Monday, September 6, 2010

Of Squirrels and Word Counts

The other day I sat at my kitchen table and looked out my sliding glass doors to the back yard. Something round and white moved in the grass behind a small slide. My curiousity got the best of me. I stood up and saw a squirrel carrying a round piece of bread that was at least twice the size of its head! Take a moment and picture that if you'd like. I wish my camera had been in the room.

The squirrel carried the bread in its mouth and disappeared up into the giant maple. Amused, I sat back down at the table. A moment later the squirrel was back at the bottom because the bread had dropped out of its mouth. Again, it tryed to pick up the bread that was TWICE THE SIZE OF ITS HEAD. It finally managed to hold the bread between its teeth and resume its climb. Persistent little thing, I thought.

Not long ago I made a crazy squirrel-like goal for myself. 10k words written in one weekend. 10k words in a loooooong weekend. A word count that's at least twice the size of my No, scratch that. I don't really know if its within my ability, yet. I started on Friday and had a rockin good start - around a thousand. No problem. Saturday - NOT ONE WORD. Sunday, another thousand. Monday's not over yet, but I'm not planning on reaching 8k today.

There have been lots of distractions this weekend. Distractions are not necessarily a bad thing, though. In fact, I've had a lot of wonderful ones. Two of those distractions happened right here in Blogville. Thanks to Donna's Blog Party and Karen G's BBQ I've met some lovely friends, some who write and some who encourage those of us who write. I don't consider the time I spent visiting blogs and meeting new people as wasted writing time at all. We're in this writing thing together, right? We need all the support and encouragement we can get!

Spending time with my family has been another happy distraction. Nothing special, but it's the last laid back, stress-free weekend we have together before the madness of schoolworksoccerhomeworkpractice-ohwehavetoeat-laundrywritedrivingdrivingdrivingbed. (Note to self: don't forget to breathe.) Family will always be my first priority.

Even though I did bite off a bit more than I can chew this weekend, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'm still proud of what I've accomplished so far. I can pick up my piece of bread, keep on plugging away at my novel, and continue to climb up that tree. On second thought, I think I'll skip the tree climbing.


  1. Way to go, Suzie, both for setting the goal and for being realistic if you don't reach it.

    (btw, I'm here via Donna's blog party. Hope you don't mind.)

  2. I love goals, even if I never follow them to a tee. Sometimes having an overachiever personality allows us to meet more goals than we normally would if we underestimated ourselves.

    I found you over at the BBQ and I'm glad I did, you and I have the same background, and I consider that to be awesome! Means we both have amazing taste!

  3. Hey, don't beat yourself up! 2K is 2K more than I've done in a very very long time. It's a good thing to set goals and try to stick to them, but don't worry about it too much. Just adjust. :)

  4. Hell, girl - that is a great achievement. There is nothing wrong with setting yourself an ambitious target.

  5. Squirrels never give up do they? I watched one try to build a nest for over an hour. (wait, that sounds like I sit with nothing to do all day... I didn't actually watch the whole time.) Every time the twig it cut to use for the nest fell off the side of the house, it would go to the tree and cut another twig instead of using the old one, but it was going to build that nest OR ELSE!

    I tough goal to reach is sometimes good for me. It pushes me harder than a wimpy goal, ya know? And the last weekend before hell, I mean school/sports catches up to you is an even tougher time to write. I didn't even try this weekend. I just got myself and the girls ready for the week ahead. :)

    Keep writing!!!

  6. Hi Weavers! Of course you're welcome here. Any friend of Donna is a friend of mine. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Hello Jen! We do have amazing taste, don't we? The funny thing is, I'm not really an over-achiever most of the time. I just love lists!

    Elana! Thanks for dropping by. I'm feeling good about my 2k, especially since I can see where I'm headed right now.

  7. Thanks Donna! Especially if you knew how crazy it's been around here this weekend, lol!

    I know Michelle! I once watched a squirrel build a nest too. Wore me out! Thanks for the encouragement and good luck to your girls this week.

  8. Hi Suzie,
    10K written in one weekend is better than nothing! I couldn't write anything this weekend due to Labor Day. So pat yourself on the back, you did great! Oh, and by the way, thanks for sharing your squirrel anecdote. I love these little creatures. Today, I fed one that only had three legs :( This is the second time I see it and I try to carry nuts/almonds with me all the time so that I can feed it. This three-legged squirrel is amazing! She can climb, bury her food, and run like its counterparts. "She" I want to think it's a she, taught me a big lesson: "Don't let life's challenges bring you down and keep on living!

  9. My best was a 4,500 words day. I was so proud of that. As much as I hate distrastions, often I find they cause me to have a clearer direction for the story once I do sit down to write again. Truth is, it's just hard to tell ourselves to write. It's difficult to tune in to the story on demand. I've known myself to write hundreds of words before the 'right' mood kicked in. So, you've done good.