Kenneth Darter

Writing, Music, and Life

Archive for the category “Commitments”

Goals and Shortcuts

2011 is the year I’m hoping to start AND finish a novel.  It’s been something I’ve tried to do for some time now and this year I’ve made a commitment to myself to finish the job.

I’ve been working on the planning of this novel for some time now and finally started writing about two months ago.  It started off pretty well.  I set a realistic goal for myself with plenty of leeway built in to catch up if I fall behind.  I spent a lot of time last year working on short stories so I was pretty confidant in the number of pages I could write daily and the schedule that I have set.

But as you might have guessed already, the work hasn’t gone quite the way I had intended.  I’m a natural procrastinator so I’ll always find some reason to not work or worse yet, I’ll find a shortcut around the goals.

proc_image

The problem started when I printed the first 100 pages of the novel to start editing.  I realized that I needed to break up some of the chapters.  When I broke sections into separate chapters, my page count went up without my writing a word.  It was magic!!

Magic_wand

So the next day, I restructured the chapters again and then I did it again and again.  Now, I’m almost finished with my 500 page novel four months early!!!

(but each chapter is two sentences long).

Not really, but I did lose a few days messing around trying to up my page count.  I came up with several extraneous paragraphs at the end of every chapter just to kick the chapter over to the next page.  Those paragraphs will probably be tossed as soon as I start editing.

I’ve now made my daily and weekly goals word counts instead of page counts because it’s much harder to game the system that way.  (although I’m thinking about making all the characters Canadian so that every sentence of dialog ends with “eh”).

WolverineByrne

(everyone’s favorite canadian, eh)

One last bit of good news before I get back to the grind – I’ve now written more on this novel than I have every written on any other novel that I started!  That should be worth at least one day off to write a blog post, right?

New Directions

I’ve been avoiding writing this post for some time now.  I found myself cleaning the kitchen the other day instead of working on it.

800px-Dirty_dishes

(not my kitchen, but you get the idea)

Several months ago, I left a job I had been at for over eleven years and started a new job where I could work from home most of the time.  Being at home has given me extra time to pursue some of my long term goals.

One goal was something I had been praying about for some time and felt like it was important to do and devote a great deal of time to it.  But then the door was shut in my face.  Some part of me was relieved that the decision was out of my hands, but a big part of me wanted to know why it wasn’t right for me to pursue it right now (if at all).

And here’s where the hard part comes in – I got the answer to my question.

God led me to two things that needed to be on my “to-do” list.  To some extent they were already there, but the whole experience has helped show me what my priorities should be.

The first thing was to “Drink Deeply”.  I have been working for some time to make reading the Bible a daily habit.  But reading is not enough, I need to drink of His word like a man starving in the desert – study it, understand it, and live it.  And then, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be wise enough to teach it to my children.   But perhaps there are also other things in my life that I need to “drink deeply” of?

drinking

(I bet this guy drinks his fill whenever and wherever he wants to)

The second thing was to “Fulfill Commitments”.  When I think of commitments, my mind goes to the list of projects and chores I want to work on, especially the grandiose list that I made for 2011.  But I also have older projects that have been sitting idle for far too long and maybe there are other commitments in my life I need to pay attention to right now.  It’s time to clean house and work on finishing what I start, or at least, decide that it’s not something I’m going to do right now.

220px-Commitments_poster

(love this movie, still listen to the soundtrack)

So that’s where this blog comes in.  I’m going to document my journey in both of these areas on this blog.  This will help me maintain the direction that God is leading me in as well as help me fulfill one commitment which is this blog which has been ignored for sometime.

As always, I’m sure the journey will be fun and full of the unexpected.

direction

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