You want to write your book – yay! And you’ve already discovered that you can successfully write for a few days (or weeks) before your excitement dries up and… crickets. Your book lies untouched for weeks or months before you find another spurt.
(Hint: That’s a recipe for “working” on your book for YEARS with nothing to show for it!)
Friend, there IS an easier way.
But today I want to bring you something straight of my VIP Client Playbook:
Having a Daily Mini-Goal for Your Writing
You’re going to PICK one of these (just one!) and then do it Every.Single.Day.
Now, I want you to read on and remember: you pick ONE of these to do. Not both.
How many days a week?
SEVEN! As in ALLLLLLL the days that end in -y.
Trust me, no matter HOW busy you are (or think you are) you CAN do this.
Option 1: Write for 15 minutes a day
You set your timer and your WRITE for 15 minutes. Really, honestly writing. Not re-reading what you wrote yesterday (or last week) and not cruising Facebook pretending to write. Actually writing.
At the end of your 15-minute writing session, if you’re in the groove, you just keep going. If you’ve been struggling over every word, you stop.
You can ALWAYS find 15 minutes in your day. This is a great “waiting” activity like when you’re waiting for your kids after school or at practice. It’s perfect when you’ve popped something into the oven and you’ve got a few minutes to kill. Don’t watch TV or play with your phone… WRITE!
Option 2: Write for half a page a day
It doesn’t matter HOW LONG it takes you – you write until half a page is full. This might take you 3 minutes or 4 hours but you Do.Not.Get.Up. until your half page is written.
At the end of your half page, if you’re in the groove, you just keep going. If you’ve been struggling over every word, you stop.
To do this “correctly”, you’ll need to standardize your half page. That might be half a page in your notebook, written long-hand, or half a page typed and YOU decide if that’s single or double spaced. Doesn’t matter as long as you settle on what ‘half-page’ means to you and then you hold to that standard.
Here’s what a mini-goal is NOT:
It’s not playing “catch up” if you *gasp* miss a day. Or three. If you miss a day, and eventually you will, then you don’t “make it up” – and try to catch up, double down, OR beat yourself up. Instead, you start again – one mini-goal at a time.
I’m also NOT saying that these goals BUILD. As in, today you write for 15 minutes, tomorrow it’s 20, the next day it’s 25, and so on. I’m NOT saying today you write half a page, tomorrow you write a full page, day three you are responsible for a page and a half.
I’m also NOT saying that you give yourself permission to do 10 minutes today and 20 tomorrow.
And the last thing I’m NOT saying is that you have to STOP after 15 minutes or half a page. If you’re in the flow, by all means CONTINUE WRITING! (Seriously, I had a client think she had to STOP after 15 minutes. Like it was bad to keep going… Nope! These are your MINIMUMS.)
Here’s what you ARE doing:
You’re committing to ONE option and you’re committing to doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Here’s the thing:
Your work adds up and it adds up QUICKLY. Even if all you ever did was the “minimum” – you’re still writing. Every day. And when you’re happy and in the groove and joyfully write for an HOUR or an afternoon (or fill page after page) – score! Bonus points!
Tomorrow, you’re under zero obligation to have a repeat performance. You are committing to your daily mini-goal of 15 minutes OR half a page.
Think back to the last time you worked on your project (be really honest) and then count the days from then until today. Multiply that by half a page a day and you can IMAGINE how much further along you’ll be.
THAT is the power of mini-goals.
There’s one more thought I want to leave you with – and THIS is the thought that makes it all work.
I NEVER SAID YOU HAD TO WRITE WELL.
It’s not about writing well. It’s about WRITING.
As I tell my VIP clients – we can fix almost anything in editing. The only thing we can’t fix is a lack of WORDS.
An editor, no matter how skilled, cannot extract the words from your head. (And neither can a ghostwriter, frankly!) I do NOT have magic thought-pluckers that can reach into your brain and pull out your ideas, your thoughts, your message. You have to get it OUT of your head. Period.
So turn off the inner critic that says this writing has to be good. And just write.
Or as I explained to a client recently – who said “Kim, I don’t have 15 good minutes in me!”
I don’t need good. What is “good,” anyway? I just want you to WRITE.