So this month we’re talking about writing goals and resolutions, but maybe, like me, you feel that any goal you set would be unrealistic. Maybe just thinking about meeting a daily word count is like contemplating a life-sentence. Maybe “overwhelming” describes the act of brushing your teeth. Maybe, like me, you’re pretty sure that life is trying to kill you.
If that’s the case, watch this clip.
The movie “What About Bob” seems to apply to everything, doesn’t it?
Baby Steps. Don’t think about how many words you need to finish your WIP. Just think about how many words you need to finish this chapter. Or, this sentence.
Don’t think about the odds of getting an agent or getting published. Think about making contacts in the writing world. That can be as easy as reading another writer’s blog and commenting.
Don’t think about your grand character arc. Think about your character’s next step. His next thought.
And if that’s still too much for you, it’s okay. Believe me, I’ve been there. Recently. Here are a few of my baby steps to reassure you that you are not alone if you feel like writing is torture especially designed for you.
1. Today I will write one sentence.
2. Today I will think about my characters while I’m folding laundry.
3. Today I will only check Facebook 99 times instead of 100.
4. Today I will not throw my laptop in the fireplace.
5. Today I will highlight one good sentence in my chapter.
6. Today I will promote another author’s book.
7. Today I will use one of my favorite words. NOT the four letter ones.
8. Today I will brainstorm the next plot development.
9. Today I will trust that there is a plan to this madness.
10. Today I will not give up.
My critique partners regularly talk me down from ledges. They’re probably compiling a manual on how to keep an insecure writer from committing career suicide. One of them shared this verse with me.
“With the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you…” 2 Peter 3:8-9
Taking baby steps feels like a pretty slow way to get somewhere. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be running and leaping right now. But neither speed affects God’s timetable. So, for my own fragile sanity, I will keep taking baby steps.
“Baby steps into the office. Baby steps to the desk. Baby steps—turn on the computer. Baby steps—open document.”
Evangeline Denmark has storytelling on her heart and in her blood. The daughter of novelist, Donita K. Paul, Evangeline grew up living and breathing good stories. She has co-authored two children’s books, The Dragon and the Turtle (Waterbrook Press, 2010) and The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari (Waterbrook Press, 2011) and also writes adult fiction. Evangeline enjoys wearing goldfish in jars around her neck and desperately needs a vacation from her problems. You can find Evangeline online at http://www.breathenbreatheout.blogspot.com and http://www.dragonandturtle.com