Kelly Maher

Production goals

Part of being able to produce the amount I’ve been able to produce in the last six months (over 160,000 words!!) is coming to know my production style. I’m a spewer of words. I only vaguely craft as I’m working my way through the first draft. If something catches my eye or mental ear as I’m typing, I’ll fix it then, otherwise I’ll worry about it in the revision stage. Periodically, I do go back. When I do, it’s almost always to add in words rather than delete. I have no problems deleting words. I’ve deleted whole chapters before. But that is *always* after the first draft is written. I need words on page. I need that high of writing “the end” when completing the first draft. I crave having something “done”. It’s what allows me to continue forward.

Coming to these realizations is not something I was able to do overnight. I spent a good six months, if not more, reflecting on what I wanted out of my writing career. Production goals are only one step of the whole, but they are the most vital step. If you do not produce, you have nothing to sell. In order to know what production goals to set for yourself, you must know what your overall career goals are. Once you have your overall goals, you can calibrate your other types of goals from there. Because there are certain things I want to be able to do in a few years which require a good deal of savings, I knew that I needed to significantly ramp up my production levels as I’ve not been the most prolific of authors in the past. I decided to “ease” into this goal by setting a very manageable target of writing 100,000 words in a year’s time. I even made a point to say “unedited”. Edited words were part of my second stage 🙂

Well, I’ve blown past my initial goal in half the time set. I now need to spend some more time reflecting on how to approach my upcoming writing schedule and readjust my goal structure. There are some external factors in play with regards to these, but if those external factors happen, I’ll readjust once again at that time. This is what any career is about: flexibility to see your way through to achieving your overall goals.

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