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January 26, 2020

Week 4: How’d It Go Wrong?

by Ryan

I changed the week numbering and updated the previous post titles. I'm writing these posts to report on the previous week, but I was numbering them as if it was the current week. The image would show the correct week number but it didn't match the post title. That's all fixed now.

How'd this week go so wrong​​​​? Read on to find out.

More...

Writing Successes

I'd adjusted my priorities last week and...

  • Sunday. Errands and lunch took up a chunk of the day. I sat down and wrote last week's blog post. I didn't get around to writing until late and only added 250 words to Synthetic Pain.
  • Monday. Nothing going on today. I spent time playing Minecraft and watching TV. I ended up adding 496 words to Synthetic Pain.
  • Tuesday. Back to work today. I ended up so focused on my work I kept going through breaks. I did stop for a little while to eat lunch and write 370 words on Synthetic Pain.
  • Wednesday.  I went out to visit folks at our Ocean Park library on the coast. The day was wet and very rainy. I took some breaks, though, stopped on the way out (it's almost 3 hours to drive to the library) at a historic marker on the coast to write for a few minutes. I spent more time writing on my lunch break. I ended up with 872 words for the day on Synthetic Pain, but was exhausted by the end of the day.
  • Thursday. Normal day, except my energy was very low. I added 192 words to Synthetic Pain.
  • Friday. Teleworked for the first part of the day, until I needed to use my computer at the office. Focused on my data work. I never did take time to write.
  • Saturday. Another day visiting libraries, in Raymond and Westport. Skipped breaks, and didn't write.

So what went wrong? It isn't accurate to say that I lacked energy. I focused my energy into work and other activities instead of writing. When I skip breaks that doesn't help either. I get tired. It's a challenge balancing it all.

OKR Confidence Ratings

My lack of progress this week hasn't helped my confidence in my OKRs. It makes me think that I need to refocus and reconsider what I'm doing. I've tended to only focus on writing (when I have time to do anything). I haven't spent much time working on any of the other OKRs. Maybe I need to revisit my objectives and set an OKR for the quarter? A single focus might help. I might do other things as time allows.

The OKRs I'd come up with before were all annual objectives. An OKR should be hard but not impossible. I get caught up with what I think I should do and should is a dangerous word. My ambition exceeds my available energy. It's difficult to let that go, but I think it's necessary. I've been working on Synthetic Pain for a long time, at least it seems that way. I should focus on getting it done and allow other things to happen as time and energy allows.

With that in mind, I'm going to list my new OKR for this quarter and stick to that. Let's see if I can finish the book before April.

Finish Writing Synthetic Pain

Key Results

  • Write each daily, minimum 500 words per day.
  • Completed novel is at least 80,000 words long.
  • Write final cover copy.
  • Create final cover artwork.

I'm keeping my confidence ratings at the 50/50 point or close to it right now. I have 65 days until the end of the quarter. If I only hit the minimum that'll be 32,500 words added to my existing word count (~50,000). That'd get the novel at the length I'm targeting. Let's see if I can stick to that right now. If I can finish the novel by the end of the quarter and have the cover copy and artwork, that'll be great.

I'm not setting priorities for the week—the new OKR does that. I'll still review how I'm doing each week.

Ryan


Ryan M. Williams lives a double life as a full-time career librarian and a multi-genre writer with over twenty books. He writes across a range of genres including science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, horror, and romance. He earned a Master of Arts degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose University. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Pocket Books, WMG Publishing, and in On Spec Magazine.

Ryan M. Williams

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