Midyear Goal Check 2017

This year is slipping by so fast and I have moments when I think it is all coming together and others when I realise I’m not getting nearly enough done. I did make some serious changes to how I work part way into the year (just after my last review) and they seem to be helping greatly. I have also added a monitor to my laptop which has made a world of difference to my neck and shoulders.

So let’s go back a step and see where I wanted to be by midyear:

  • To grow my list of subscribers/followers
  • Plan out the whole (10 book) Legend of Iski Flare series, publish episode five and have good bones for episode six
  • Refine the whole series story line for the Raven Crown series and have book one with the proof reader
  • Have the start of a plan/outline for a new series and The Mark of Oldra sequel
  • And finally, for The Flow of Ink a monthly newsletter and semi regular blog posts.

 

Clearly the last one isn’t going so well. I did step away from the blog to spend more time on my fiction but I had thought I would get at least one post a month done. I am getting out monthly newsletters to my subscribers and occasionally an extra email a month with new release or giveaway information.

My subscriber list is growing, in fact I have already reached the goal I set for the year and I’m thrilled that so many readers are interested in my stories and writing process. But I am spending more time working on advertising and mail outs and giveaways. All of these are important but I need to set some clear guidelines for myself as to when I can and can’t work on the business side of writing.

I have shifted my sleeping pattern to get up earlier everyday to write (and that is everyday – weekends included). I have a good two hour block and when used appropriately it has been fantastic. I just need to stop checking sales figures, setting up mail outs and the like during that time. It can be difficult working full time to make the time. The aim for the next half of the year to ensure I quarantine my writing time and determine the best time for the business side of writing.

In terms of writing:

The Legend of Iski Flare Episode Five (my favourite by the way) was emotionally hard going to write but was released in June. Episode six is underway, although not quite as far along as I would like.  I do have the stories up to Episode Ten mapped out (although briefly) but I’m not sure where it will go from there.

Raven’s Dawn is actually very close. Not quite ready for the proof reader, but it will be this month and planned for release in August. I’m so excited by this one. The second book in the series, The Caged Raven, needs a lot of attention but I’m hoping will be released before Christmas. I’m trying not to think about the third one yet, but as I work on the others ideas keep sparking on ways to finish it.

Amongst all of this I have also completed a short story for a fantasy anthology, which will hopefully be released this month. The Silence is based on a legend from the Raven Crown Series and I had lots of fun writing it. I have been working on the plans for new stories as well, these are still very brief and by the end of the year I’m hoping to have a scenes list for both projects.

I have more and more ideas every day for stories I want to write but time is limited. I have discovered recently that what I would really like is more time to write, like whole days. This has just confirmed for me that I want to write full time and I continue to work toward that.

In the mean time we have our annual retreat coming up in August and I’ll have six whole uninterrupted days of writing. Can’t wait.

 

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2017 First Quarter Goal Check

This year has slipped away from me. I’m usually a planner, and a goal setter and a goal checker and yet I realised only late last week that we are into April and I haven’t been doing any of that.

I’m not writing, or very little.

I’m not checking my daily to do list, I’m rarely writing a weekly list and I certainly haven’t completed my first quarter review.

I have lots of reasons *excuses* for this. And good ones. But it is time to make a change and get back on track before I lose the road altogether.

 

So here is where I wanted to be at the end of March 2017 and where I actually am.

 

The Raven Crown Series

Book 1 – Raven’s Dawn

The plan – to be well into the second edit.

The reality – I’m still working through the first and not nearly as often as I should. I want to every day (or planned to) but in reality I’m doing an hour a week and sometimes not even that.

 

Book 2 – The Caged Raven

The plan – start reviewing the draft

The reality – I’ve pushed it so far down the list it fell off. I tried to justify this with the fact I need to finish the revision of book 1 first, due to the number of changes I’m making for any edit of book 2 to be useful. Probably true, but still disheartening.

Add to that that I have put up my hand for an anthology and I wanted to write a Raven Crown world short story. The deadline for this is the end of May. I do have a very detailed outline and the beginning and end written; so I’m hoping this should be completed without too much drama – it just needs time.

 

Iski Flare Series

Episode 5 – no name yet

The plan – it should have been drafted by the end of March.

The reality – I have three pages. Iski’s not playing nice, he’s moochy and grumpy and pissed off with the world. Which is kind of how I feel when I sit down with him, but it helps neither of us.

