Copper Prawn!

I’m a copper prawn!

All right. Here. Let this chart explain it:

What does this mean?

Basically, it means that I’m working hard. I’m a pastor, and we’re in Lent, the lead-up to Easter. My ministry load is literally double the normal amount. However, I’m pushing out an average of 2000 words a day. Some days are more, enough that I’ve been able to take a day off writing here and there and still keep up my writing average.

That’s the part I control. Yes, things come up, but by prioritizing writing, by taking it as a job, I can consistently write a fair amount.

But the other column there… that’s a lot harder. I don’t control that at all. I can market. I can provide a good product. I can write and write and write, but I cannot control who purchases my work.

And to be honest: I’m often not a prawn. That column fluctuates widely for me. Some months I’m lucky to be algae. The most I’ve ever been is a prawn. Maybe 2021 is the year I’ll make lobster, or even trout! For now, though, income from writing is inconsistent at best.

That chart is handy for me, personally. It gives me a goal to shoot for. But I want to tell you what it’s not:

It doesn’t mean you’re an author. It doesn’t mean you’re a “level 2 writer/barbarian.” It doesn’t validate you in any way. All it does is provide a handy way for you to judge you. The only person you’re competing against is you.

Today you’re a glass algae? Set a goal. By the end of 2021, you could be a quartz algae!

For me, I’m content in being copper. I’d like to be a more consistent prawn. Maybe I could be a brass prawn? Maybe once this lead-up to Easter is done. Maybe over the summer, when my ministry usually relaxes a bit, I could even be a steel prawn. That would be amazing!

I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: As you set goals, remember what you control and what you don’t control. My goals for 2021 were to have 20 short stories out for submission, and to have written 2 novels. My short story count fluctuates; right now, I’m at 15 stories out. I’m about halfway through the first novel of the year. That word count is important!

I also set a goal of being published 10 times in 2021, but I also knew I don’t control that. All I can do is control the quality and quantity of my output.

So today I’m a copper prawn. Tomorrow? My species and metal could change. So be it.

How about you? What are you made of? What sealife are you? And what goals have you set for yourself?