I used to set writing targets…
write something every day
write a thousand words a week
write one piece a week
write a poem each morning
…and sometimes I’d keep to the for a while, and eventually I’d run out of steam, or something would happen (a holiday, an illness, moving house, a divorce…whatever) and the target would cease to be a priority.
…or I’d fail really quickly, miss a day and the thing would collapse, miss a wordcount by a thousand and just give up.
what i realised was happening was that while the targets were good for very short term motivation, they were bad for long term results.
what i needed was a long term target, say a year.
then if i started slipping, I’d have time to pull it round, and I wouldnt have to to just give up.
I could have a bad day, or a bad week, or two, or three, and still have the target there, in sight.
while i was thinking about this i saw a tweet (can’t recall who) talking about how they weren;t keeping count of their acceptances, it was their rejections they were keeping count of.
if they got to one hundred rejections, then that meant that they’d had to write A LOT.
but it wasn’t a writing target as such. the writing was kind of a stealth target, secondary to the rejections.
also, presumably if you get 100 rejections in a year, somewhere along the line you’re going to get an acceptance or two…
it’s february. I’m up to 7 rejections. I’ve submitted 14 pieces.
and here’s the thing:
I’ve run out of old stuff to submit.
so I’ve started writing more stuff. not to a target. not exactly. just to feed the other target. the 100 rejections target.
and I’ve had one acceptance, too.
so, it’s ok. it’s working, at least a little.
i feel better about the writing, cos i haven’t failed to meet some impossible 5000 words a week bullshit.
because i’ve realised that my life isn’t like that – not every week it’s not, anyway.
and when i get a rejection, it makes me smile, cos i’m closer to the target. it puts a positive spin on a negative.
over a year, i should be able to write one hundred things, and if they all get rejected, well, i met my target.
but they won’t all get rejected.
and I’ll have written so much I’ll have improved.