Target Acquired

Writing is an art form like the painting of portraits and the composition of music and, in that sense, it cannot be rushed. However, nobody wants to be putting the finishing touches to a tome that has taken them the best part of a decade, only to decide it needs a complete re-write. As much as it makes me look like my methods are regimented, time related targets can help you. But I will need my engineers hat for this one.

To make this angle seem less stringent let me suggest there are two quantifying factors to pay heed to when producing your work. Output Versus Time (Too obvious, I Know). But it is easy to lose sight of one of these quantities for the other. The gradient will give you an idea of how much attention you are giving to each. If the gradient is steep, you will be producing much work but the quality will suffer – A ton of revision awaits. If the gradient is gentle then it is possible you haven’t managed your time well. I know there are shades of grey but targets can help.

Output v Time – Sometimes a writer is allowed to be an engineer…

Firstly let me say the targets need not be great. Instead of forcing yourself to do two or more pages a day set a smaller threshold. Perhaps half a page or two paragraphs, you decide. But once you hit that threshold you are given license to go back and revise and reshape if you wish. By giving yourself that threshold you are guaranteeing output. It is said it is important to write everyday but it can be understood that some days will naturally be more productive than others. This is where longer term targets come in.

Perhaps you will write a chapter by the end of the week or an episode by the end of the month. Perhaps you will take your latest work from rough draft to readable manuscript in a couple of months. You know what you are capable of. If you hold to these targets your productivity can increase without degradation of quality. Like any painters masterpiece you can return to add shade and texture and additional brush strokes . Like any musical composition you can change the phrasing of riffs or lyrics on review. What you want at the end of a defined length of time is to have song or a picture. You may not like all that you hear, You may not like all that you survey but they will be in your possession….and that is nine-tenths of the law. You can shape them further. Right engineers hat off….

Now write something!!!


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