Re-alignment

Imagine my surprise as I look over my to-do list. There are a number of things that are not checked off as having been completed. There is no surprise. I expected it.

Each of these tasks have to do with my writing.

Thinking about it, I’ve been severely misaligned in my priorities.

A thousand words is too much. I am capable; however, I’ve run into a problem where I’ve been sacrificing the other work that I need to accomplish to get the bigger word count. And given that I haven’t had good rituals to set myself up for each day, I have struggled, sometimes even with the word count itself. Interruptions, both internal and external, though are a factor, are not a primary driver in my inability to complete these tasks. Simply put, I’ve loaded my task list with more tasks than I am able to complete. I need to realign my daily goals.

Realignment requires knowing what my priorities are. In my writing, getting a daily word count is paramount, yet this is where I’ve been running into trouble. There’re also the seven projects I have that need review. Word count can’t continue to hold the priority when I have a backlist of seven books wanting to get out. I need to prep them for beta readers, for those helping me with the final edits.

Although if I want to keep up the high daily word count, I would be doing myself a disservice. At least in keeping that as the target, the goal. It can no longer be my primary driver.

Stopping is an option, as it always is. I could stop writing every day in favor or using that time to edit instead. Or to plan. The problem is, if I am not writing every day, then I am not practicing. Getting better at anything means that practice must be a part of the effort. Thus, not writing every day is not possible.

Word count goals, although not necessary, are useful for ensuring that a certain volume is written. There’s a part of me that would be OK with dispensing with the goal of a daily word count, but at the same time, having an aim is important. It helps to force the writing. The best option there is to then reduce it. A lot.

To help make more time for the editing, for the planning for future projects, I am going to knock back the daily writing goal. It feels like the right thing to do. Continuing to keep piling on new projects without clearing out the backlog is only going to make my future even tougher. And that is certainly no longer acceptable.

Published by Jeremy C Kester

Writer.

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