A couple of days ago, I typed THE END to my first draft of a novel. I have been working on this particular piece for about 2 years. It’s gone through several revisions before I even wanted to call it a first draft. It is one thing to say you will write a book, and quite another to say THE END.
We are all filled with good intentions, like when you tell a friend you’re going to drop by but just haven’t had the chance, or you told your child that you would take them to the park only to let the day slip away. It’s in our actions and not by our words that we change those intentions into a reality.
To Finish or Not
Remember that not all things need finishing. There was a time in my life when all I wanted was to speak French fluently. I switched colleges and took a class in beginner/intermediate French. I felt pretty confident until I settled in my seat. In French grammar, I excelled. Conjugate a verb? Sure thing. Translate a sentence from English to French? I’m your gal. Speak so as not to sound like a newbie? Big-time fail. What I didn’t realize was that I signed for a class filled with Mormon return missionaries. They had spent two years in the country fully immersed in the language and culture. The closest I came to French culture was escargot.
“Repetez-vous, s’il vous plaît,” and “Je ne comprehend pas,” were my go-to statements. By the end of the week, I concluded that I could not keep up with the class. I could get through the grammar, but the oral portion was graded heavily. I withdrew from the class and still Je parle un peu Français. Yes, of course, I could rekindle the flame to learn French fluently, but it’s no longer a high priority.
*Since this post, I have rekindled the flame to become fluent, thanks to Duolingo. For fun, I have also included Italian and Mandarin.
Redirect and Prioritize
It’s essential to list your intentions and determine what we will or won’t finish. We need to be completely honest with ourselves because if we can’t be honest with ourselves, who else can do that for us?
A TODAY List
If you are like my daughter, she is a list maker, but she gets easily frustrated with herself when she can’t finish her TODAY list. Don’t over-extend yourself on your list. Writing too many things down will have you beating yourself up and the end of the day. Create a list for just TODAY. You can keep track of the things that matter today and not what mattered yesterday. Be intentionally here today, and you will finish.
If you have something high on your list that requires more days to finish, write down what you can do today. As NANOWRIMO approaches, I will be taking words day by day….1667 words per day, to be exact, so you know what will be on my list every day? Write 1667 words per day. When I finish that each day, I can check it off my list and move forward. By the end of the month, I’ll have over 50k words written. I will have finished a writing project ready to revise and rewrite. Change your intentions into finished goals. I know you can, but most importantly, remind yourself daily that you know you can.