by Karen Rowe
Break your goals down.
I’m willing to bet that you’ve set a goal of writing…and finishing your book…a number of times. So where have you gone wrong? I’m willing to bet that your end goal has likely overwhelmed you.
Here’s my suggestion: break your goals down to manageable, bit-sized chunks. In her book Four-Day Win, Martha Beck calls this ‘playing halfsies:’ She says, “by making your goals broad and far-reaching, you guarantee they will be immediately sabotaged by your inner meanie.” We start out with what we think are realistic goals, but most of the time they are not; otherwise, we would already have accomplished them. Play halfsies with yourself until your goal is ridiculously easy to attain, or until essentially, it would be an embarrassment not to complete it.
Here’s how it looks:
Your goal is to write a book? Great. How do we make that more attainable? Break it down.
Write a book¦Spoon-feed¦Do an outline¦Spoon-feed¦Create a mind-map¦Write the first chapter¦Spoon-feed¦Write the first two pages. Keep spoon-feeding¦Write one paragraph. Now you’re getting the hang of it. Keep on going¦Write a sentence.
What would an even smaller portion of a sentence be?
Start with a word.
Your first goal is to get one word on the page. It can be any word but you have to choose it, and put it down.
And for those of you who are still stuck, have some fun with it! I like to be silly or absurd, so it could be dipthong, mollycoddle or wombat. Sometimes even throat-warbler mangrove.
If one word worked out, go for a second. Still doing alright? How about that sentence now?
Most importantly, keep writing.
Pull One Over On Yourself:
I have this little trick I do. I know that I am much more productive in the morning. I work hard, in short, focused sessions. I can word quickly and productively and uninterrupted for up to 3 hours and then I hit a wall. And before I know it I’m doing ‘make busy’ work. Checking my social media, answering emails…not really productive.
So my trick is to have 2 projects on the go at the same time. If it’s not 2 books, it’s 2 manuscripts I’m editing, content I’m building for my Writer’s Challenge, a blog post.
There’s always something I could be writing.
The way I trick myself is by taking a ‘break’ from one to work on the other. My tiny little pea brain thinks it’s getting away with something. ‘Ha, ha,’ it mocks! ‘I’ve got you fooled!’
The second project will feel like a godsend; it’s an escape but it’s still productive. Here’s the real trick, though: When I’ve had enough of the second project, I’m usually ready to return back to the first project. At this point, I’ve usually forgotten what was bothering me on the first project and I hit it head on, right over the hurdle that seemed impossible before. I’ve found this works with almost anything! And your book will be no different.
Treat your mind like a 5 year-old (because sometimes it is) and you’ll get far more done.