The Three Goals That Keep Me Writing Every Single Day
Perfection equals messiness. I said those words after a two-hour cooking ordeal. I don’t consider myself an expert cook but I know the basics. It amazes me how some cooks finish up and leave a near spotless kitchen behind.
Not so when I cook. Pots, pans and cutting boards pile up in the sink. Unidentifiable liquids remain on the counter top. I swear it takes longer to clean up than it does to cook and eat.
Still, I feel a sense of satisfaction when I cook a good meal.
The Prize At The End
My wife does most of the cooking. On rare occasions I step up to the plate. If I did it every day I would find it a chore. Since I do it only once a week, I find it enjoyable. You get a sense of pleasure when your family says they like what you create.
It’s the same pleasure I get when someone emails me and tells me they like one of my stories. When I first began my writing practice I did it for my own benefit. Soon, emails flowed in telling me how much they liked what I wrote.
Then, I fell into a trap. I picked headlines and subject matter that I thought would elicit more of those ego-inflating comments. When those emails came I felt great. When they didn’t I felt like a failure.
I came to a realization. The only way to survive the writing game, at least for me, is to write for myself first.
My original goal morphed into pleasing others with my writing. I knew that would lead me to failure. The downturns were too painful. The upswings were too ego-inflating. That combination would prove unsustainable.
I changed my goals to something more sustainable in the long run. I now focus on three tiny goals. This focus keeps me writing every single day.
Let’s begin with my first goal.
Learn something. In every piece I write, I start with an experience and an idea. Then I ask myself how they tie in together. That process of discovery results in learning. If you learn something every time you write, you can never fail.
Share something useful. I publish almost all my stories somewhere. By nature, most of us like to share. Each time I learn something, the natural course of action is to share the benefits with others.
Anytime you put something out to the public you risk failure. I like to experiment. Some experiments fail. Those failures often lead to breakthroughs later.
Here’s one example.
I wrote several articles about the importance of using nostalgia in marketing. The first two bombed on every measure that matters. The third one did really well. I would never have gotten to the third one if I hadn’t suffered through the first two.
Learn, share and experiment. With those writing goals you cannot fail.
You will receive your share of accolades, criticism and indifference. I still love the accolades. The criticism stings for a few seconds but sometimes it helps. The indifference stings for a few minutes and and offers you the most definitive feedback.
Learn. Share. Experiment.
Before You Go…
I write about marketing, creativity and writing. I’m giving away guides on creativity, bullet writing and more. Click here to get yours. Connect with me on Twitter or linkedIn. P.S. — Click the clap button below and help others find this story.