Sunday, July 10, 2011

ROW80 Check-in and FBS

We're at the one week mark. It's still early. Plenty of time to turn it around!  Here's a look at where I stand:
  • Revisions finished, first book is up!  Huge milestone for us.  I'm sure we'll be learning more, but I think the quality is great.  On par with professional ebooks I've read and it's only our first!  Amazon was the quickest... it's still in the B&N system.  This goal now morphs into getting the print version available this week.  Also, getting the appropriate purchasing links up on here.
  • My "new fiction" page count took a hit this week as the focus was on the revision and release goal.  Having hit that, it's hard to feel too bad about missing this one.  Still, I managed to squeeze in 2 pages this week on the WIP.  I should get back on track with this in subsequent weeks.
  • I beat the blog posting goal, though.  4 posts this last week on here and 3 on the other blog.  I still have my one personal post to do this month, but plenty of time for that later.  
So two for three this week isn't bad.  Definitely on target.  One of the things I tried to do with my goals, you may notice, is make them weekly goals.  There is a two-fold thought behind this.  First of all, smaller, more immediate goals are almost always easier to figure out how to hit.  Second, I wanted to avoid what I'll term the Falling Behind Syndrome.

Sufferers of FBS usually experience acute anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and, of course, explosive diarrhea.  (Sorry, had to throw in a poop joke).

I've contracted the syndrome many times, and I think one of the root causes is, well, falling behind.  You set these goals, you miss a few.  Then, you try to treat your symptoms with "catch up."  That never works, because inevitably you just feel more stressed and exacerbate the condition and it all snowballs and then the world falls on you and your dog dies and... deep breaths.

Likely, it is much better to be able to say, "Nope, failed that week," and then put it behind you and focus on hitting the mark next week.  Week-framed goals lend themselves well to this.  It's a strategy I've used as an engineer, coach, and, now, author. 

So, if you're suffering from FBS on this round... don't get hung up on the goals you didn't hit.  Like when you drop your keys in magma, forget 'em, 'cuz man, they're gone.  Keep your head up and forward.  The only writer I know that embraced lamenting and succeeded was Job.  And, quite frankly, I'll pass on being Job.

Here's a look at my cumulative word count:
  • Since last check-in:  2823
  • Fiction: 1041
  • 36% New Fiction
  • Grand Total for the challenge: 4339


amy kennedy said...

Great advice. I probably should have read this before I completely re-worked my own ROW80 goals due to complete brain costume malfunction.

I'm all for moving on.

Matt said...

Yes, it's a must for me or I'll drive myself insane trying to "make up" for lost time. Sometimes, life just doesn't want to cooperate, and while you should take care not to use life as an "excuse" (after all, we do have to find a way to squeeze writing in at some point), there are times when it is totally legit. In those cases, I try to cut myself some slack. Doesn't always work, but it's a good goal anyway.

Anne-Mhairi Simpson said...

Sometimes you get behind. As Matt says, stuf happens. Good for you for knowing when to walk away, and congratulations on the release of your book!

Unknown said...

Or everything just gets hijacked because your two-year-old decides THIS is the week she's going to potty train. All I can say is today we've had many, many successes, which makes it easier to deal with. :)

Nadja Notariani said...

I have been a sufferer of FBS...too funny! Congratulations on publishing your first book! That is fantastic. I'm trudging through the same process right now, and I admire anyone who has completed it. I love it, but it's daunting (Oh, the typing), worrisome (I refer to my post about....errors...eek!), and, at times, rather confusing (I am freaking out about navigating the 'uploading/formatting' process).
Luckily, I have computer savvy kids and a great partner in crime/critique partner/already published friend I can telephone in moments of frenzied anxiety.
Great post! ~ Nadja

Matt said...

Thanks guys. And just for the record: we have not added kids to the mix yet. Totally an FBS risk-factor :-P.

Sonia G Medeiros said...

Excellent advice! When the goals aren't working out for us, we have to reevaluate and figure out goals that do work.

Matt said...

Definitely! :-)

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