I have a friend who set a daily writing goal of 1,000 words per day. For her that means fiction writing, so a blog post like this wouldn’t count, or any other social networking writing. A thousand words per day may not sound very daunting, at least to those who can whip out 10,000 or more on a good day. That’s not to say she doesn’t have some days when she’ll write far more words and spend the following day with other pursuits. But the average goal must be met because it’s really 365,000 words in a year that she’s after—meaning several projects can be completed.
My daughter used to read a book a day when she took public transportation to and from work. She had an hour-long bus ride in the morning, another hour in the evening, and often an entire hour at lunch that she could spend reading. She would also finish her day with a book at home after dinner or before bed. For a fast reader like her, she could finish even a hefty book in a day or two.
I’m neither a fast writer nor a fast reader. My personal goal for writing is around 2,000 words per day, but I rarely work weekends because there are just too many distractions, and I take a sabbath rest from sundown Saturday until sundown Sunday. But for me, that’s enough progress to feel like I’m accomplishing something—and entire books do get finished this way.
For reading, I save that for the end of my day. There are some days when I read only a page or two before my eyelids get heavy, but there are others (particularly on weekends!) when I can read quite a chunk. I’m certainly not reading the number of books my daughter read when she had three+ hours per day, but I still escape into another world on a regular basis and benefit from it in so many ways (enjoyment, education, honing my own love of the craft).
We all define progress in our own way; what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. But if we make time for the things that are important to us, progress is bound to happen.
So carve out a little time for the things that are important to you. Progress happens!