This month, I’d set myself the goal of 85K words. I was going to achieve this goal by writing 4K per day, 5 days a week, with a little extra now and again.
Yeah–that’s not going to happen.
I’m way off pace for making 85K this month. If I managed to marathon a few days I might get back on track, but I’m really far behind.
Now, I am not one of those people who can set a high goal, not make it, and then automatically feel good about what I did manage to achieve. I’ve been depressed about my word count, even though I’m still, relatively speaking, writing a lot.
My current word count for the month is 25K. In order to make 85K, I’d have to be closer to 40K at this point, not 25K. If I stay at this exact pace, that’s about 50K this month. I know that for a lot of people, that’s a respectable achievement.
I’d like to do better than that. Maybe between 60-70K. We’ll see though.
So I am changing my goal for the month, mid-month.
The primary reason is that my hormones continue to play silly buggers with me. At this point, I cannot count on having a lot of good or even great days in a row. It isn’t as bad as when I was suffering from multiple migraines every week, but it’s in that same realm.
I can divide my days into three categories: Great, okay, and bad.
On great days, I can write. I’ll achieve much more than 1K words per hour, frequently reaching what I call “flow state” and I’ll get 2K words per hour.
On okay days, I have some brain, but not as much as usual. Writing takes discipline on those days. It’s a lot harder to do. 1K words per hour is a good hour for me on those days.
On bad days, yeah. It’s just hard to do anything, both physically and mentally.
So instead of having a monthly word count and regular daily goals, I’m setting goals for myself based on the category of day, as well as having time. (It’s still summer, and we have multiple projects we need to finish. That means some days, even if they’re great days physically and mentally, I don’t write.)
If I’m having a great day, and I can squeeze in the time, write 4K that day.
If I’m having an okay day, write what I can and be content with 1K words per hour. Those days will probably have lower word count, and I need to be okay with that. I’m not actually setting a word count goal for those days, though I’d like to achieve at least 2500 words. That seems to be about what I can do on those days, having had more than one recently.
If I’m having a bad day, write 500 words. That’s it. Just try for that. Frequently I’ll get as many as 800, but rarely will I achieve 1000.
It kind of breaks my heart to have to set such low goals for myself. (I know, I know. Those goals are high for some people. They feel low to me.) But I also have to face the reality of my physical situation. If my hormones suddenly started behaving and I had great days for the rest of the month, I’ll be able to achieve a lot of words.
But that’s a REALLY big if. I cannot count on my body suddenly doing what I want it to do.
My fervent hope is that my hormones will only be this wildly out of control for a short while, like a month or two, and then I actually enter menopause and things smooth out.
In the meanwhile, I’m doing what I can. I continue to eat well most of the time. (I find that on the okay days, it’s harder, and I’ve been having strange cravings.) I continue to do some level of exercise every day, though most days now I’m just stretching in the morning and I’m not really doing what I’d call yoga. I stay hydrated (because that’s doubly important right now.)
And I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude, focusing on what I can do, and not on what I can’t do. I can still write most days (which was impossible when I was having so many migraines.) I can still publish and create covers and do art manipulation and all like that. I can stay on top of the business paper work (having finally caught up!) I can still walk and stretch.
As someone said to me recently, “Menopause isn’t for sissies.” Let me tell you sister, I’m living the shit out of that right now.
Hopefully your future looks a touch more stable than mine at this point–though that is honestly a low bar right now.