Creating a Sense of Task Accomplishment Within Large Projects

Or, Going back to read your WIP from the beginning when you are halfway through is a really bad idea

For whatever reason, I am the sort of person who needs to feel like I have “accomplished” something, not merely “worked on” something. If I just put in work but don’t seem to get anywhere, I get anxious and frustrated. Possibly even nervous. I KNOW.

It is inconvenient enough in a real-world job where my duties are really never-ending, as I don’t really work on projects but on the fresh flow of invoices always rotating in and out of the office.  But in the process of writing a novel it is awful.

I am having to set discrete milestones for myself so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment at being “done” even if it’s only with part of the project rather than the whole thing. It’s hard, though, because I also know it’s artificial and arbitrary. I don’t believe myself when I say “Good job for finishing that chapter.”  No, Lily, I didn’t finish anything. Not yet.

I think part of the problem here, as well, is that there are not mini-stories within the larger story.  The threads I am weaving are all long. They will make a beautiful tapestry by the end (I hope) but until I get there, the work in progress is kind of incoherent and unattractive.

Although I may have just given myself a really hilarious analogy, to think of hero and heroine as warp and weft.

Anyway, the point is, I am glad, I guess, that I know my own weaknesses as an employee well enough to recognize how they sabotage my writing. Now I just need a fucking boss to come stare over my shoulder, threaten to micromanage, and give me arbitrary deadlines to help me feel like I done did something to its completion today, y’all.

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1 Comment

Filed under Ramblings, Writing

One response to “Creating a Sense of Task Accomplishment Within Large Projects

  1. Just found this – link from your current post – and I am pulled solidly into how much we INTJs are alike – and how unusual it is to find a couple of us as fellow writers. I suspect I know one more. I think we may gravitate toward each other because we’re so relatively rare.

    BTW, just because we do certain things – like have high standards and insist on completion before giving ourselves credit – doesn’t mean that’s the best way for US to operate. The world does that to us plenty already; we don’t need to jump on the bandwagon. We need to keeps ourselves motivated WITHOUT being as hard on ourselves as we think we have to be.

    Life is not graded.

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