Keeping track of our goals with creative endeavors can sometimes fall out of line with our inspiration. The last time I wrote an update about The Dark Prince was May 8th, since then my plans have changed in unexpected ways. I wrote far more for The Alter Mysteries than expected and opened a shop that sells posters, mugs, and other goodies. As a result, I am woefully short of my word minimum for May.
My word count has gone up to 12,242 words, which is 7,758 words short of my 20,000 per month goal. However, recognizing where I have come short can go a long way toward getting myself back on track. Analysis of what was done well and what needs attention can help get a creative back on track.
Many creatives know that moment of intense inspiration where you can’t help but make what comes to you. The muse took me and forced me to write more of The Alter Mysteries. The ideas were so intense I could not stop writing. I feel that is a win. Since I plan to publish, The Alter Mysteries: Death Shadow, as a book. However, The Dark Prince is a book I want to publish on its own. Sooner rather than later. I want to prove to myself that I can write flash fiction while simultaneously pumping out books.
Since I have been productive I won’t punish myself for the low word count on The Dark Prince. However, this post is me reevaluating my metrics and refocusing on my goals. Creatives should review their goals and where they are in regards to meeting them. Granted sometimes you have to adjust plans and forgive yourself from taking unexpected detours. If I can manage to finish the month meeting my 20,000-word count for The Dark Prince – I consider that a win. If not, then I did well enough by writing at all and working toward my goals. Being productive in itself a great accomplishment – it is better than having no word count at all.
Once an evaluation has been done of where you fall in terms of accomplishing the goals you set, now it is time to go about improving in the areas you fell short. By June 1st I will attempt to bridge the 7,758-word gap. A big goal, but one worth working toward. The more momentum I can put towards writing my book the better. I want to have a working first draft in my hand to tear apart and gripe over editing. As my word count goes up my thoughts go toward beta readers. Every time I reach a milestone I am already thinking up what will I do next. Sometimes it can shift focus away from what’s important, but this check in I do with my word count helps me go back to basics. Once the evaluation is done, and a creative sets up new goals based on what needs work, now it is time to focus on what was done right.
As a creative, producing results, you deserve a pat on the back, yes? This month I have been releasing new posts for The Alter Mysteries consistently, writing my book, and even opened a shop. I have been productive so I plan to treat myself by doing something I enjoy.
Purposely going out of your way to reward yourself for doing work is important. Just like a good company rewards its employees, you should reward yourself for working hard. Rewards are a way of incentivizing yourself to go above and beyond to meet your goals. Just remember that output isn’t always necessarily about volume, it’s about quality too. That is why we stop and check in to see where we are with things, not just by measuring our accomplishments, but taking a look at how others have responded. Did you get more followers? Has anyone taken the time to appreciate your work? It’s okay if no one has yet, but don’t forget that quality is extremely important.
Do you have any tips for reaching creative goals? If so, feel free to share. As always, thank you for reading.