Back in January I broke down my year into twelve-week chunks to make achieving my goals a little easier to bite into. With today marking the start of the second twelve-week chunk, I spent this weekend reflecting on the start of the year and planning for the coming months. To be honest, I’d been dreading this for weeks. I knew, without even having to look back at my plan, that not a single goal I was meant to be working towards had been achieved.
Had I finished the third draft of my Christmas novel?
Had I finished the second draft of my romance novel?
Had I finished the concept and draft of my new surprise project?
Had I finished the ghost-writing series I had been hired to write?
Nothing had been completed, and I felt like a failure.
Notice the use of past tense in that sentence there. As I write this, I don’t feel like a failure. Today alone I have written 4,693 words. Yesterday I not only surpassed the writing target that Scrivener had set me, but I also updated my schedule, to do lists and accounts, completed all the admin that had been piling up on the side of my desk, wrapped birthday presents and took a ‘pamper evening’ with two of my best friends. The sun’s been shining, the sound of my parents laughing has been filling my home and, currently, Michael Fassbender is on my screen as Aguilar de Nerha.
The truth is, I forgot that the sun always rises. We can’t always see it, I’ll give you that. A cloud could be in the way or the curtains drawn so tightly over our windows that no sunlight can penetrate it, but it’s still there.
I couldn’t finish the third draft of my Christmas novel because one of my beta readers was getting married, and the other had an influx of customers at the business she owns.
I couldn’t finish the second draft of my romance novel because I developed a hideous chest infection and between that and the medication, I wasn’t able to work for two weeks.
I couldn’t finish the concept and draft of my new surprise project because there were other, more pressing jobs to complete when I returned to work.
I couldn’t finish the ghost-writing series I had been hired to write because my client changed my deadline and it no longer fell within those first twelve weeks.
But you know what I managed to do?
I researched and wrote forty-four articles for a company I worked with for eight weeks. I joined a publishing company in helping new authors release their books. I secured another job at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. I worked on the new Round the World Writers challenges with my co-creators. I worked on not one but two new children’s stories. I may not have finished my ghost-writing project, but I did write almost 45,000 words of it. I defeated a chest infection that lasted three weeks. And none of that includes the incredible things I achieved in my personal life throughout those twelve weeks either!
So, to everyone like me that forgets the small little truth we all need to remember, allow me to remind you: