Thursday, March 02, 2017

Weighing Success

I spent the month of February pushing myself to write more words for the NJ Romance Writers 30,000 word challenge. I didn't get to 30,000. I wrote 24,433. I also had to help move my mother-in-law into an assisted living facility and get my daily radiation treatments. On top of all that, I got diverticulitis, which was extremely painful. However, I lost a few pounds--so there's always a bright spot.

Since I had signed up for the challenge, I reported how many words I wrote each day. This forced me into being accountable. No matter how tough things got, I had to write something. Most days, I did. I even brought my iPad to the ER and wrote while I was waiting for a CT scan. How's that for dedication?

While I didn't reach the top goal, I did add far more words to my manuscript than I had thought possible. Keeping track of the words really helps because sometimes it's difficult to measure success. Especially in writing. I can't see if I'm making much progress when I'm working on a book but counting the words or the pages everyday reminds me that I'm closer to my goal than I was yesterday. The act of writing a book is almost invisible--until it's bound up with a cover, a back blurb, and a price tag. Then it becomes real.

It is often difficult to measure success in other areas of life as well. When I recently saw a produce scale in our grocery store, it reminded me of the days when I was breastfeeding my daughter. The milk was practically invisible. It went directly from me to the baby. I could not tell how much nutrition she was getting. Of course, she did have wet and messy diapers, but I needed something more positive to prove all was well.

So once a week, when hubby and I went to the grocery store, we put the baby on the scale in the produce department. Fortunately, every week we noticed a significant weight gain. We were weighing success and it made us feel good to know there was progress because we could see it.

Weigh your success by keeping track. You are making progress.

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