On to steps two through four!
2. Imagine yourself finishing.
As Bethany explains, "This is bigger than visualization (though that may help). You have to KNOW that this goal is going to be accomplished. You have to know that ﬁnishing won’t make you loved or popular or rich or famous. You have to know that you are still going to DO THIS, no matter what."
I think I'm there, actually. It's what I meant when I wrote in my last post that I'm compelled to write. I'd even go so far as to say it's an act of obedience and worship to God when I use a gift He's given me. Loaded statement, I know.
3. Quit one thing.
The idea here is that we can become so busy doing other things that we neglect THE thing we really want to do. So, quit something to make room for something else. Makes sense. My decision to be a stay-at-home mom pretty much accomplished this step. By not teaching (a.k.a. working 10 hour days plus nights and weekends), I now have time to write more often and more intentionally. Have you noticed how the number of blog posts have increased now that I'm not teaching? Ahh...
4. Make the DAILY choice.
This one's the kicker for me. Even though I love writing, I never really WANT to do it. I rarely feel inspired and ready to write. I'm always glad to have written, but not always glad to write. It's like a good work out: tough to get motivated but a great Boo-yah! Take that! feeling afterward. So, here's where my smaller, more tangible goals come in. For now, here's what being a better writer is going to look like:
- Write every day. Whatever it is--blogging, writing a letter, journaling, drafting an essay--if I want to write, I need to do it daily. No excuses.
- Read books on writing and do any exercises it suggests. I'm not in a position right now to take a class or join a writer's group, but I do have several books on writing sitting on a shelf at home, just waiting for me to break in their spines. At least once a week, I want to take time to read part of a book on writing and practice some of the exercises it offers. I'll try to keep you posted on what I'm reading.
- Submit one essay to a magazine by the end of September. The point here is to practice putting myself out there. My goal isn't acceptance but experience. And when you write for a magazine, at least you have some sort of audience, even if it's just an editor sitting in her living room.
Up next: Steps 5 (Take a day off) and 6 (Have a plan for after the thing is finished). Step five has me doing backflips; step six makes me feel queasy. More to come!