Camp NaNoWriMo & Goal Setting

Hands up anyone who has ever been faced with a week’s worth of work and thought, “I can do that in a day. Maybe two. Three at the outside.” It seems so reasonable – start at six, maybe seven, then work straight through until ten p.m, allowing half-an-hour for a meal at noon, and another in the evening. Easy! And then reality ensues…

Pacemaker is a free-to-use online planning tool for any kind of progress that can be measured: in words, in hours, in pages, in steps, etc. What makes Pacemaker special is the ability to fine-tune as many or as few parameters as you like. Here, for example, is my drafting plan for The Avlem Burden:

This is the plan. Time will tell how well I stick to it.

As you can see, I’ve given Pacemaker my start and end dates, and my word-count goal. Then I adjusted the schedule (do less on Sundays, do more on Wednesdays and Saturdays) and marked off the week that I already know will be busy as “do less” again. Then I chose the “Mountain Hike” template, and Pacemaker calculated my target numbers for the whole project.

From start to finish, it took me about fifteen minutes to get exact daily targets for the next seven weeks. Not bad, considering that I am perfectly capable of wasting an entire day constructing the “perfect” spreadsheet to track my progress, with conditional formatting and day weighting. (What, me? A procrastinator? Um, let me get back to you on that…)

This seven-week project will include the whole month of July, so I’m going to take advantage of Camp NaNoWriMo for some extra encouragement. During that month, I’ll be sharing my progress on my Instagram. If you’re writing too, please drop by and leave a comment; I love finding writers to follow.

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