Yuzuru Hanyu is considered, by some, one of the greatest figure skaters to have ever lived. If you watch his exhibition skate at this year’s Grand Prix Final, you might begin to understand why. This is not even close to his best performance!
But he consistently goes about smashing records, and, has gone on to break records he himself set.
This week I went on to break my own record by writing 260,000 words in one year. This broke my previous record by more than 13,000 words. I went and Yuzuru Hanyu’ed myself a little, and while I am not particularly the greatest anything, I still think it’s accomplishment to have outdone my own personal best.
I’ve been rewarding myself a little copiously, with everything from peppermint bark to going to see Rogue One tonight. But amidst this I’ve already started thinking: what next? Surely I can’t just keep upping my word count goal every year — I would reach my limit. So what goals can I set next which will present me with healthy challenges, grow me artistically, and give me something to look forward to in the new year?
I am still mulling it over and probably some sort of plan will coalesce itself over the next few days. I have a few projects I would like to finish in the next year, and probably my goals will revolve around those projects. But I think it’s an important thing to consider: that there are goals which are easy to mark — like scores and word counts — as opposed to goals which are harder to quantify — like becoming better at writing a certain point of view, or how to juggle multiple perspectives — but no less important. Perhaps more important, simply because those are the truly difficult goals, the things which are harder to master at the end of the day. I can cough out 1,000 words a day, come wind, rain, or shine. But can it be a quality 1,000 words? Would I know how to revise it to make it stronger? Would I know the right place to start the story in, or the right point of view to tell it in? Etc.
These things are harder.
This does not diminish the hard work I’ve put into this year, but it gives it a new context.
And so it’s to those harder things that I think I have to turn, if I want to continue doing my best work and breaking my own records.