The Volume versus the Quality.
I set myself the goal of blogging every day this year and having an average word count of 700 words per blog which should deliver me something like 250,000 words and 365 posts for future reference.
I was on target to achieve this until recently, when my actual word count dipped to the point where the count fell below the average of 700. I am now at 698 average word count. I am disappointed in that because I started the year so strong and so full of great ideas. I still have the ideas, but my time and commitment to other projects have been testing. Because of that, the word count has slipped. I am rushing my thoughts and pushing my writing to a lower level on my priories list. I did think of making the excuse that I was working on being more economical with my words because I wanted to emulate that writing style, but that is bullshit. You should always be in a position to call out your own bullshit. I try.
I am in the middle of reflecting on this situation with the quantity, and I will course correct to get back above the goal that I had set. Still, I am clear that I am spreading myself too thin. So it is time to take stock, and it is time for my feedback loop to provide that personal service.
The context in all of this is that I am preparing for a point in the future where I am no longer doing the day job, and I am working on my own projects. For the record, the day job is excellent, and it allows me to explore the future in the way that I am setting myself up to do. But it will not be there at some point, and I need to learn to stand on my own two feet.
The journey that I have planned started with understanding the financials and exploring the idea of early retirement and how to make that happen. That was the last few years of the learning experience. I am now comfortable with money, investments and my understanding of what it will take to get to financial freedom and how to build the future that I design. I will always be continuously exploring this money thing and working to keep a minimalistic lifestyle that will allow me to balance now and away in the future.
This year I started out with the blog and set the posting target because I wanted to write and build consistency. My writing has got better, but I still have a way to go. It will be a lifelong journey, and I am down with that. The next thing I set myself to do was to learn to make, edit and publish videos. Thank god for online learning – I can move with my own curriculum on the learning path. I now have my own Youtube channel, which I use to publish, and again, the learning part is a lifelong journey, but that remains very much where I am on the trip. Constant learning. I also set a target around the video publication, and it was possibly a tad ambitious, but I am managing to stay on top of that. I publish one video a week and supplement that with additional short-form publications – it is still all on the experimental stage. Still, you have to start somewhere, right.
This is where my thoughts are going now that I am working on what is next. The quantity, as a target, was the right thing to put in place because that drove the habit and helped me build competence and explore my ability to persevere. My ability to deliver on what I said I would is what I was testing with that approach. Now though, as I think and prepare for the following year’s journey, I will look to reduce the quantity but build out the quality. I will retain a publishing schedule that compliments the quality, and I will measure it by the usual crappy ‘likes and loves’ from the feedback. It is good for the dopamine hits and the ego. I now have data coming through that allows me to dig into what works with audiences both in the video and written format. This is something new, and there is a ton of learning material online to help get a deeper understanding of what this means.
I will explore other publishing options, such as putting short-form videos onto other platforms and broadening the places where I publish my written content. I will do this to get more feedback, understand what works in the broader spectrum, and seek out the possibilities of payment in the future. Did I say money?
I am clear that I want to get to the place that I am not doing it for the money but for the love of creating something and leaving a mark on the world. I would love to make a documentary – now that is a lofty goal.
I should be in a decent enough place with savings when the time comes to move to this evolving skillset. Any payment generated is a quality measurement, so it is a factor that I will not be ignoring. Money matters and is the king of measures.
This learning process is like my own personal education program, and I encourage anyone to take this approach. As I always say, just start, set a goal and go for it and do NOT STOP.
Go at a pace that suits your life, and do not worry about the quality at the start. There is no such thing as an overnight success, so pay your dues to the process by adopting the mindset of continuous learning. Growing yourself and seeking the one percent improvements with each publication.
There will come a time to blend in the move towards quality and creep slowly away from the quantity. That in itself is a learning process and is part of the program. I might not have it right as I take that turn, and I will work out what pace to make the switch, but the time for starting that will be the 1st of January 2022.
That’s my journey for the next year set.
Roll on the new year.