Writing Advice

Baby Steps Towards Big Goals

anonymous person standing on peak of rocky mountain
Photo by ArtHouse Studio on Pexels.com

Writers often have to face enormous goals and achievements. The problem comes when one arrives at the foot of the mountain and attempts to reach the top in a single bound.

Write a book.

Publish the book.

Build a platform.

It’s so paralyzing to stare up at the top of that mountain hidden by snow and clouds and realize that you need to conquer it. It’s so much easier when you realize that it’s really just many small tasks broken down.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I made a writing tracker and wrote a goal of “write more” on the page. It didn’t work, not in the slightest. Because what does “write more” even mean? The goal was too vague.

I changed my thinking the next month. This time, the goals were, “Write at least a quarter of your new project this month.” This goal was more tangible. I could sit down and write for 10 minutes every day. I could set up my project so that a fourth of it would be finished by the end of the month.

The difference was really noticeable.

Let’s say your goal is to write a whole book. What are some small steps you can take that will lead you to this goal? Maybe it’s rearranging your schedule so that you can fit in more writing time. Maybe it’s taking the time to write an outline or make some notes. Maybe it’s writing 100 words every day consistently.

Now, which sounds easier: write 100 words over a long period of time, or write a book? They’re both the same thing. One is the end goal itself, one is many little steps that will bring you to that finish line.

I get super overwhelmed as I analyze where I’m at in my writing life and where I need to go from there. Recently, I’ve been turning my attention towards platform building. In the beginning, I immediately thought, How do I do this? Where do I begin? Why isn’t my platform appearing right in front of me? Aghhh!

I always need to remind myself that these giant mountains are built with little steps. Granted, some of these steps might be larger and harder than others. Beginning a mailing list was really, really intimidating. But now I’m building that list one subscriber at a time, little by little, knowing that every step will take me higher up that mountain.

Next time you feel overwhelmed by these ginormous goals, take a moment to think about the smaller tasks that build up the larger goals. Where can you start right now? Don’t worry about how small your steps are—an inch brings you further along than remaining in place. And don’t be discouraged by slow progress. One day you’re going to look down and realize just how far you’ve climbed.

This applies to almost everything in life, but I’m specifically applying it to writing in this instance because, well, writing a whole book is an enormous task! But it’s not impossible. I really believe that these baby steps will bring you further along than you ever imagined you could be.

Don’t let that mountain scare you. Just take your first step. And then another. And then another.

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