 

The Flow of Ink

The plan – irregular (maybe monthly) blog posts and a regular monthly newsletter.

The reality – only produced one blog post so far this year. On a positive note I am getting out the monthly newsletter (small win) and reaching more and more readers.

 

Extras

I have been doing more marketing activities, such as advertising the first Iski Flare and the Mark of Oldra. I’ve been applying to review sites and newsletter swaps.

I’m trying to be more interactive on social media and read more books but that is inconsistent and sporadic.

 

Overall I feel like I’m failing as a writer so far this year.

I’m tired, all the time. I’m enjoying my day job (which is nice) but it takes far more of my energy than my last day job did and I haven’t yet worked out how to work around that, or write around that.

I’m wasting time. Very clearly when I look at my tracking, I’m not writing nearly as often as I could. I get a weekend to myself and I watch hours of tv (Netflix) instead of writing.

 

I am trying to turn this around slowly.

I have started reading every day again, and my daughter is reading out loud in the car and that is certainly a good way to start the day. It also saves on audio books and I’m working up to asking her to read from my Kindle.

There is not a lot I can do about the day job; but I’m trying to get more sleep, taking multivitamins and getting back into exercise to get my energy levels back to where they should be. I’m just feeling like an old lady and we haven’t hit winter yet!

I’ve set out what I really want to get done and strengthened deadlines. I’ve also revisited the idea of making appointments with myself to write. I’ve done this before, but it slips away. I think the key is not to overdo it. For example, my daughter is away this weekend, perfect quiet time to write. But I already know that I won’t write Saturday night. I’d like to, but I won’t. So I haven’t blocked it out for writing on my schedule, instead I’m going to take some quiet time with a movie I’ve been wanting to watch and an early night so that I can make the most of Sunday.

I want to spend at least two hours a day writing; and when I get the chance I can very easily disappear into whichever story I’m working on. The problem is getting to the computer in the first place when procrastination, worry and then guilt sets in. Writer’s guilt is very much like mother’s guilt and it is just one of those things we have to live with or work through.

I’m planning the time and trying my best to show up. I’m not always getting to every writing appointment I’ve made but I’m working on it.

 

How is your writing year going?

 

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2017 Writing Goals

Although things kind of fell apart at the end of last year, I have a big year planned for 2017 and I’m confident that with some focused work and dedicated time it will all fall into place. That is the hope at least, it has started off fairly slowly as I still needed some rest time to recharge after a full 2016.

 

Here is an overview of my goals for this year:

  • Read at least 20 fiction books.
  • Publish the Legend of Iski Flare Episodes 5 to 8. (Including a box set).
  • Continue to work on my trilogy, The Raven Crown Series and publish books 1 and 2.
  • Plan and outline the next trilogy idea
  • Continue to produce a monthly newsletter and regular blog post.

 

There are a couple of other ideas I’m playing with but they are just ideas at the moment, and nothing serious will be done with them this year. It is more a test to see if they can develop into what I would like them to be.

I have reduced my weekly blog post to allow more time for my writing. I struggled last year to make the weekly timetable for blog posts and fit in the fiction writing. By reducing the blog posts I can focus on my first passion, the fiction.

There will be the occasional post but I’m sure the time is better spent on my fiction. I will try to post more regularly to Twitter and Facebook with details about how my writing is progressing and what I’m learning along the way.

2017 is all about writing. I will be working on some marketing too, and building my confidence in the writing business field, but the main focus is the writing. I can get distracted, far too easily, and so this takes some effort. But as this is where my passion is, I just needed to remind myself of my love for the story and try to move past the fear that it isn’t any good. It may be that it isn’t any good, but I love spending the time creating the story and the world and the characters and that is why I continue to write.

Why are you writing this year?

What I have learnt from 2016

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I have learnt far more than I was expecting to this year. Not all of it was easy to learn, but is was useful now I know. Here is a round up of what I have learnt looking back over 2016.

 

I don’t put in as much time as I think I do on my writing

I’m still tracking my time but I go through stretches where I’m really good, other times I’m not.

 

I need to look after myself

If I’m too knackered to write, don’t beat myself up but rest and regroup. Found this out the hard way when I really crashed in February this year. And working around day job and children means there will be time when there isn’t the energy to write.

