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Don’t be Afraid to Tweak

January 21st, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments
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Going through my goals for the year brought up an interesting point – whatever systems you have in place to help you write, don’t be afraid to tweak them.


Image courtesy of Sharon Drummond.

The Easier you can Make Something…

Case in point – my spreadsheet I use to keep track of my writing. I have removed the time tracking on it, because I simply don’t feel that it’s relevant to me anymore – only word count is. Any extraneous fluff in my tracking will make it less easy to do. By trimming it, there is less chance that in a weak moment I think, “I can’t be bothered to write, because that means I’ll have to track it, and that means I have make note of the time or whatever”.

I know it sounds silly that such a small thing might put me off, and maybe it wouldn’t. But the easier something is to do, the more likely you are to do it. So why wouldn’t you make it easier?

Go Tweak Yourself

Another part of the spreadsheet I’ve resolved to tweak is my goals. Or at least, I’m going to review them regularly. I can’t tell for certain that I’m going to tweak them yet, but given how many of my goals became redundant by the end of last year, I imagine I will.

I lot can change over the course of a year. It might not feel like it, but when you stop and think (and I’ll be doing that regularly now!) you notice it. Events in your life can get in the way of your targets, or you may reach them earlier than expected. But as you go through your year’s journey your mindset may also change, and this has an effect on your outlook. You may realise you need to achieve something sooner than you originally thought; some goals may reveal themselves as unimportant after all; you may realise you work better under pressure or with a greater challenge, and ramp up the stakes.

It’s all part of the learning process, and with that in mind, I am actually hoping I feel the need to tweak my goals. It will be a good indication that I’m changing. That’s a key takeaway right there – we’re working on ourselves as much as our writing.

And that’s really the whole point. There are other aspects of your writing life you should not be afraid to tweak, especially in the early stages of your writing journey. Your routine, for example, can probably be improved a great deal. As you grow, you get to know your writing pattern, or you may find that certain environments help you to write better.

As with any system, little improvements here and there can have a big effect. The key here is to make sure you’re tweaking everything to suit you at that time. “You” in this case, is a moving target, so should you feel something can be made better, don’t be afraid to make that change!

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  • http://lyndaryoung.blogspot.com/ Lynda R. Young

    Flexibility is key. Life changes, you change, so goals and methods will also change. Great post.

  • http://getmewriting.com Matt Roberts

    Thanks Lynda! Glad you liked it!

    Yes, I’d say be flexible, as long as you know you’re still getting the work done, or even better, getting more work done. “Flexibility” can be used as an excuse to have an extended break I guess, which of course would be BAD!