I think I’ve given up on my writing goals

Apparently, I am an art teacher too. Can you tell it’s a collage of the ocean?

The week started out promising.

I wrote a blog post on Monday inspired by Just.Be.Enough.

But then, I wrote a grocery list, a couple of checks, started posts that never got finished, and edited a 5th grader’s paper about discrimination and the book The Cay.

So this morning, when I read the Red Writing Hood Prompt,

Writing Goals: Take three hundred words and tell us about where you want to take your writing,

I almost laughed out loud.

Actually, I think one of those “I’m-so-nervous-and-don’t-know-how-to-respond-giggles” did escape my mouth. I also read some of the posts linked to the prompt and was immediately intimidated. They were full of lofty goals about finishing books, breaking out into the publishing world and how they are taking their craft to the next level.

Shit, I’d be happy with just scribbling something other than coffee, razor blades and tampons on a piece of paper.

Or how about being able to finish reading something longer than a recipe?

Not so long ago, I remember being completely geek-ed up about writing a novel, trying to get published in a magazine or finally submitting my picture book somewhere. I can still feel the pride of having someone say, “hey, I really liked your article in the Livingston Parent Journal“. It’s not that those desires aren’t still lurking around somewhere. I assure you, they are just sulking and waiting in the shadows for the perfect moment to jump out and remind me how little I have achieved towards any writing goals.

But I have to be realistic.

I feel like I need to set achievable goals.

I need goals I can see come to fruition in a day or at least by the end of a week.

I’m just happy I finished this blog post.

24 thoughts on “I think I’ve given up on my writing goals

  1. Hence one of my goals being finishing multiple blog posts per week – some weeks I’m lucky to get that far. Don’t give up, though, take that extra 10 minutes to work just a bit on something other than a blog post. Start small and work your way up and you’ll be reaching some lofty goals of your own in no time!

  2. You are singing my song. Some days I feel so scattered. Sometimes, forcing myself to write something actually pulls all the pieces together. But often it’s better just to put those creative scraps in safe place for later. Oh, and the scribbled notes? They are all over my desk, and mulching in the bottom of my purse, and in the pocket of jackets packed away since last spring. And I think grocery lists are a kind of poetry if you read them the right way. Congrats on finishing the post!

  3. some days you will write nothing, others more than you could imagine. Just take it day by day and don’t feel disappointed if your only writing is razors, milk, bread 😉

  4. I had a similar reaction to that Red Writing Hood prompt. The demands of parenting and keeping the household running are so much more immediate and pressing than the imperative to write. I carve out time here and there, which seems an enormous accomplishment, but I cringe whenever I see how much more or better other writers are doing.

    Years ago, I followed a comic strip that regularly featured “The Woman Who Does Everything Better Than You.” This character always accomplished such outrageous things as organizing her freezer contents alphabetically while writing an opera libretto. The strip helped me put things in perspective and made me laugh, two things I greatly needed and appreciated. I wish I’d clipped those strips or could find it again.

  5. I’m working on short stories right now. The freedom of letting go of the “novel dream” for me, for now, has made my writing more productive. (Not that I’ve been published yet or anything!) I hope you can figure out a goal that makes you feel challenged without being overwhelming.

    1. Short stories is probably a good place for me to retreat to – or poetry. I used to write lots of poetry but haven’t in years. It’s always so nice to feel like you have almost a finished work…and I say “almost” because I don’t think any of us are completely satisfied with any “final” draft.

  6. Oh, hell, somedays all I write down are things like, “frozen veggies, toddler wipes” and then a scribbled line like “Cape Cod musician creep” and hope that survives until I can expand on the idea. Congrats on finishing the blog post. Seriously. I’ve got a lot of drafts gathering cobwebs.

    And I saw somewhere recently, probably Pinterest, something like you can’t compare someone else’s public face to your behind the curtain, so don’t be intimidated.

    1. Hilarious! I write down random thoughts too, in the hopes that I will remember why I wrote them down in the first place. Unfortunately, I seem to keep writing them down on little scraps of paper that disappear. Sigh. But that “Cape Cod musician creep” sounds interesting…

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