As of Saturday, I was in #1kaday glory: I had been averaging 1,000 words a day and was totally on track to reaching my goal of finishing the first draft of Novel #2 by end of June.
Note the key words: “had been” and “was.”
A bad movie and lots of fun with my kids happened on Sunday making me miss a day’s worth of writing, then a sinus headache on Monday and I can’t even remember what on Tuesday morning, but come yesterday evening I was 3,000 words in the hole and totally off schedule. Just like that.
Then the rationalizing had begun:
Well, do I REALLY have to write 1,000 words a day? It’s just a guideline, right? I mean, the world won’t come to an end if I don’t write that much. If I think about it, I have all the time in the world, don’t I? Why am I putting myself through this? Maybe it was a bad time to start. Maybe I should wait until the summer… or the fall…
Finally, I knew I had to turn off that inner voice and just dive right back in. We all can rationalize ourselves out of doing anything, even if we know it’s what we want, even if we know it’s good for us. So I just opened my document last night and typed as if I weren’t behind at all. I not only managed to get in a thousand words, but I managed to boost my morale as well.
As Mary Pickford once said: “You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
Being 3,000 words behind schedule might seem like a lot now, but I’m sure come June if I’m at 75,000 words, instead of 78,000, I won’t be all that upset.