So, last week was mostly spent putting the final touches on Soul Bearer after receiving the proof copies (Centering the back cover and eliminating a few errant typos/unnecessary commas, that sort of thing).
I also made a decent amount of headway on the final round of (my) edits for the rerelease of The Gem of Meruna, and set up a date for it to go to an editor for proofreading.
All in all, not bad.
It’ll have me on track for the tentative release schedule I’ve set for myself. I’ll not be announcing dates until closer to time, because it’s all subject to change. I know very well that life throws curve balls.
But I have a schedule and I intend to stick to it as closely as possible.
It’s not an easy schedule, but I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got.
Which brings me to the main topic.
You need them.
They’re serious motivators. Humans (in general) hate feeling like they’ve failed. Setting a goal pushes you, it makes you feel like something’s at stake even if the only thing you stand to lose is a little pride.
You need goals for your life to keep you moving forward, to keep you from stagnating.
But you need good ones.
Whether you’re reading, writing, or working toward some other dream (maybe you want to sell ice cream on the beach? Idk), you need realistic, achievable, challenging goals.
If you say, “I want to read 300 books this year,” but it takes you an average of a week to finish a book, you’re probably not going to push yourself to reach that goal because you know it’s not going to happen.
Aiming for 52 books a year is more attainable, obviously. It holds you to reading, at a pace you know you can maintain. Wanna push yourself to read more? Go for 55.
On the flipside, if you set a goal of finishing your first draft (no editing, just first draft) by the end of this year and you only have one more chapter (and your average is a week for a chapter)…
Who gives a fuck about that goal? It’s meaningless.
It doesn’t push you to write faster or work harder. It’s just some silly arbitrary thing you came up with and didn’t care about.
Aiming to have it done by Friday rather than by Sunday? That’s a better goal. It’s more attainable, but still pushes you.
Achieving a goal provides a sense of satisfaction beyond the original satisfaction of finishing something, as well as a little ego boost because, hey, you freaking did it.
But if it’s something you knew you’d do and the goal was just kinda thrown in there for shits and giggles…that extra boost disappears.
For example, at work, we can build out.
Basically, what that means is, if we build the number of tires we’re supposed to build over the course of a shift before the end of the shift, we can stop working and still get paid for being there. We can sit in the cafeteria or go to the on-site gym. We just can’t leave until the end of the shift.
The rates used to be unbelievably high. Like…push-yourself-into-a-frenzy-all-day-long-and-if-one-thing-goes-wrong-you’re-done high.
And no one tried.
Because it was stupid.
Why exhaust yourself to get 5 minutes of sitting at the end of a 12 hour shift, knowing you’re going to be sore and dead on your feet the next day when you come back for another 12 hour shift?
Or worse, push yourself super hard, and then, with an hour left to go, get a cassette of material that’s absolute garbage, but there’s no more, so you just have to fix every single tire, and suddenly your build out disappears. But you’re still absolutely exhausted, and still working.
But recently, they lowered the rates. They’re attainable, now.
You still have to push, and any serious problem means it’s out the window….but it’s possible to have an entire hour at the end of the shift where you don’t have to run a machine.
So people try, now.
I try every damn day.
And most days, I get to spend 45 minutes to an hour and a half getting paid to sit on my ass, reading, while someone else takes over and builds more tires on my machine.
The company gets more product, morale goes up, and I get to read or write or work on a blog post at work.
All because of a challenging, but achievable goal.
So, as I said above, I’ve set a tentative release schedule for the rerelease of The Gem of Meruna and the releases of After, Where Darkness Leads, and Salt and Silver, all to follow the release of Soul Bearer.
I intend to finish The Regonia Chronicles by the time all those are out, and then those books will be added to the release schedule.
It’s going to be rigorous. It’ll be a lot of late nights (my preferred kind of night, honestly).
But I’m going to get these books out as close to the schedule as is humanly possible.
I’m pushing myself harder for a bunch of dates I literally pulled out of thin air.
Yeah, I made sure to leave time for life, while still keeping it challenging.
But now, I’m going to push.
And you should, too.
Set a goal for yourself, and push toward it.
Whether it’s a certain number of books to read for the year or a word count for the week or maybe something long term (starting a business or some such thing).
Believe in yourself enough to set a goal.
Then, fucking get it!
Feel free to leave tips or tricks for goal setting in the comments. You know, all that “like, comment, subscribe” stuff youtubers say at the end of their videos. It applies here, too, but I feel awkward as hell saying it. Lol.
Keep reading. Keep writing.