This is part of a series on WriteMotivation.
If you’re anything like me, you like setting lofty goals. You like having something outrageous to aspire to because when you manage it, you feel all bad-ass, like you’ve not only climbed Everest, but got back down, brought all your trash with you, and maybe saved a stranded climber or twelve on the way.
But when you fail to achieve those goals? Disaster.
Evils thoughts start to creep in, like maybe you’re not serious about writing, like maybe you’ve wasted a lot of time on a stupid hobby, and you don’t even have a ship in a bottle to set on the mantel, like maybe if you smash your laptop into a thousand pieces and cram them all into one of those giant pickle jars, you’ll at least have a conversation piece that doesn’t make people roll their eyes like the print out of your 1000 page novel perched strategically on the coffee table.
Not that you would leave your manuscript just lying around like that…
But back to those lofty goals. They can be tricky things. So, if you want to make progress on your work-in-progress, do you change your goals or change your attitude?
Maybe a little bit of both.
Goals that aren’t achievable when life throws you a little ol’ curveball aren’t good goals, and scaling back a bit is not an admission of failure, it’s just being realistic (hard for fiction writers, I know, but it’s kind of like postponing your Everest expedition until the snowstorm stops because setting out in a blizzard is just stupid). Hanging out in base camp for a bit doesn’t mean you’re not going to make it up the mountain, it just means it’s going to take longer.
As far as attitude goes, until you’re Stephen King, you’re your own number one fan, maybe your only fan, and you can’t afford to beat yourself up just because you haven’t yet made it to the top of the mountain.
So, strap on your oxygen tank, start climbing, and keep your eyes on the summit, but don’t be afraid to take baby steps when you need to. You’ll plant that flag before you know it.