 

Life happens – go with it

And that isn’t always easy. From crazy dance schedules to losing a friend, life will interrupt the writing. But then writing can help deal with life at times. There will be times when writing can’t happen and you just have to go with it. The key is to ensure you write when you can.

 

Be realistic in planning

I try to do this all the time, but this year I really didn’t allow appropriate time for several stages of a project and it threw me out completely. I have adjusted for this for 2017 and spent lots of time double checking and then allowing extra time – just in case. I just need to ensure I’m where I want to be at the end of December.

 

I am still enjoying the writing process

Sometimes it all seems too hard to rework a story or fix a plot point; but when it comes down to it I would rather be writing than doing anything else. I still enjoy the flow of words across the page (when they flow) and the stories that develop as I write. I have a developed a few more ideas this year that I’m not going to be able to do anything with yet, but they are little seeds growing into story ideas all the same.

 

Outsourcing is great

I’m not always very good at this, but I have reached outside of my comfort zone to employ cover designers and a proofreader this year. The relationships with both worked really well and will continue it into next year and other projects.

 

Changes for 2017

There aren’t many – in fact there is only one. I found as the year continued that meeting my blogging schedule in my limited writing time was becoming harder. I would like to continue to blog but not as often. So it will be more of an irregular blogging schedule and more when I have something specific to talk about.

I will continue to release a monthly newsletter and will maintain the website.

I have big plans for books next year and leading into 2018!

Stay tuned, I’ll release my plans for next year in January.

Daily Focus

daily-focusI have been very focused on my writing of late, partly because I realised that I wasn’t putting in the time I thought I was. When I reviewed my daily and weekly activity it was shockingly short of what I should be doing. That is short of what I want to be doing, so that I reach my goals and release the books I would like.

Due to a range of things this year hasn’t quite gone to plan and I have had days and weeks where my daily activity has slipped. And then there are some days I sit at the computer for hours and still feel like I’ve made no progress. But each day is important. Writing every day is better than not writing. For lots of reasons…but the main one is that all these little daily activities add up to the bigger picture.

When we struggle through a day or week, we can feel like we are plodding with our writing/creative/life goals and not getting to where we want to be. But all of these little tasks should be working toward the bigger picture.

 

Are your daily goals and activities working toward the bigger picture?

 

I have talked about goals and goal setting a lot. I review them regularly and as we work toward a rapidly approaching end of year, I am more or less organised for next year. All of these plans and goals reach toward my bigger goals. That is: to write full time.

So each goal I have for the year, leads towards that. I break it down and consider what I need to achieve each quarter, or month or week to meet the annual goal.

This comes back to what I do every day. Because we should be working every day toward our goal. Toward the mountain.

Some days seem harder than others, some tasks are not as exciting as others, but they should all be necessary in that movement forward.

 

Do you know what you want to achieve this year? Do you have a place you are aiming to get to?

 

Keep the focus on that goal, ensure your daily and weekly goals are moving toward it and that you are taking action every day.

2016 Third Quarter Goal Check

2016-third-quarter-checkI recently had a bit of a panic attack about what I was doing with my writing and where it was going. I was stressing about my deadlines. Because I had read or heard in one of my courses, that I should try to produce as much as possible. But I was worried that I was sacrificing quality for quantity and so I took some time to reassess.

Way back at the beginning of the year my writing goals included:

  • Reading every day
  • Continuing with the Legend of Iski Flare novella series with episodes 2, 3 and 4 planned for release this year
  • The Raven Crown series books 1 and 2 planned for release this year. (Book 3 in 2017)
  • The Mark of Oldra (formerly known as Snow) will be released at the beginning of February
  • The Flow of Ink will continue to blog every week and produce a monthly newsletter. I am changing the posting day to Sunday.
  • Improve my marketing skills to boost readership of my books and blog
  • There will be some ideas generating for next year, including expansions on some of the larger works I’m putting out this year and a new series that has started bubbling away.

At my last goal check, at the end of June, things were looking pretty good.

Here is where I am at the three quarter mark of 2016:

 

Reading

I am almost reading every night and trying to work my way through the bedside pile. Kindle is my problem here as I keep seeing and buying and not getting to the physical books on the bedside table.

I joined a review group but find that I’m feeling pressured to read and when my editing is intense I’m not getting the chance. I also wasn’t getting many reviews in return for all the reading I was doing and so I’ve pulled out of the group to focus on my own writing first.

