The Clock is Ticking — Are You Writing?

Are you wasting time?

Today I came to the terrifying realization that 2017 is basically almost halfway over.

This is not OK.

I have accomplished five — FIVE! — of my 2017 goals. And there are a LOT more than five things I want to get done before this year ends.

I almost started to panic. I mean, I have so much more to read. And so many more blog posts to write. And I watched, like, 2 seasons of a show on Netflix last weekend. That’s not productive.

Granted, I’d spent 60+ hours writing that week. I needed a break …

… right?

In terms of goal milestones, I am not where I wanted to be by June 1.

But I constantly have to remind myself, as I try extremely hard not to start biting my nails, that when I wrote these goals down back in January, I had no intention of getting hired to write full-time. I had no plans to move downstate (in progress). And I had no idea I would be writing as much every week, on top of everything else, as I am right now.

Sometimes, you have goals. And it seems like you’re not accomplishing those goals. But goals are not concrete. Maybe we need to learn to mold them to fit into our circumstances. I will probably not finish writing both of my unfinished novels this year, because honestly, I just don’t have time. I want to. And I’m going to try to. But it’s likely no longer an achievable goal.

Guess what? Not accomplishing a goal isn’t actually the end of the world …

… however.

We don’t set goals so we’ll feel better about ourselves.

We set them to motivate ourselves to get to work. Writing — a verb — is the most important thing you can do, as a person who fits words together for fun. If you are not actively writing, you aren’t getting anything done. But as long as you’re writing, you’re winning. It’s not a matter of how fast you accomplish something, but the time and effort you put into getting closer and closer to the finish line.

I am writing. You are writing. We are “working on it.” Sometimes I spend time writing things I don’t have much interest in. Sometimes I write things I never look at again after turning away from them. It’s all part of the journey. You will never grow if you do not write something.

So go ahead. What are you waiting for? Write something. Anything. A letter to your imaginary friend. A chapter of a book you haven’t touched in six months. A poem, a song, a haiku — who cares what it is. The only time you’re wasting is the time you’re spending not writing. Gooooogogogogogogogo.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

3 thoughts on “The Clock is Ticking — Are You Writing?

  1. Every year, for the past couple of years, I’ve told myself, “this will be the year. This year, I will finish writing this book.”
    And every year, I have failed. Personally, I’ve found that goals like these simply do not work – maybe as an end goal, but we were always taught in school that we need to make sub-goals, or stepping goals, in order to reach the desired end result.
    It’s too broad, to say, “at some point over the next 365 days, I will complete this project.” I don’t know why it took me so long to realize I need to go smaller… perhaps because it simply isn’t the way with new years resolutions; it always seems like “go big or go home” but it’s important to realize that THAT is why these resolutions are so often a joke.

    No, this year I amended my goal. This year, my goal is to write at least three times a week. This year I have evaluated everything that drives me in writing and I have aimed to incorporate them more in my life in the hope that, this year, I may actually achieve a finished novel.
    This means that I have many goals this year, and while not all of them are going to be achieved, it is the combination of things which has seen more progress in my novel so far this year than it has had across the past 2 years. First, I must read. 12 books – one a month. I must write – at least three times a week, preferably more. I must set aside my time accordingly – I have reduced my study work load.
    And for once, I really believe I might make it.

    Sorry about the length; I just wanted to share ^-^

    1. I am apparently the queen of writing too many words, your comment is the perfect length :) THAT IS SUCH A GOOD SUB-GOAL. I love it. I too have made the mistake of saying “I’m going to finish this book this year” too many years in a row. Saying “I’ll write every day” didn’t work for me, but committing to a certain word count every day sure did. You’ve got it exactly right — small, bite-sized pieces a certain number of times per week add up to the end goal sooner than you think! Happy for you. :)

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