Begin as You Mean to Go On

This isn’t an April Fool’s Joke, I promise! I’ve just set some April goals and thought I’d share. The coming months are going to be busy writing-wise and my ambition knows few bounds. But I’m doing something different this month.


Picture shows a notebook with three columns (Title, Current Word Count, and Goal). What You Wanted has 15k and my goal is to get it to 35k. Firetower has 2k and my goal is to get it to 10k. MMGtGtG has 3k and I want to get it to 10k. Kiss Steal Kill has 2k and I want to get it to 7k. TBRoaS has 3k and I want to get it to 7k. Olga has 2k and I want to get it to 5k. My total current words right now are 45k and my goal is to write 47k this month.

First, only one of this projects NEEDS to be worked on this month (no, I’m not telling you which one!) so I’m letting myself jump around between projects, partially to keep my head in the game, and partially because all of these projects are currently STUCK. And I don’t want to be stuck. Though I love outlines especially for revisions, one of the ways I unstick myself in a book is by pantsing it. For those who don’t know what that means, it means that I just follow the story, and worry about structure, plot holes, consistencies, etc later. I wing it. So I’m hoping that I unstick at least ONE of these projects by letting myself move fluidly between them.

Wing it, when I get stuck, move on, come back when I have an idea. Don’t force anything right now, because I don’t have to (a blog post on being stuck and on deadline to be written in the future, I’m sure), because my only (writing-related) job this month is to create, not to produce. 

I have a few freelance jobs, and a lot of writing to do. I’ve also been following my friend and fellow writer Elizabeth May’s Internet Detox. She’s limited herself to 2hrs a day on her laptop/desktop and 15 minutes on her phone for social media accounts. To sum it up, in a month, she read 17 books, and wrote 67,396 words. That’s some serious results. Additionally, Elizabeth (whose books are awesome and you should definitely read them) noted that she feels better.

I’m interested in all of that. Reading more books, writing more words, and feeling better. So for the month of April, I’m trying it. 2hrs of social media total a day and I took the apps off my phone. I’ve blogged recently about Life as Process and Productivity Tools and I intend to put them all into use.


My new desk! Picture shows an evergreen desk with a laptop, two bowls of berries, a mug of tea, and a notebook turned to a blank page.

Ideally, I’ll do better than 47,000 words this month. After all, that’s a little short of NaNoWriMo. But I have two big dayjob projects taking up my attention and energy and a writer-friend coming to visit. So I want to be reasonable. Because a key part of achieving goals is setting reasonable ones. If I exceed 47,000 words, that’ll be the icing on the cake.

I’ll update next Friday on how many words I wrote, how many books I read, and how many pages I edited (freelance editorial work) in my first week of trying an internet detox Focus Month. If it works, I think we’ll just keep going…

But always with the idea that right now, my job is to create, not to produce.

I think I’ll write those words at the top of my star calendar this month.


2 thoughts on “Begin as You Mean to Go On

  1. Jessica Spotswood says:

    Go Katie! I’m really curious to see how this plays out for you. With WS coming out in 3 weeks, I don’t feel like I can take a week away from promo to internet detox, much less a month – but I was inspired by Elizabeth’s posts too. If you have similar success, I think I might try it in mid-May to mid-June, after all my book events are over for the spring!

    • Katie L says:

      Oof. Cutting off Twitter is hard. I have been bad last two days but swearing to do better tomorrow 😉 Was great over the weekend but can’t block at work, ironically

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