I do still review everything I read because I understand how important those reviews are.

 

The Legend of Iski Flare

I have now published three episodes of Iski’s adventures and I’m really pleased with how he is going. I am currently working on Episode 4 due for release on October 31.

I have reworked these so that they are all formatted the same way and as I go, I am inserting a sample of each episode in the previous one. Episode 5 is brewing away and I will start outlining at the end of the year.

 

The Raven Crown Series

The first in this series is coming together. Partly because I started putting in the work required to get it done. I have a fantastic cover designed.

This is the book that pushed me over the edge. Partly because I hadn’t shared any of it before and the varied responses from beta readers threw me for a spin. Although it was to be expected, I had only given myself a week to rework the manuscript before sending it to the proofreader. So after taking some deep breathes to get the oxygen back to my brain, I rescheduled the proofreader and gave myself some decent time to sort out the issues raised.

I also gave myself some extra time to make sure it was uploaded and ready for print at the same time (or they will be close) before the launch date. I would much rather you had a good story to read than just promising it comes out sooner.

I was working my way through the edit for book two but that is taking a back seat to book 1 at the moment.

 

The Mark of Oldra

I reported last time that The Mark of Oldra was published earlier this year and now I have finally organizing a print version. This is available as print on demand Amazon.com only at this point) and I’m selling off the side of my desk (literally). I’m working on the advertising for the print copy and I’m planning a Goodreads giveaway for October.

Still too scared to shop it around just yet, but I will get there.

 

The Flow of Ink

I am managing to maintain my weekly blog post. And I am somewhat more organized and scheduling ahead of time. I continue to fiddle with little bits of the site, including using a new program to put in lead pages and buttons that connect readers to my newsletter and a free book.

[insert button here]

 

Marketing and Social Media

As I reported last time, I am still learning. I wonder if I will ever learn it all. I struggled with Hootsuite and switched to Tweetdeck. Then I got carried away with scheduling posts only to discover the same ones were appearing on my timeline repeatedly. I’ve eased off a bit and gone back to just tweeting what is happening at the time, whether writing or life or writing life related.

I am working my way through a Facebook Advertising Course for Authors which is really interesting and I’m learning a lot. Although I’ve only run a couple of ads so far (the cost worries me) but the second one did reasonably well. I completed a marketing course for gaining readers and how now signed up for a more comprehensive course with Nick Stephenson.

 

Next Project

Despite all my stress of late, I have played with a few ideas over the last couple of months for writing projects, everything from erotica to memoirs. But I am passionate about my fantasy writing and so I’m sticking with that.

I have an idea forming for another trilogy. It is fantasy but quite different to what I’m currently doing. I’ll let you know more when I have a better idea of what it is. And there are some short stories swimming around in there too.

 

Summary

Overall I am very pleased with how I’m going this year, despite having to rethink my major project’s time lines. I had more than a few moments of doubt this quarter as to whether I could deliver what I wanted to.

And other than lawns and painting and dance exams (and maybe Star Trek on Netflix) I’m actually doing pretty well. So there will be a novel delivered this year, and another Iski Flare adventure.

I won’t deliver what I thought I would at the beginning of the year. At times I forget just how much I have to squeeze into my life: working full time, being a single parent, all the house work, yard work and occasionally sleeping.

I have used this current restructuring to look at next year and what I can seriously deliver, in a reasonable time frame. I’m still looking at a couple of projects at a time but it will be a good year. I will refine this as I get closer to the end of the year and I’ll fill you in around Christmas time, or early next year when I release my goals for 2017. And I hope it doesn’t scare you if I mention I’m thinking about what that will mean for 2018 as well.

What have you learnt from the last year?

What have you learnt from the last year

As the year draws to a close (and didn’t that come around quickly?) it is time not only to be planning for next year but reviewing the last year.

I like to do this for a couple of reasons:

  • To see if I achieved what I wanted to and if not why not
  • To learn from the first point to be more effective next year

I have also said before that I track my time as the year has gone on I have become more efficient and detailed in that tracking. This is useful because without tracking the actual time I spend on my writing projects I don’t know. Before I was tracking I thought I spent hours a day writing, but I wasn’t.

