Pressing the reset button...after hitting the snooze.

It's been kind of a week, right? No matter who you voted for, the aftermath of the election was a noisy mess. I'll admit, I let the commotion derail me from the projects I've been working on--namely, the first draft of my newest book. Throughout October, I planned the novel by participating in author Kaye Dacus's FirstDraft60 challenge. But work commitments slowed me down, and then the election stalled me altogether. Almost two weeks into writing, my word count was so small that it was pretty clear I couldn't catch up.

Turns out, I wasn't alone.

Kaye posted on Thursday that she's switching things up to help those of us who have fallen behind. The new target first draft goal date is January 31, 2017! Having 120 days vs. the original 60 to complete the novel is so much more feasible for me. My job is out of control at the moment, and it only gets worse through the holidays. Easing up on my daily word count goal gives me a better chance at finishing my draft. And I really want to finish. I'm getting into this book and enjoying the characters. I know how I think the story will shake out, but I'm excited to find out if I'm right--since we all know characters have a way of making up their own minds.

To keep myself focused and to balance all my responsibilities, I created a weekly goal tracker. It's actually set up like a little kid's reward chart. I respond well to bribes, especially if they're slathered with frosting. Here's a peek at my own chart.

reward_chart_s.madelin_image2.jpg

It's still blank since I just made it today, but I hope that it will help keep me on track. And I made a blank version for you! Feel free to download and use it as much as you want.*

I hope you enjoy it. Best of luck with reaching all your own goals!

(*Yeah, all the standard "please don't sell or claim ownership of this" stuff applies. I can't imagine anyone would pay for this thing, but I used to own a design business and the disclaimers are built into my brain now.)