Today I find myself having an off day, so please do excuse any strange or ‘off’ vibes. It’s one of those days where I feel off kilter, like I’m floating around in space and I’ve forgotten how to do every day things properly. Like walking, being sociable, not starting things on fire, etc.
Sleep deprivation at is best, I’m afraid.
But on with it…
Goals are a vast subject. In this post I’m addressing my weekly writing goal and then my blogging goals in general. They tie in… obviously.
I write 5 days a week. Just like most other jobs. I set a goal of writing anywhere from 2 to 5 pages a day, five days a week. If I go for word count, I’m paying too much attention to numbers because the count is right there at the bottom of the screen for me to see. By going with page numbers, I concentrate more on what I’m writing and normally end up forgetting what page I’m on and am more likely to get lost in the story I’m putting to paper. On the other hand, if I only write 2 pages because its 4am and I’m running on zombie, I can’t feel guilty.
But regardless, my goal is to write.
About a week ago, Brian brought up a good point. He asked me…
Yes, but do you consider things like editing and research part of the writing process? What I mean is if you don’t write 2 to 5 pages, but you read an article about POV, or critiqued another writer’s chapter, do you still feel like you’ve been productive? I’ve found many more things go into writing than actually writing.
[Source: this post]
He got me thinking (dangerous thing to do).
What happens when I’m plotting, or building characters, or revising, leaving a draft alone for two weeks (aka torture), doing research, working on my elevator pitch, looking into a part of writing as a craft, etc….? Don’t I count spending time on that as reaching my goal as well?
As Brian said, being a writer has a lot more than just writing to it – as any dedicated, motivated, and persistent writer aspiring for publication will tell you.
Yet here I am only counting the actual writing.
I think my reasoning went something like this…
I go bonkers when stuck in any stage other than writing. Why? Not because I don’t enjoy it, that’s not it at all. But what I really want to be doing is writing the story burning inside me.
I guess I put everything else out of my mind where goals are concerned, before Brian brought this up. So what all do I count? Only writing, or do other things count – now that I’ve thought about it?
With the way my brain works it splits into two separate categories.
- writing in one of my two current novels
- character building
- research for one of my novels
- critiquing another’s novel
- reading a published book from the store
- research into literary agents
- anything that teaches me about the craft or business of writing
Both categories are part of being a writer. But only the first one, in my mind, is what consists of my weekly goal. I must do one of those four things five days a week, or I haven’t met my goal. And then I have guilt. Yick.
I obviously have to do what resides in category two as well, if I plan on becoming a published writer, but I don’t require myself to do it daily. So how could I consider it as part of my weekly goal? I can’t.
Now that I have this all sorted out in my noggin, things feel more solid. And my goals make more sense where writing is concerned. Thanks for making me think Brian.
Now I must go fix my WIP page somehow…
My blogging goals have been something I’ve been thinking on since before deciding to blog. And they’ve been driving me insane.
Until, that is, I read a post by August McClaughlin (over here).
This stood out:
Whenever I feel concerned about being all-over-the-place, I remember what Kristen Lamb told me: “Readers will fall in love with your voice. That’s what matters.” Even when we juggle multiple mediums, our voice is our own.
August was talking about how she blogs on more than one thing. She was once concerned that by having more than one purpose for her blog, readers would get annoyed and stop reading.
She could have picked her words straight out of my brain. I even started a discussion on WANAtribe (here) about the purpose of your blog in the beginning of July.
What does this have to do with my blogging goals?
How do I know what I can and what I cannot do a post on, without annoying those who read my blog? This is the question Kristen Lamb answered.
My purpose for blogging obviously ties in with what my goals for my blog will be. But I’ve now come to the conclusion that to keep to my ‘brand’, I don’t have to write a blog centered on only one thing. The consistency needs to come from my voice.
I’m not going to jump around from subject to subject; that would be weird, choppy, and pointless. Not to mention irritating to readers and probably myself.
But just because I’m a writer – that doesn’t mean my blog has to be on writing and nothing else. I also love research and that is something I didn’t try keeping to myself. I’ve integrated that into my blog from the very first post. But there are other things I would like to blog on. Writing would remain my basis, but if anyone wants to know me, they need to see a small part of all of me. Not only that I write.
However! – Do rest assured, I’m not going to be out in left field. My blog will remain, mostly a ‘writer blog’. There won’t be any major changes. Only an additional category post here and there. And who’s to say I’ll even add another category soon? It might not be until next month for all I know.
If I resist going into specifics – here is my goal for blogging.
To reflect who I am (not just one aspect of me). To keep to my voice (brand).
Simply put: what inspires and/or ignites raw emotion within me will find its way onto this blog.
My purpose in telling you this? So you don’t freak out on me when a random post isn’t about writing or research. You know it’s coming. Be warned. 😉
What’s the purpose of your blog? Your goals concerning your blog?
Writers – what goals do you keep? And what do you consider fulfilling those goals?