Every goal I set is a part of the larger picture. Every day builds towards my longer term goals and overall plan. That is (and I’ve shared this before) writing full time. Being certain of where I’m going and how well I am achieving this is important for me because I am trying to meet these goals around a full time job and raising a child (alone-ish). I need to make decisions about how much time I put into this and what I want to get out of it.

I want to stress here that I am not writing to make money. I would love to be able to write full time because I love to write. I need to write. Creating stories and discovering new worlds and people is a joy. I would rather being experiencing that joy all day every day than slaving at the other desk.

 

From 2015 I have learnt:

My day job does impact on my creativity (the busier it gets the less writing I do).

Writing down/setting writing times does help but I don’t always stick to them.

I can draft a heck of a lot faster than I first thought.

I can draft a heck of a lot better than I used to.

I don’t mind editing as much, now that I have a clearer system (that works for me). But that may not always be the case.

Self publishing is the way to go (for me).

I can’t do it alone. I would love to, but I need support, writers groups, writing buddies, friends with skills, paid friends and would be friends with skills I don’t have.

It takes effort and time but every little bit of it is worth it.

 

From all of this, and the above list is not in any order, I am more confident going into next year. My plan is clear, my goals are set and I’m sure I will learn a whole lot more. It’s exciting really. From my tracking this year I have a good idea how long each process takes. I know when my day job is crazy busy and it will impact on my writing. I know how much time each day I can give it. And I know why I am doing what I am and what I’m working toward.

That means all I have to do is focus on the writing. And that is all I want.

When do we get time to do the other stuff?

read meThere seems to be such a long list of things I want to do or would like to do. Things we are guided to do by other writers, authors and bloggers. We also read heaps about sacrifices. But between writing and editing, drafting and planning, parenting, the day job and sleeping there is still so much I’m not getting done.

It is reading newsletters and other blogs that I’m particularly missing at the moment. There are so many emails unopened with other people’s news that I’m desperate to read. Even twitter I’m only glancing at 10 min worth of tweets a day and responding to follows but I’m not spending the time to share my thoughts or what I’m doing.

So do I sacrifice some of my writing time or parenting time? Or do I cut back the newsletters and not bother to try to read all this info?

And I haven’t even mentioned the books I’ve downloaded or are stacked up beside my bed. *aagghh*

I’m also not sleeping as well as I was. Not sure if that is the new house or how full my head is when I lay it down. But I’m not reading before I sleep either. It wasn’t so long ago that it didn’t matter how tired I was I would read at least a page before sleep. I wonder if I tried it would help in other ways as well.

My whole life seems to be highly planned out right now but I’m not achieving. Even though I tend to work better when I’m busy.

Maybe it is more a matter of timing, rather than sacrificing.

That down time of an evening when I usually switch my brain off with the tv, perhaps I should be reading instead. I can scan my emails and if an article looks interesting then I can take the time to read it.

My aim for this week is to accept the work load and get on with it and switch the tv for reading to relax at the end of each day. And then I get my newsletters read as well as slowing my brain down for sleep. Unless, of course, the reading inspires me to sit up ‘til 3am writing. But that could only be a good thing.

How does your timetable look?

My Writing Plans

shoes on deckAt the beginning of the year I discussed my plan for the year. I didn’t want to share all the details at the time because there was a lot going on (and there still is) namely the building of my house and planning the move. Then my parents went away leaving me to dog sit and that seemed to push my plans completely out.

I’m kind of back of back on track. I have the first short story out for the year, if several weeks behind schedule. I’m editing my fantasy novel (or at least I’m planning for the re-write and trying to stay positive). I am drafting my fantasy medieval trilogy (slowly) and starting to plan a series of novellas.

So I am crazy busy and all this while I (finalise the) building of my house and all that goes with moving. So this year is going to be a big one.

To give you an idea – here are my writing goals for this year (which may change as the year develops):

  • Snow (fantasy novel) to be out around August/September (not sure how likely that is, may be later)
  • Medieval fantasy trilogy to be fully drafted this year (all three books, total around 450,000 words)
  • Iski Flare Book 1 to be ready for release by Christmas.
  • Weekly blog posts with where I am at and tips to help other writers at a similar stage.

And all this while working full time, mothering full time and ….lots of other stuff.

So to make sure I can do what I want to with my writing I have a plan. (Doesn’t every writer?)

