When does a writer experience a sense of accomplishment?
Is it after the book is finished?
How about after it’s revised?
Certainly not while it’s in the querying stages, those frightful trenches that threaten to bury us.
Surely, we can count on feeling accomplished when a publisher agrees to publish it, but that opens a whole new journey of marketing, and campaigning, and where’s the next book, and so on and so forth. So how do we authors experience accomplishment?
Accomplishment is derived from a challenge conquered, a goal met, or when one has skillfully finished a project.
It can be difficult to reach this ever-elusive accomplished sensation when writing projects take a veritable infinity. Though we plug away at it day after day, there is no real sense of finished. We may finish on Sunday, but we’ve planned our new project for Monday. Some celebrate the finishing, but more focus on what’s next, revising, querying, agents, and submissions. After days, months, and years of this grind, some get frustrated because they feel like they’ve never accomplished anything with their writing. But that’s not true.
With a paradigm shift, a change in focus, a purposeful change in metacognition feeling accomplished will be yours.
Every time I face down a challenge in my writing, I dwell on this conflict. I think about solutions. I talk to friends and peers about what they’ve done in the past. My drive to and from work is absorbed in thoughts regarding this challenge. I give weight, attention, and purpose to the challenge.
Do I give equal attention to the successful conquering of the challenge? No. Normally, it’s water under the bridge, and I’m onto the next challenge. Facing challenges will be an everyday matter. It’s not going to end or stop. With others securing book deals and agents it can often feel like we are behind the eight ball. Losing time and wasting life, but the reality is we are doing something we love.
No matter how your challenges measure up to others, no matter what someone else has accomplished. Take time to celebrate every challenge you’ve turned into your strength.
“Rather than feeling hopelessly unaccomplished, look back at what you did do. Did you reach 80% of a task? Did you complete 45% of a report? Great! You managed to get this far, right? It wasn’t all at zero. So, grab whatever little victory you can.” Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Managing Partner of Engage Consulting.
He goes on to state that this practice over time will boost your morale and build your confidence making you more likely to succeed in the larger projects you’ve planned.
2019 was the first time I’ve set specific attainable goals for my writing. I didn’t believe I’d accomplish all 13 goals, but I can say, after a year of working with goals, I feel more accomplished.
Goal setting, writing your goals down on paper, isn’t about controlling the future, or pointing your work in a direction, although it does have that side effect. It’s about acknowledging the plans you have made for yourself. The side effect of which you will find is a sense of accomplishment as you check off boxes, cross of items on your list, or do things you never believed you could or would.
In 2019, I’ve tinkered with short story writing, blogging, newsletters, and nonfiction booklets. While working on a long, larger project, it’s a great idea to build your platform through the use of several small projects that you can use to engage your audience. The wonderful result is that you will get a sense of accomplishment despite the fact that you are still trudging your way through your novel. I highly recommend having several shorter side projects you can jump into when the going gets tough on the novel. It will boost your self-esteem.
John Lee Dumas says, “Give yourself set time blocks to achieve specific steps in your plan. During these time blocks, do not let anything push you off course. If a distraction pops up or something comes to mind you want to remember, write it down and immediately get back on task.”
You’ve got this! Begin building a sense of accomplishment in your everyday writing life. I challenge you to work towards this paradigm shift. Spend as much time on recognizing, talking about, and sharing your minor accomplishments, and change how you feel about your entire writing life.
Read more from Paul Keijzer at: https://www.business2community.com/leadership/4-ways-end-day-feeling-accomplished-every-day-02005134
Read more from John Lee Dumas https://michaelhyatt.com/every-day-accomplishment/