In a prior post, Grind - My Focus For 2022, I laid out some very general goals I had for 2022 at that time. My promise was that I would follow up with SMART goals. As a refresh, a SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. At the time, my post was me putting a stake in the ground. I was declaring to myself and to the world where I felt God leading me this year.
Why Post Goals In Public?
Why put my goals out there like that? For one, I need some sort of accountability. Something difficult to change so I won’t back out when things get tough. Second, I want to bring others along with me on the journey. Third, regularly writing about my goals in public forces me to spend regular time reviewing them. And last, it allows me to work through them and look back at how far I have come in the process.
Goals For Each Website
- Hone my craft, AKA writing skills
- Build an audience
- Write and publish books for these audiences
- Experiment with different forms of monetization
500 Words #writingskills
With this outline as an overview, I will dive into the progress I have made in goal setting. 500 Words. Let me say it again, five h-u-n-d-r-e-d words. To work on my writing skills, I have set a daily writing goal of 500 words. I write 500 words all the time, but for some reason, this goal is a little daunting.
No Big Deal
It really should not be a big deal. I write about nonsense without issue, but I guess it comes down to the pressure of hitting 500 words each day. Maybe that is a good indicator I need to press into this goal. As I have been learning more about healthy practices for writers, this writing every day seems to be a consistent theme I have come across. At first, I thought it might be one writer’s opinion on best practices. The more research I do into writing, the more this idea presents itself.
So, here I go. I have been doing this for 10 days now. Up until this point I have yet to get to 500 words in a day. I guess I have allowed myself to get distracted. Let’s face it, distraction is everywhere! Before I started down this path, I knew this would not be easy. I knew I would probably struggle to get to my daily goal. So none of this is a surprise to me.
Iteration Is Key
I will keep working, iterating on the practice until I find something which works. I will enjoy the journey and treasure the lessons learned along the way. What I will not do is quit. This is more about practice and less about writing beautiful prose. From what I have read or heard via podcasts, this writing will not be for public consumption most of the time. For some reason that seems backward. I guess I find it hard to write when I do not have an audience in mind.
It is also difficult to write without a topic. So I started by writing out my goals and working on them each day. Half of the time I was outlining and not writing paragraphs. A lot of times my daily writing is a mishmash of notes, thoughts, and sometimes prose. I am not sure what will ultimately come out of this practice, but I am told the rewards are worth it.
Tracking My Progress
I have also been outlining goals, tracking, etc. in a tool called Notion. I have seen endless posts about the wonderful tool which is Notion, but until now I have yet to dive in to see what all of the fuss is about. I have a page outlining goals. I created several pages for tracking my progress on goals. I keep adding to it, learning how to mark things off as I make progress on these goals.
The good thing about writing about this is that I need to come back to my goals regularly just to see how I am doing. As I learn and make mistakes I will change things. I might change the details of a goal or the entire goal itself. The idea is to keep at this to get to a healthy habit. I have never done a brain dump on this scale before. So, we will see what comes out of spilling my guts each day.
Mistakes Are Part Of The Process
I already realize I will make mistakes. I have made room for mistakes. Not just room, I expect them regularly as part of the process. As part of this posting my goals in public, I am also willing to be vulnerable with my audience. I can already tell you this is a struggle. Many, many days I started, but I fail to get even halfway to my goal of 500 words. I am realizing this might require me to identify and eliminate distractions one by one.
Self-editing is a struggle. I realize that most people will not see the majority of what I write during this time, but I cannot walk away when I see errors in my writing. It stops my train of thought if I do not fix the errors as I see them. So far I am okay with this, but I understand that part of this practice is getting things out of my head and onto paper. We will see if this editing becomes a problem.
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash.