And I need a new challenge.
Cutie’s suggestion was “editing” and while, yes, I certainly need to get my editing done (especially since I hate it and will do almost anything to put it off), it’s hard to break down “editing” into a small-steps-every-week challenge.
So currently my new placeholder FFY goal is to edit Space Crazies and get it ready for querying and also revise Embers to the point where I can send it for beta-reading by next August. But it… doesn’t feel very SMART and that’s bothering me.
SMART is a goal evaluation method which stands for “Specific, Measureable, Achieveable, Realistic, Timely” and it’s S-M that “edit Space Crazies and Embers” falls down on.
After all, it’s hard to measure progress when you’re editing. A simple word- or page-count tally doesn’t work because a lot of the time you’re flipping back and forth between pages, or spending 90% of one day’s work on a single scene while the next day might breeze through a chapter with no effort needed.
If I was line-editing I could make that a SMART goal, because it really is just dividing number of pages to do by the days available. But Space Crazies is all big-picture stuff, and Embers needs the whole package.
I’m not sure what to do. For the moment I have the editing package in Space Crazies to work through, and Pat has very helpfully included a Revision List, so for the foreseeable future I can just work my way down the list. It’s just that I know myself enough to know that what motivates me is a filled out graph or chart, and right now I don’t have that carrot to dangle in front of me.
It’s odd to think that I am more frustrated by that notion–“I can’t see my progress during editing”–than I ever was with any of my writing goals (“Write 50K in a month but only M-Fs? Cool. Let me mark up a calendar with projected word counts and lay in a bucket of treats for hitting targets”) but that’s just how I roll, and why collecting data about one’s work habits is the first step to figuring out a way past a blocker.
I guess more data is needed.
So in the meantime I’ll proceed with Space Crazies and keep track of how it goes. Maybe something will present itself out of the data or a more experienced editor will point something out. Stay tuned! And if you have any ideas yourself, feel free to leave them in the comments.