Goals + Purpose = Escaping Psychosis

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.

I wish I was doing this

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.

WRITING

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.

 

Category One

  • writing in one of my two current novels
  • plotting
  • character building
  • editing/revising

Category Two

  • 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.

Tada. 😉

 

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…

 

Writing one of these isn’t easy – goals keep me sane(ish).

 

BLOGGING

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.

I’m fickle.

 

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. 😉

 

Expect slight changes in my “Daphne” and “WIP” Pages soon.

 

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?

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21 Comments

Filed under Stream of Consciousness

21 responses to “Goals + Purpose = Escaping Psychosis

  1. Yikes! So sorry again! Don’t know why my previous two comments were titled “Anonymous”! I guess I still need to work on my writing skills! 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    “Anonymous” is actually me! So sorry about the mix up!

  3. Anonymous

    My goal for my blog is to work on my writing to the point where it’s second nature to me. I needed to find a subject matter that motivated me the most, and all I had to do was look at the furry creature that lives with me to find the answer! I was studying information on how to raise a dog, so why not write about what I was researching? 🙂

  4. Hey Daphne – first up, I hope you’re feeling better!
    I really don’t know what the purpose of my blog is – so now you’ve got me thinking. I envy people who have a plan and are organised. I love your blog because I like your ‘voice’ and you are genuine. You can write about anything (even feeling like you’re ‘off kilter’ because we all feel like that sometimes) and I find it interesting!

    Most of my writing is done in my head and who knows how much time that takes 🙂 I usually have my story planned out like a movie and once that’s done – it goes on the paper.

    • Well thank you. I’m feeling much more “inside my own head” today.

      Not everyone keeps goals with everything they do. I always need to have that something down on paper though, or I feel like I’ve got too much floating around in my head and then I’ll never be able to sleep, as I’ll just keep thinking on it, afraid it will slip away. Writing it down solidifies it and takes the worry away.
      So if you don’t have worries of it all floating away, I don’t think you really need to worry about it. 😉 I’m just strange like that.

      I’m surprised by how many people said they don’t mind reading my jabber, even if it doesn’t really have a goal. I think that’s what I was most worried about.

  5. The funny thing about the fear you have of losing your voice is that is shines through every thing you write. I said it before and I’ll say it again, you’ve got a unique and incredible voice. Whether you see it or not, it shines through everything you do, write, and say. When you learn to harness it, the world should watch out. All of your followers and commenters are proof. Conversation, at least the cyber variety, comes easy for you. Just don’t spread yourself too thin.

    I would read whatever you post about, because you wrote it. The subject wouldn’t matter. Goals, no goals, as long as you are writing, you’re moving forward. However you keep moving forward is up to you. The point is don’t stop.

  6. The only way I might freak out is if you stopped blogging all together. 😉 Thanks for this thoughtful post and the warm mention. Variety really does work! And keeps those of us with limited/selective attention spans intrigued.

    Those off days are part of life–and writing. Hope you’re feeling better! Keep up the great work.

  7. Miss Rosen

    tons of inspiration and a thousand thoughts whirling in no particular order:

    most writing happens off the page.
    but we still gotta show up every day and speak our heart.
    the word brand is category two.
    writing anything other than sales & marketing materials is category one.
    we’re all here for You. it doesn’t matter what you do.

    ~*~

    i love that you are clear about goals. i need them!
    i’m definitely gonna think & write about the Qs you pose.

    xoxo

  8. this sounds like a catch 22 to me….
    continue on, looking forward to seeing your “wip” soon?
    G

  9. Jae

    This has been a good post for me to read. Remind me to thank your sleep deprivation later. 😉 I’ve been trying to stick somewhat to a theme, occasionally varying (with Meeting Notes) but I really should just write more personally sometimes, especially when I’m trying to prepare a larger blog post series (which I am) and have posted nothing on the blog in the meantime (current dilemma). You’re awesome Daphne. I love coming to your blog.

    • Thank you! And here I thought this post might be considered mindless blabbering lol.
      More personal posts would be cool peppered in between your amazing notes from conferences that I would otherwise not be privy to. 😉

  10. The purpose of my blog was originally to keep up on writing. Just to force myself to write something that I wanted to every once in awhile. It has since turned into an account of my life with my dogs. Something I can keep and share. I have no real goals for it, perhaps to turn it into something bigger eventually. As a writer, I don’t set goals (is that bad?!) because I spend a lot of time at work writing. Unfortunately, I have never been much of a goal specific person. But, I would count writing, editing, critiquing, client correspondence, and all of those other things in the same category. They all help to maintain and improve my skills, and keep me up to practice. In reality, they are all linked together to bring you the desired outcome.

    • Writing down an actual goal for while I’m in the writing part of well, writing, helps me because I have a set amount of writing to do. Then I’m not feeling guilty for writing too little because I wrote well within my goal. Its more of a helper for my brain to peg down what I deem as having been productive for the day, than anything.
      So no, I don’t think its bad that you don’t have set goals.
      I had to redo my page in which I gave my goals because they’ve change so much in the past weeks. I agree – almost everything we do in the way of forwarding our writing either via learning or working on something is a help. I had to specify what I meant – because I wasn’t making any sense. 😉

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