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Rewriting My Journey: Action-Based Goals Changed My Life

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Writing on the internet is rewarding.

You cannot write every day with a calm mind or show up to write consistently if your identity as a writer ties directly to the results of your writing.

We all like praise, attention, and recognition for our hard work.

But if we make that the only goal when writing on the internet, and heck off the internet, we put all our eggs in one basket, and we will quickly find ourselves on the losing side.

There is a lot to lose with this mindset.

And let’s not forget that if you place your sanity on such a fickle and ever-changing emotion, you will never be consistent enough to build anything from scratch.

Writing online is like building Legos from scratch.

If your foundation is shaky and not on solid ground, those Lego pieces will fall, crash and break into several small pieces.

We don’t want that, do we?

Pic credits: Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.

The snowball effect

When I started writing on the internet a decade ago, I didn’t think that one day, one of my books would suddenly go viral. It happened, though.

I thought no one would read the book I was writing.

It was what I initially thought until one serendipitous week when several readers found the book on the reading platform and started binge-reading it.

The sudden binge-reading event got me a lot of readers. The kind of readers I wasn’t even counting on to find and read my book.

That little event was like a snowball effect as it led to a feature on the app, where my book sat on the trending #1 for three weeks.

The book literally went from 36k to 50k in a matter of a week.

From 50k to 100k in another week.

From 100k to 190k in the last week.

It took me a long time to get to the first 36k views

But let me tell you the journey of going from 0 readers to 36k views. It took me three years to get there with a lot of self-promotion on Twitter.

Every time I wrote a chapter, I would tweet about it.

On days when I was not publishing a new chapter on the platform, I would still tweet about it.

At first, no one was reading my tweets.

My impressions were anywhere between 0–21.

But after constantly tweeting about the same book for over a year, people started to pay attention to what I was saying.

It was a hallelujah moment for me.

Pic credit: Mati Mango on Pexels.

I figured out that if I talk about it enough. . .people would eventually pay attention to me.

And the impressions grew.

They grew from 0 to 100.

From 100 to 600.

From 600 to 1000.

And at this point, I started getting link clicks that would eventually turn into readers.

Some of those readers even paid coins for the only three paid chapters at the end of the book.

It was mind-blowing because I wasn’t expecting these people to pay anything. I just wanted to read my work and explore other free books on the platform.

Things changed suddenly, and I saw the results of my hard work over 4 years

This system continued for around four years until the day of judgment came.

Okay, I’m being dramatic.

Until the moment of binge-reading stepped on my doorstep, I was giving away my entire book for free. And by that time, it had 130+ chapters.

And I was still writing more. . .like a maniac who wanted to get that story out of her head.

But I still kept writing till I burnt out.

Pic credit: Breakingpic on Pexels.

That book ended at 150+ chapters (at least the first season did till I told myself that I needed a break from writing this book because, at that point, I still had a bazillion different ideas, but I was overworked to the point where I was falling sick like every other week) with the end of those three weeks.

At one point during the first week, the platform reached out to me and suggested I make my book ‘freemium,’ which means that the book chapters after a fixed number of free episodes get locked for a period of time.

They suggested I lock away the book chapters for an hour. Then, it will automatically turn into a free chapter for the reader.

As a reader myself, I knew that if I were reading the book on an app, I would get annoyed if I had to wait for an hour for the book to unlock itself, so I shortened the wait time to thirty minutes because it would annoy the heck out of me while I was reading a book I really liked.

The exact reason why I kept the book free in the first place was that it was a passion project, and I also thought that not anyone would read it in the first place because it didn’t follow a set storyline, and I was writing whatever came to my heart.

Anyway, the book lives on the platform, and it still sometimes gets read with no promotion of any kind, and I’m happy with that for the time being.

But if I had continued writing the second season, I don’t know where the book would be at this point in time now.

Action-based goals > outcome-based goals

What I am trying to say here is that action-based goals are what I followed without even thinking about it.

When I focused on actions and not on outcomes, I enjoyed writing.

I showed up every week and published a chapter, sometimes more than one chapter if I felt like writing more.

I did that for a period of four years until one day, people recognised me for my books and hard work.

The idea of taking action kept me mentally and emotionally sane because it was a long and arduous journey with a lot of silence and a lot of late-night working hours.

If I had focused only on outcomes, I would have lost my mind sooner than you would think and quit writing because the whole process would have overwhelmed me.

But I stuck to my action-based goals rather than leaning towards outcome-based goals, kept my head down, and kept writing in a vacuum.

Pic credits: The Sunday Collection on Pexels.

I guess what I’m again trying to highlight here is if you can show up every day/week and keep doing that same thing over and over again for a period of 4–5+ years, and maybe for a decade, people will eventually start paying attention to you.

And it would attract money as a result (because let’s face it, we live in capitalistic societies where we need money to survive and save our lives), and it would never be a constraint in your life but a resource to upgrade your living standard.

Conclusion

Keep doing what you’re doing.

Move in silence, keep your head down, doubt yourself less, and keep showing up.

Do this until they pay attention.

That’s how legacies are slowly built piece by piece over the back of decades of hard work.

Every day, you get a step closer to your success.

Keep building your ladder so you get closer to your dream goals.


PS- Don’t be like me. Monetise your stories earlier if you want to. Nobody would look down upon you if you needed to make money from your work. We all need money to support our creative endeavours. There’s no shame in that.


To get more insights from me, check out my social media, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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