Last month I signed up for a Page A Day writing challenge. But the story starts before that.
A month before I'd set up a challenge for myself – actually more a spreadsheet than a challenge - in which I'd write a thousand words a day until this Friday, when summer officially begins for my family. This Friday, if I completed my personal challenge, I'd be done with the first draft of my book.
When I signed up for Weronika's Page A Day, I didn't think of it as a change in plans at first. If I did my thousand words, I'd do my page...plus. But when the PADC started, I realized the point was to take the pressure off of writing massive amounts and make it okay to just do something, even if only a page.
So I took that to heart, and today the challenge ended. I'm trying to decide if it was a success or a failure.
The truth is, if the point was to write at least one page every day, no matter what, I failed. There were several days I wrote nothing. Most of those days were weekends where my family had packed days that started at sun-up and ended when I could barely hold my eyes open. I wasn't even home or around the computer those days, and to try to stay up past midnight to squeeze that page in would have been defeatist.
And yet – over the course of 31 days, I wrote 69 pages: more than twice the PADC requirement. So I can't feel too bad about that.
In 31 days I added more than 20,000 words, and have come within 15,000 words of my first draft goal (I write skinny... I'll probably add another 10,000 on rewrites). I only really started this book in March. If I didn't have that other goal with it's pretty little spreadsheet mocking me I'd be thrilled. Over the moon. Busting with pride.
And yet.... I am so disappointed that I'm not done. That this first draft writing is now bleeding into what is supposed to be vacation. I feel like I let myself down.
I still have three days to cram in some writing, but those days are already packed with end of the year parties at school, field days, shopping and packing and last minute details. When I closed my document tonight, I knew in my heart it was the end of significant progress this week.
I'm still finding my peace in that. And trying hard to feel the joy of the success I had.
What about you? How do you deal with falling short of your goals?