78 – 15,000 Words
I am bad as schedules.
“Getting things done”
I’m just not very good at any of it. I get filled with bursts of hyper-powered mojo and crank out ridiculous amounts of work in a very short period of time…
Then, I collapse into my own, personal Odinsleep.
Time management is definitely not my strong suit. I keep trying. I keep setting deadlines and building schedules. I work really hard to stick to them. I know they would be beneficial to me if I could get myself to stick with them for more than a few hours.
Yes. You heard that right. A few hours.
I’m not going to give up on trying, though. I’m going to keep on working to get better. A life filled with chaos just isn’t conducive to success.
Much like my writing, my life needs structure.
But, I think I’ve been trying too hard to fight my nature as a burst monster. At the start of this year, my goal was to write 1,000 words every day. I managed to make it to about January 15. I even managed to average out to about that through March. I was pretty proud of myself.
Then, I hit a wall and spent way too much time laying on my couch and binging Netflix.
I punished myself for not being able to do something I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do when I started.
It was failure paralysis.
And, instead of taking stock and learning the lessons, I tried to push forward again and again.
Then, I came up against a deadline and had to get some serious work done. So, I got back into bursty mode. I wrote. I wrote a lot. I wrote a lot in a very short amount of time. I didn’t worry about daily word counts. I just focused on getting the things done when I said I was going to get them done.
Then, almost as if I was drawn by a force of providence, looked back at my productivity and learned something about myself.
I am extremely productive on Monday evenings.
Seriously. I can sit down and write around 6,000 words on a Monday night. It’s great. That’s a big chunk of words. For someone who was shooting for 1,000 words per day, that’s almost an entire week’s worth of words in one night.
I still have good momentum on Tuesdays, too. I can usually knock out around 4,000 words on a Tuesday night.
That puts me over the average.
By the time Thursday comes around, though, it’s a slog to get to 1,000 words.
And Friday? Forget about it…
Saturdays are when I do this podcast, which gives me a little pick-me-up in total words for the week, but Sunday is usually the day I spend doing laundry and cleaning my apartment. Very unproductive.
Then, I bounce back on Monday night.
This pattern has been prevalent in my writing now for almost two months. I think there might just be something to it.
I need to learn to surf my own waves of productivity.
Which has led to my new goal: 15,000 words per week — Across all of the non-day-job writing I do.
- The scripts to my podcast
- The weekly short story
- Monologue Scripts
- New book fiction
- Newsletter emails
Everything related to advancing my career. The goal is 15,000 words per week.
I know it still averages out to more than 2,000 words per day, but I *think* the daily goal was what made me feel like I wasn’t able to keep going. Missing a day before put me in a place where I would sit and say, “Why bother?”
Now, if I hit 6k words on Monday, I’m almost halfway there.
By the end of Tuesday, I’m in the home stretch.
Wednesday will put me in the home stretch and by Thursday, I’ll be batting cleanup.
Friday, I wont’ feel bad for sitting on my couch in front of my hyper-powered fan and watching television. My week was finished early.
It’s more productivity with less stress.
I don’t know if it will work. I think it will. I have good historical data to show it will. I believe I’m moving in the right direction.
In a few months, I’ll look back at what I’ve managed to accomplish and determine if I need to make a change. I’m going to give myself permission to evaluate, analyse, and alter my path for maximum productivity.
The goal is to spend the second half of 2016 learning myself as a producer. I need to know exactly how consistent and productive I can be. The next six months will be a test run and will give me an excellent understanding of what I am actually able to accomplish.
Knowing how much I can realistically expect from myself will let me go into 2017 with a plan. A realistic plan. A plan I can execute and be proud of.
I have to remind myself this career is a marathon, not a sprint. I need to focus on the long haul. I also need to be real with myself. I’m probably not in a place, right now, where I can pump out 10,000 words every day and write fifty books a year.
I’m not able to produce at that level right now. I need to accept it and focus on producing what I can.
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I’ll be back next week with more exciting narcissism to massage your eardrums, so have a wonderful weekend.