goals / writing

Writing Wednesday: Fear of PUBLIC Failure as a Tool

Last week’s goals: The usual 3 blog posts. Stories cycled to market as soon as markets were available. I finally made a little time to interact on other people’s blogs (yes, I can almost be social.)

I’ve decided to do a collection for my November 30th release, comprised of nine of my ePublished stories plus an unpublished flash fiction (since I no longer ePub individual flashes.) Need to hurry up with formatting, figuring out the cover, and deciding what to call the collection (since I’m no longer using the “Things I Could Get ‘OUT OF MY MIND’” formula.

I wrote a pitiful SEVENTY-FIVE WORDS (it looks like a lot more when you spell it out) of fiction last week after three weeks straight of making my 3,000-word quota.) Only one day writing (on the first revision of Herc Tom #6: “Cats Out of the Bag” in progress.)


I don’t like to disappoint myself.

Most of my life isn’t goal driven, but when I set a goal – or make any plans at all and something happens so what I planned doesn’t happen, I get really bent out of shape. I don’t handle changed plans well at all – it takes me a while to stop grumbling about it.

Often, those changes wind up being something beyond my control, and if I can convince myself of that (that it’s not my fault), then it’s a little easier to take. I’m extremely analytical – even of myself – so I usually have a good handle on WHY a one of my plans ‘gang aft a-gley’. But as good as I am at discovering the reasons for a thing, I can also find reasons that it’s not my fault, given enough time.

If you’re not careful, you can fool even yourself with excuses, and each failure to achieve becomes less frustrating than the last, until you might as well not even have goals, because there’s an automatic excuse for failure.

This is why I’m a big proponent of THE FEAR OF PUBLIC HUMILIATION as a motivator. I post my goals where others can see them, and then I report on my progress. Looking like a failure to others is much harder to tolerate, and I find I can’t use the same excuses when reporting to others – even if I never hear word one from them (as is almost always the case online), I know that my failure is out there for ALL THE WORLD TO SEE, even if there really is no one out there (I don’t care what the philosophers say – a tree falling in a forest with no one to hear still makes noise.)

So in my status today, I had to deal with the heavy disappointment in myself for writing only one day, and less than 100 words at that. Sure, things happened, but things happen all the time. There was Halloween, but that didn’t stop me from writing those other six days. My day job got really busy, but I don’t work every waking hour. Life is always full of choices, and sometimes we have to accept that we could have done better, and promise ourselves to try harder next time (and if we make that promise out loud, someone in the forest will hear it and hold us to it, whether we can see them or not.)

Just saying…


BreathingCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Breathing is Overrated” (I may have mentioned that this was one of my three Honorable Mentions in the Writers of the Future contest) – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):  https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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