I have to pull my finger out and get on with it. I will get up and continue to write (or edit) for an hour first thing every day. I will fit in another hour of writing or writing related activity every day (probably in the evening) and use my free lunch times and weekends (when the child is with her dad) to get more done.

I have worked out roughly how many hours a week I have (about 15, give or take a couple).

Now if I used this 15 hours appropriately and productively I think I could achieve the following in a week:

Either:             Write about 22,000 first draft words

Or:       Edit somewhere between 5 and 15 scenes

Or:       Draft, edit and smooth out 10-15 blog posts

Or:       Outline or plot a single story idea to the point I could start a first draft.

When I first wrote these figures down I was quite surprised. I have a pretty good understanding of how long different activities take as I record my writing times and review regularly. So I’m sure that with focus the above figures give a close indication of what I could achieve.

So my plans are in place and underway. And they have been for a while now; it is just that I haven’t shared. Now that my projects are flowing reasonably well, if thickly, I’m more confident in how they are going. I’ll share my six monthly review in July to show how I’m going in meeting these goals.

Is fear stopping you from writing?

800px-Blank_page_intentionally_end_of_bookWe are setting goals we want to achieve, things we want to do, that lead to a place we want to be.

Aren’t we?

I struggled in the past to take action on my goals, I was ensuring my goals were reasonable and achievable and setting deadlines. But the deadlines came and went and I wasn’t any closer to achieving the goal.

The problem was that I wasn’t taking the appropriate action.

I knew what I had to do but I wasn’t doing it.

I started researching how to take action. Looking for tips on how to do the doing part of a goal. Everything pointed towards writing it down and away you go…but I wasn’t.

So what does stop us sitting down and typing out the 500 words a day, or the 20 minute run to build up to the marathon. There were times I struggled to sit at the desk let alone reach my daily word limit.

One reason we may not be taking action is fear. Whether that is a fear of not doing well, or not being able to do it at all, or what would change if we did do it. I watch authors being interviewed and I can think of nothing more frightening (just as one example).

Understanding why we are not taking action is the first step to taking it.

There are times that I still struggle (such as over the last week). The main reason my writing stalled was a fear of not knowing what part of my draft I should work on next, or what needed to come next. I know from experience that once I sit down and start typing out a sentence or two then a scene will develop on the page. It might not be any good, it might be axed in the next draft without a thought but it will progress my writing.

But I worked myself into a state about not knowing that I don’t even have a sentence to start with and so I’m not sitting down at all. This slows down everything including my other writing because if I’m not drafting then I shouldn’t be working on other things (crazy but the brain can be very disruptive at times). I also know that working on other projects can help give a jolt to a current draft.

The idea is to know why I want to do this and what it would mean if I don’t.

 

So to take action I have to:

Book a time and sit down. This is usually 5am (every morning) but as I struggle this hasn’t worked so well. On the weekend I spent some time with a writing buddy. Sitting together meant I had to at least sit at the laptop and try something.

Plan. But this is where I was stuck, I didn’t know where to go next. I usually have an idea or sentence at least. Forcing myself to the computer I thought I might have to force my protagonist into some form of action and see where it went. So I put her on a horse (and she was nervous) and sent her out into uncertainty and a whole new wonder opened up before us.

Have a back up. If I still can’t get beyond that one sentence, start on something else, plan or outline a blog post, edit that short story for writers group, go over the section on taking action for my action ebook…

 

Think about what will happen if I don’t at least try. – stuck in my day job until I am 80; my story will remain unfinished; I will be grumpy for the rest of my life because I get grumpy when I’m not writing and so my family will eventually run away…

There are lots of reasons that stop writers from writing but fear is a big one.

Fear can be debilitating. It can stop your writing dead, sometimes before you even start.

Work out what you fear. Even writing out what does scare you might help to move beyond it.

If fear is what is slowing you down (or stopping you altogether) face the fear and get on with the writing. It is ok to be crap. It is ok to produce a poor first draft. You can face it later for editing. Have a back-up plan to keep the writing muscles working because not writing makes it harder to get writing again.

Find what you fear first and then find a way to beat it. For what could be worse than not writing?

Over the coming weeks I will be talking about other reasons we don’t take action and this will be expanded in my upcoming ebook.

What fear prevents you taking action and what have you tried to beat it?

 

Image by Brian0918 via Wikimedia Commons