Post cover

Author's selfieIt seems I can’t help but set goals. I try to get away from doing that, and then I come up with another goal. I’m drawn to set goals.

This morning I was thinking about Drive-By Stories. The project has been up and down. It’s up(ish) with only one story right now. The website needs to be redesigned to do what I want. It needs artwork. It really needs more stories! The concept is simple enough.

Short stories written while driving.

I know. Not safe, right? Hands-free all the way. I start the recorder before I pull out and stop it after I park. Dragon transcribes the recording when I drop it in my autotranscription folder to create the first draft of the story. I use that to redraft the story for the final draft. They’re short.

I’d decided not to do the writing challenge. Or the art challenge. I still have work to do for my MLIS. I have other projects that I’m working on as well. I’m trying to be kind to myself.

And I still feel the need to set goals.

Inputs, Not Outputs

In the past, I’ve mostly tracked outputs. How many words written, stories completed, or novels published. I’ve done streaks with writing goals for a minimum daily amount. I don’t tend to track the inputs that go into creating those works. Namely, time.

Or, more accurately, I haven’t focused on it. In point of fact, I do track it. At least when it comes to the computer. I use RescueTime. It tracks my time spent, applications and websites used. It offers goals and other features, including offline tracking. It’s the offline tracking that makes this idea possible.

Since I’m already using it, I can use RescueTime to track streaks and other time put into my work.

My basic plan: dictate each morning on the way to work. Ideally, I’ll write some stories. But I’m not going to set goals for the number of stories. Or words. Just that I dictate in the mornings on my way to work. Simple? We’ll see. Hopefully, the outcome will be that I actually complete some more stories.

Creative Commons License
This blog post by Ryan M. Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.