Hi, my name’s Berin and I overthink things. Part of this comes from being a project manager. Some of it stems from living with an anxiety disorder. Another chunk comes from having executive dysfunction. It all comes down to need for well-organized information and processes in order to function and feel like I have some semblance of control. Today I’d like to acknowledge that I’m an overly-analytical writer, and talk about that a bit.
When I decided to write a novel, I didn’t start by creating an outline. I didn’t even begin with a project plan, you you might expect. The first thing I did was to develop a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). My project plan and the dedicated bullet journal came after that. Be grateful that my initial posts didn’t go into great gory details on those topics; I really wanted to write a 12-part series on laying out a bullet journal for novel writing.
(I still might, later, but it’s a whole other project on top of the novel and the blog.)
On Being an Overly-Analytical Writer
It’s okay to laugh, but it’s how my brain works. Honestly, getting the “heart of an accountant” stuff out of the way means that I can try to lean into the “soul of a poet” part as I write. It establishes a quiet, distraction-free space in my mind so I’m able create.
The SMART goal can be summed up as follows:
- Specific: I am writing a 50,000 word first draft of a Gothic-inspired literary novel.
- Measurable: I will write 600 words per day and chart my progress.
- Achievable: It fits with my lifestyle, my other work, and my capabilities.
- Relevant: This goal fits with my other goals and the life I want.
- Time-Bound: The deadline for completing the first draft in February 29, 2020.
These are not ridiculous things to have clarity around before taking on a major endeavor like writing a novel. What I’m glossing over are the days of mental chaos that I had to tame in order to get to this concise summary of my objectives. I have to be overly-analytical about everything so that I can prioritize what’s important and chuck out the things that are so much noise and clutter.
Progress Report: Day 4
- Today is day 4 of 90 on my journey to write the first draft of a novel.
- Yesterday I wrote 630 words, bringing the total to 3,784.
- That puts me 1,984 words ahead of my target goal, based on writing 600 words per day.
- I’m currently working out of chronological order, writing the introduction scenes for each of the major characters.
- Today is Katie’s birthday. As is traditional, I am making meat loaf and roasted Brussels sprouts at her request. She’s asked for pineapple upside down cake instead of a traditional birthday cake, so I will be making that from scratch.
- To fit in with the subject of this post, I have to clean the kitchen before I cook. There can’t be so much as a coffee cup sitting in the sink. Ingredients and all necessary implements have to be staged. It just makes things easier.
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