I was doing so well with my goals over all until this past week. Looking for motivation was like hitting a brick wall or something. I just kept bouncing off something in my mind when I went to be productive. I did eventually get a good bit done but it was tooth and nails fighting. Part of it, I’m sure, was that personal stuff going on (tire, etcetera), and part of it was likely all the rain. I don’t do well with days on end of clouds and rain. I could’ve been a little burned out - there’s been a lot of pressure at work and a lot of feeling like the effort I’m putting into my job right now isn't really going anywhere (not necessarily true, but definitely how I’m feeling) and I know that will put a damper on putting work into “extra stuff” - aka the stuff I’m not currently being paid to do.
But I think I may have also set the wrong goals or at least set my goals in the wrong way.
When I first started writing again this February my goals were something like:
Write 500 words
Spend 30 minutes doing productive things that are not reading or writing a day and some days that should be exercise.
And that worked really, really well. I added and morphed as I went along but I’m still basically in that same kind of mode I think.
The good thing about that structure was it let me work on whatever project was what I either most needed or most wanted to work on that day. I wasn’t, for lack of a better word, trying to micromanage myself. I didn’t realize you could do such a thing - micromanage yourself - but as it turns out, you can and I did my very best. Unfortunately, I don’t do well with micromanagement so does that mean I’m back to the drawing board on my new goals?
Well, yes, I think so. Maybe reverting back to previous standards might be a good way to put it. But I do want to also keep in mind that there are two things happening right now… maybe three? Maybe a trillion? Anyway…
First, I am giving up the copywriting thing and seeing if I can get my money back. That was part of deal within a year if I decided it wasn’t for me that I could get my money back so I am working on that now. It sounded like a great idea but the more I get into it the more I feel like it’s pulling me away from my actual goal which is to write fiction and get paid for it. While advertisements and sales letters take smarts, creativity, and work, it’s not my ultimate goal and if I learned anything from spending time learning American Sign Language, it’s that if I dedicate my spare time away from my job on something other than my main goals, I tend to end up either frustrated, bored, sad, overwhelmed, stressed, generally unhappy, or some combination thereof. It would be a really cool thing to do and learn and make money off of but the more I split my time and attention the less I’ll move forward on any particular thing. Then I’ll feel scattered and useless. Then I’ll get depressed. And I’ll be exhausted from the scattered effort and then I’ll get anxious about not being good enough and then I’ll get tired and more depressed. So, sorry copywriting. Maybe we’ll reevaluate at a later date.
Second, I applied for a mentor program. Rebby has always been such a wonderful person but I’ve asked her to be friend, beta, and mentor and she’s always tried to help but I know she has massive goals of her own right now and while I hope and will endeavor to make sure that we continue to be these things to each other, I hope that finding another mentor will help make our writing relationship better. Plus, I think another perspective is a great idea. There are only so many slots available for this free program so I’m not guaranteed to get it.
Third, I’ve signed up for a course call Lit Mag Love about submitting to literary magazines. It includes finding good fit magazines, how to write cover letters, and information that editors are looking for all which I think will be tremendously helpful. It will also involve six weeks of accountability and peer feedback. As I’ve been such a coward about going for trying to get published etcetera I think it would be so good for me. There’s also part of the program for working on setting up a submission system and I’ve read so so so much about how success is based more on good systems than literally anything else so I can’t help but be drawn to this. Plus I think I kind of love systems - at least in personal cases. I didn’t realize that this was a thing with me until recently, but there you go.
So new weekly goals will revolve around completing course assignments and meeting with peer groups, course leaders, and any mentors that I get. Then each day I’ll need to decide what the priorities are. I still need to make sure that I’m writing or doing work for writing every day and I still want to exercise every day. But I am going to let my energy levels and focus do a little more guiding again in what I accomplish each day.
And also, if there is anything that I am saving for the last minute, I’m going to really dig into why I’m putting it off. Is it because I’m scared of failure and success like I am with establishing my website or is it because I really just don’t have real interest in the project and it’s taking away from the things I am genuinely giddy over like copywriting? Because those two things need to be handled very differently.
Thanks for being on this journey with me.