My husband is a graduate student right now, and he’s on the last stressful stretch of writing his thesis so he can graduate by June. For a while, he was functioning in freak out mode because it seemed like there was so much to do and only two months in which to do it. His dad gave him some excellent advice: Make a plan, write it down.
He did. And he reviews his plan and alters it every few days when things change, whether it be something taking less time or more time or if he thinks of one more thing he needs to add toward his goal of finishing his thesis. The result? The stress is practically gone. He knows what he’ll be doing every day, every week, until the day he has to defend.
Yesterday he asked me if making a plan like his is something that I can do with my writing. I wasn’t so sure. Unlike my husband, I can’t “go to the office” and write all day long until I finish my goal for the day. I’m sure this is the case for most of us aspiring writers. For me, I have my daughter’s nap time. That is the only time that I am guaranteed to get some writing done. And even that is variable, because I never know how long she’ll sleep (it changes every couple weeks it seems), and any number of things can come up that interrupt that time. So giving myself a set, “This has to get done today,” seems a little impossible.
However, I am starting to wonder if there is more I can do to reach my goals. My ultimate goal right now is to get WITHOUT A SONG revised and ready so I can query agents. I have an idea in my head about the things I need to do to accomplish this, but I’ve never written down what my “plan” is to get ‘er done. I think I might try formulating something that’s not as rigid as my husband’s thesis plan, but that will help me have smaller goals for each week.
Do you make smaller writing goals to reach your bigger ones?