Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Being Accountable to Cyberspace


Setting goals is a great thing because it gives us something to strive for and holds us accountable. I've seen a lot of writers posting their daily or weekly word count goals online. It's a great tactic because by telling people what you want to achieve, you have someone other than yourself to answer to. It's easy to say you're going to write 5,000 words, but doing it is another story. You know the drill. You sit down, open your document, crack your knuckles a few times, check your email, make that cup of tea or coffee you forgot to get before you sat down, walk the dog who is giving you those sad eyes, come back, down your tea or coffee, take a bathroom break… You see where this is going.

If you post your word count goal online for others to see, you feel obligated to hit that goal or at least come close. The downside to this is that when you don't hit your goal, it hurts more than if you didn't announce to cyberspace that you were going to finish that chapter or reach the 10K mark. And to be honest, there are times when life intervenes for legitimate reasons. So what do you do?

I say you post the goal. Yes, I realize I just said it can backfire, but if you have a real reason for not getting your goal, your followers will understand. On the other hand, if you are making excuses… ;) See, it's a great way to stop making excuses and get to work.

Do you post your goals online for all to see? Does it help you?

30 comments:

  1. Great idea. I did this with my weight loss and I'm doing it at the moment with the progress on my novel. It's really inspired me to work hard at both things.

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  2. It has helped me a lot. I did this with ROW80 and What's Up Wednesday. I no longer participate, but participating in the past made me a more disciplined writer. Now I post progress on Instagram and sometimes during Insecure Writer's Support Group.

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    1. It's great when you participate in groups where everyone posts their goals/progress and cheers each other on. Writing can be lonely but that makes you feel like you're part of a team, encouraging each other as you go.

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  3. I don't post my goals online but I do keep up with them on my own terms. During the winter when I wrote my novel, I had a word count in mind that I wanted to achieve each morning. I sometimes gave myself the weekends off but during the week before the day job, I was able to conquer the daily goal=)

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    1. That's great that you could fit in your word count goals before your day job. That's tough. I remember doing that before I resigned from teaching.

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  4. I'm still wrestling with the idea of being a full time writer, figuring out a schedule, and realizing that I probably should have multiple projects going at once. I haven't written new words in my WIP since Saturday because I'm STUCK. I really need another project to turn to so I can continue to be productive.

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    1. I struggle when I try to write more than one book at a time. I envy people who can handle it. I can revise one and write another no problem, but drafting two…eek!

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  5. I haven't posted goals online, for the simple reason that I tend to be quite private that way.

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  6. I posted my annual goals, and have kept up with them, but no daily or weekly word count. It wouldn't be a motivator for me.

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    1. It doesn't work for everyone. I think you have to stay true to what works for you.

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  7. I absolutely agree, Kelly! Great advice. And it's totally okay to fail, too. I set really ambitious goals and don't always meet them, but then when you DO, you feel really awesome about yourself!

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    1. That's true. Sometimes you really surprise yourself that way.

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  8. I don't post my goals because I have this great fear of failure. lol

    I'm thinking of starting a goal though, a permanent Monday posting on my blog. I haven't committed to it just yet, but when I come up with the theme, it will be every single Monday. Yikes! I hate commitment!

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    1. That's why I love my Monday Mishmash posts. They are easy to stick to because the topic is wide open but still a scheduled weekly post. Feel free to join in. I have another blogger who started posting a Monday Mishmash. I share. :)

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  9. I don't post my goal, but I do like to see the goals others have and I am always inspired by them. I love cheering people on towards their goals if they are shy of them and congratulating then when they make them. I hadn't realized how much I enjoy it- until I read and thought about this post. I will have to consider posting my goals. :)

    ~Jess

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    1. Yes, other people's goals can be very inspiring.

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  10. I'm going to edit my new novel three times in three weeks - definitely, probably - hopefully. Well I'll try, anyway.

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  11. well, not online. But I do set goals and I feel strongly about meeting them. He who sees all knows...

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    1. Some people can handle being accountable to themselves alone, and that's great.

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  12. I've been doing a summer writing intensive this summer(as you know!) and I've found posting my goals has helped A LOT! Definitely the kick in the pants that I needed this summer.

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    1. You've been doing great, Leandra. I love watching your progress and cheering you along. :)

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  13. You need this word count widget for your blog!

    http://www.writertopia.com/toolbox/meters

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    1. Yes, those are great! Thanks, Stephanie!

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  14. I haven't posted my word count goals on FB, but maybe I should. Good idea, Kelly!

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  15. I don't post my goals either but it's good reading about others'.

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    1. Yes, reading other people's goals is inspiring.

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