made coffee, and wrote 260 words -- plus scratched out a few notes for a later section.
Let's see how this goes.
UPDATE: Crap crap crap!!! I went to back up the writing, and somehow... I managed to overwrite my copy with something last updated ten days ago... And the newer copy, with all that work, is nowhere in sight. Nowhere. What. The. Hell.
 Autumn of Modest Goals appears to have happened accidentally. In August, I quit smoking. Nothing else but that. In September, I appear to have managed to cut my diet soda consumption down to one 12-ounce can a day. It's actually kind of satisfying.