Lists. I love 'em. They guide me, keep me focused, and help me see that I've accomplished something. I typically use grocery lists or to-do-lists. But today I need something different. Planning my daughter's wedding feels like it's using up every brain cell and consuming all my time to the point that I'm neglecting my writing goals. So I'm going to make a list of things I've done in the last two weeks related to my writing goals. A sort of have-done list to counter-balance my hyper self-critical writer's inner voice.
1. I've edited Chapter One in a YA manuscript to the point that I am pleased. Really pleased. (Yes, I know. Next week I'll think it's major C-RR-A-P. But for today I'm happy.)
2. I've pulled out research books and in a few odd moments have poured through them looking for that one kernel of historical information that will play out in this book.
3. I made a chocolate mousse pie. All right. I can see your look of skepticism, but I believe doing anything creative opens the door to other creativity. It's my Rule of Creativity. Since I'd never made a chocolate mousse pie before, this was an act of creativity.
4. I've written and rewritten Chapter Two. I've got a Rock of Gibraltar sized piece of back-story that needs to be whittled down to an acorn and placed . . . just . . . so.
5. I've pulled out my paint brushes and started on the walls of my house again. (See Rule of Creativity in #3.)
6. I bought/pre-ordered much-anticipated books from Katie McGarry, Bethany Griffin, Sarah Dessen, and Stephanie Perkins. I like to keep up on what's out there, especially with my fav authors. This falls under Knowing Your Market.
7. I cleaned my desk. I don't know how it happens, but my desk often looks like a collection site for bits of paper, envelopes, pens, and loose change. I tend to avoid clutter. So when my desk is at its worst, I don't go near it until it gets cleaned.
8. I went to critique group, and even submitted work. If you have a crit group, you know how helpful it can be to get some fresh eyes on your work early on. (If you don't have a crit group, get one!)
9. Okay, this one may seem like a stretch, but it is part of my writing life. I've spent hours working on my local RWA chapter's website. This is a learning process for me as I know little about programming. So I'm pleased with each bit of progress, and thrilled that I still have some hair!
10. I wrote this blog. (#3. Enough said.)
I hope you have methods of checking your progress toward your writing goals, and that you allow yourself to celebrate even the smallest of steps forward.