Turn Your Big, Lofty Goals Into Small, Doable Micro Goals
I dream big.
Sometimes I can see people enjoying my books, laughing, and sharing how amazing it is, before I’ve even written the first word.
So then when it’s time for me to sit down and write the book, it’s intimidating thinking about everything. I’m picturing the editing process, the cover, the marketing, the emails, building my author platform, pitching an agent, and going to a book signing – when what I really need to be doing is writing the first word, the first sentence, the first paragraph.
Does that sound like you?
I did something today that really helped me out. I have about 20 REALLY GOOD ideas for books, and they’re all in various stages of completion. That doesn’t even include my document with hundreds of snippets of concepts, titles, and genre books I would love to write.
It’s too much.
So I chose my three favorite ideas, and then thought to myself, what can I start working on specifically? I can’t just ‘work on my book,’ I need to dig deeper and work on one element of the process. That way, I can realistically get something done on it every day. So here’s what I came up with:
Break Up Your Big Project Into Tiny, Easy Steps
I chose my three best book projects which are not related. That way I can work on all three of them simultaneously without taking my time away from the other ones. If I get stuck on one project I can keep working on the others.
Then I tried to break the next steps of what I was able to do for each book into different activities that would take anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. Here’s what I did:
1. My YA fiction novel reboot of “Treasure Island”
I finished writing this book two years ago, and have been editing and re-writing since then. I’ve had feedback from a few agents, and am still editing.
Micro Goals added:
+ Find one agent that represents this type of book
+ Craft a pitch letter to one agent, and send it
+ Re-read one chapter, and copy-edit with Track Changes
+ Research Similar Books
+ Read one chapter of a similar book
2. A non-fiction series with an epic marketing strategy
I came up with an incredible marketing strategy, and concept for a series of non-fiction books which are in my field of post-graduate work. My big problem has been that I’ve researched the books, and just need to write them now.
Micro Goals added:
+ Break the books into smaller sections
+ Work on one page from one section
+ Add one element to the outline of the books
+ Draw one picture to add into one section of the books
+ Add five people to a list of people I will directly market the book to
3. Dark the Shark, a children’s picture book that I’ve written and illustrated.
I came up with the idea three years ago, and jotted down a few rough notes, for fun. Then I decided to write the story, and pushed on to illustrate the entire thing. Now that it’s outlined, I know I need to add color and decide if I want to crowd source this book, self-publish, or pitch to an agent.
Micro Goals added:
+ Color one page of the book.
+ Take one colored page and use it to pitch one agent.
+ Ask one other writer to read my 400 word story
+ Check out one similar book at the library for inspiration
+ Read that book to my daughter
+ Go through and edit the book again
Ultimately, these small steps will get me closer to the goal of finishing each project. The best part is, I can do one of these small steps for one of my projects every day, no matter how busy it gets. And if I have time, I can go through a number of micro goals, and feel very accomplished.
As I achieve these goals, I feel more inspired, and more able to achieve even more. When some of the goals are checked off, I discover where I can add more.
How Can Micro Goals Work For You?
Okay, now it’s your turn. How can you break your book up into micro goals, so that you can actively work on it every day, no matter how strapped you are for time?
Try to clearly define each small doable step, and make sure you congratulate yourself for taking one small step closer to finishing your work!
Did this blog post help you? Share what micro goals you’re working on today!
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