When It’s Done


Yesterday, I had a long discussion about achievements with my BFF.  I will immediately point out that any discussion between her and I; whether it be important or nonsense, is treated the same.  We are the kind of people that can have deep, meaningful conversations about the strangest things.

This means that when we do discuss matters of importance, it is a bit of a information dump.  We both work in fields dominated by men – she’s in computer security and my books have been classified as horror by just about every major advertising company I’ve used as well as some of my readers.

The subject of achievements came up.  We realized rather quickly that what women consider achievements are much different than what most men consider achievements.  Let me provide you with examples from both of our jobs:

  • She fills out a daily report with her accomplishments, areas that need improvement, daily tasks, etc.  One day, she had zero accomplishments, because everything she had accomplished was essentially her job, so they went under daily tasks.  To me, that makes sense.  Her boss was concerned however, because the male assessment forms listed multiple achievements for each day.  Upon closer inspection, it was basically a checklist for getting their daily tasks accomplished.  To me, completing daily tasks is not an achievement, it’s a job requirement.
  • It’s fairly rare for me to post a daily word count.  Word counts aren’t really achievements for me, they are the daily tasks of my job.  Then I remembered several weeks ago that a male writer friend of mine had in fact done a blog post about his accomplishment of writing 10,000 words in a single day.  Which is good, but that’s about my average when I’m really engrossed in what I’m writing, so to me, that didn’t feel like much of an achievement.  It felt like a daily task… You have to add words every day (and delete them) to move a book along if you’re the author.

So what did we qualify as achievements became our next topic.

  • For her it was the big stuff; passing a SANS certification, being asked to do a web demonstration on her ultra-cool crimeware detection tools, completing projects, etc.  Nothing that is ordinary, everyday stuff.
  • For me, achievements are getting the cover art done, sending a book to the editor, finalizing it for print, and publishing it.  Everything else, I just consider part of the job. I sat down one day and wrote 17,000 words.  I got a lot done, but it didn’t feel all that important.  In other words, I wouldn’t consider it an achievement.  I did break my previous record for most words in a single day, but even that doesn’t feel like an achievement.

I’m sure there is a psychology behind it, but I’m less certain what exactly it is.  Do women just not feel they should take credit for doing their daily job?  Or for some reason, do women devalue achievements that men value?  I don’t know.  Someone should study it in depth.

Not me, I have been a busy bee and I have an achievement to share.  Triggered Reality is completely done… all the editing, all the beta reading, all the uploading to different sites, all the checking and double checking that I didn’t screw something up in the formatting, etc.  It’s finished and ready to be read by the masses or at least the people that like/love the Dreams novels.

I’ll take the next few days to clear it from my mind and then I’ll get back into Flawless Dreams.  Still expecting a May release date for it.  It is surprisingly on schedule.

 

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4 Comments

  1. I think you are one of the few – like very rare – authors that don’t consider their daily word count an achievement – and believe me they produce way less words than you do (most seem to shoot for 3,000 a day as a good day). I think perhaps it’s the “Mid-West” or “Missouri” work ethic – the show me part of our state motto recognizes big or significant achievements and we consider our daily tasks as just regular work and not a significant part of getting things done.

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  2. Teresa

     /  March 27, 2017

    Stop and think for someone who is agoraphobic opening their front door for 10 minutes is to them an achievement worthy of calling everyone and saying I did it.. to another it’s so the weird lady down the block isn’t a vampire after all she stood in the sunlight with her screen door open and never came out guess she forgot what she wanted.. I achieved something big when I could get a boost shake into my mom in early December then in the days just before death it was tea spoons.. Everything must be in the beholders set of details, never try to diminish what someone considers an accomplishment it may have been a huge deal just to get out of bed and dressed that day.. I have little framed plaques that said “Don’t sweat the small stuff ” Now having lost both parents in less then 30 days all I am doing is sweating each detail of their memorials and services..how to pay for them.. When your Go Fund Me page gets you 20 dollars from a total stranger you start rethinking friendships.. When you fly to Florida and spend Christmas day opening your Dad’s backed up mail in a postal plastic crate.. you want to scream at those that don’t list a full name or a return address and wonder how many years will they send cards and get no response before they question what happened to Dad?? When your own Brother has the summons listed as to have you served on the day of your Mother’s celebration of her life.. You know pure evil walks this earth, wanting Money. To me my greatest accomplishment is doing my best to honor a man that the Public adored, and who used a razor strop on me. Yet he is being given full Military honors. Because as his daughter and executrix that is what I am charged to do… Not saying what is in my heart that day or primal scream those will be accomplishments..

    Liked by 1 person

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    • I wasn’t criticizing, I was questioning. Also, I was talking about work, not personal achievements. I get where you are coming from – my sister-in-law’s mother is down to just 63 pound (Alzheimer’s), getting any Ensure into her right now would be an achievement. When my grandmother had a stroke and became brain dead, everything we managed to do in that month before she passed away was an achievement. When my great aunt got near the end of her life (Alzheimer’s for her too), I remember everything being a monumental task. So I would consider those achievements.

      However, when you were an EMT or a nurse, did you consider doing your job an achievement or another day at work?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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