Learning to Take a Step Back So You Can Work Toward Your Writing Goals

Learning to Take a Step Back So You Can Work Toward Your Writing Goals

Learning to Take a Step Back So You Can Work Toward Your Writing Goals
Photo by Elias Ruiz Monserrat

Learning to Take a Step Back So You Can Work Toward Your Writing Goals

Are your expectations or writing goals too high? Are you spinning your wheels, unable to get any writing done?

Perhaps you are setting too high of expectations. You want to accomplish more than you're realistically capable of accomplishing. You want to write your books, get them published, and become the next J.K. Rowling within the next year. Am I right?

The worst thing about the publishing industry, from a writer's perspective, is that it seems to move at a snail's pace. It takes a year or more just to write a book, then it takes another who knows how many more months to find appropriate publishers, editors, or agents. Then it takes several months to get a response back. If it is a "No", you start over (hopefully you were able to submit simultaneously). If it is a "Yes", you go through this long process of edits and revisions, then the cover art, and so on. A year or longer has gone by before you see your book on store shelves.

It's understandable that you would feel overwhelmed by the massive time frame of the publishing world. And it's easier said than done to accept it and move on. But if you want to see your books in print, you need to accept it. You need to keep moving forward so you can feel good about yourself and the progress you've made.

The most important thing in this world is that thing that makes you happy, even if it's difficult to do. If you avoid it because it's too difficult to do, or you keep making excuses like "I don't have time" or "I'm too busy working", you'll never be happy.

God has a plan for you. If you are meant to write, it's because writing makes you happy and it's a part of who you are. Stop fighting it, and just do it. Life is too short to be wasting it on things you don't enjoy. You were meant to enjoy your life. You weren't meant to struggle; no one is meant to struggle. That's not to say you don't need to work hard, but you need to start doing those things that you truly enjoy.

The trouble with high expectations is that each time we fail at meeting our goals, we become more and more discouraged. Eventually we give up and settle for the things that are easy.

Instead of focusing on what you want to achieve, focus on what you can actually achieve. What do you have time for? And what can you make time for?

Your goals and dreams, all of them, are important to your happiness and you must work toward them. But setting your expectations too high will do more damage than good.

You need to take a step back. With your goals in mind, figure out what you want to accomplish in the next week, the next month, and the next year. Develop a goal plan with deadlines for those goals and also for the tasks that will help you achieve those goals. Often, we fail at achieving our goals because we neglect to develop action plans. But achievement comes through action and hard work. So, if you don't DO, you won't ACHIEVE.

It's time to let go of our high expectations, and start encouraging ourselves to meet our writing goals one little goal at a time. Are you ready?

Jody Calkins
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