Episode 69 – From Goal Setter to Dedicated Writer

Dedicating yourself to writing or a writing career starts with goals. Those goals might include publishing a novel, entering competition or just finishing a piece of work.

In order to move forward, you will probably experience a mindset shift. It might be moving from writing as a hobby to writing as a career or perhaps you aren’t there yet. Maybe you never will be.

Sometimes, it is because something triggers a change. We talk about how sharing our writing with someone else causes us to grow and move up a level.

Dedicating yourself to writing is a choice. Perhaps like me you decide that you want others to read what you have written. Accepting and making use of critiques is a skill. To find out more join  us for this new series.

What does it mean to you to become a dedicated writer?

When did you decide to dedicate yourself to writing?

Episode 68 – Perfectionism and Goal Setting

“Research shows that perfectionism hampers success” (Brene Brown).

Perfectionism can show up in many aspects of your life. It can stop a writer from getting past the first page or prevent them from pressing publish.

In this episode, Mariëlle and I talk about overcoming our tendencies to lean towards perfectionism.

In striving to be perfect, we focus on the wrong things. This has never been more obvious than when writing a novel. Some people become stuck on rewriting the same line over and over, and for others, it’s the need for just one more draft.

Perfectionism can even stop you from setting specific goals because of the fear that you can never achieve what you want, and if you do manage to set a goal, it can keep you perfecting the detail instead of moving forwards to the finish line.

Do you feel that perfectionism gets in the way of your success?

In what way does perfectionism stop you from achieving your goals?

Episode 67 – How Comparisonitis Affects Goals

In this episode, we continue our theme of setting effective goals to turn you into a successful author.

There are times when it is natural to compare ourselves to others. Having a role model who inspires us can help us to identify what we want to achieve.

Comparisonitis can be dangerous because it is about comparing what someone else has, or you perceive them to have, with what you’d like to have. Nowhere is this more prevalent than on social media, where individuals portray themselves as happy, success and fortunate. They show a side of themselves that they want others to see, and it is often not the whole picture. You and your situation are unique, and other people’s goals might not fit your situation.

It can be helpful to compare what you have achieved this year against what you achieved last, but this also has dangers. Judgement needs to go to allow you to examine the circumstances with curiosity.

Do you suffer from comparisonitis? For the next 24 hours, count the number of times you compare yourself to others. How do you think this affects you?

Episode 66 – Achieving Goals when the Sh*t Hits the Fan

In this episode, we continue the theme of effective goal setting to help you become a successful author.

Have your writing plans ever gone off track because of a significant life event? What did you do?

Mariëlle and I talk about our experience and what helped. We consider strategies, but first, it’s essential to recognise that a crisis needs attention. Dealing with issues mentally and emotionally can be just as debilitating as a physical injury or disease.






Episode 65 – Goal Setting Around the Rest of Your Life

In this episode, we continue setting practical goals that can turn you into a successful author.

Be honest about what you want and how much time you have available. It’s easy to take on too much. Women especially have to be everything, super-fit, a wonderful mother while holding down a job and running a home.

Routine and creating writing habits can go a long way to ensuring you work on your fiction, but life happens. When it does, prioritise and consider the cost of letting some things go. Most people experience stressful times when life is challenging, but think about what else might be happening if this becomes the norm. Where are your boundaries? Can anyone help? Is there anything you could give up?

How quickly do you bounce back from disruption?

Episode 64 – Short-Term Goal Setting

In this episode, we dive into the subject of short-term goal setting, which is much more complex than it initially appears.

Studies have shown that choosing a goal and setting a time limit increases the odds of achieving that goal. Partly because it keeps you focused on what you want, but goals should evolve and change as your life changes.

While long-term goals are powerful tools to help reach your potential, short-term goals keep you on track, but they are more than the building blocks to achieving larger goals. It’s the process of identifying manageable, achievable steps that increases your awareness of what you want and where you are going. In turn, it allows you to make decisions that are aligned with who you are. For example, everyone’s definition of success is different, and it’s worth considering what you want your career to look like when you look back. That way, you can commit to your belief and set goals that align with who you are. The process of reviewing goals and considering whether they have been achieved, and scaling their difficulty level helps identify and challenge unconscious conditioning and other issues that get in the way of writing.

Some people find one type of goal setting easier than the other. What comes more accessible to you long-term or short-term goal setting? Why do you think this might be the case?

Episode 63 – Long-Term Goal Setting

Why bother to set long-term goals as surely short-term goals will be enough? Goals are tools that help you keep on the path. They tell you what you are aiming for and what success will look like when you get there. They identify gaps in your knowledge and experience, which you can plan to address.

Just because you have written your goals down, it doesn’t mean you cannot change them. The key to setting effective goals is to review them constantly and change them in line with new priorities. There will always be aspects of your life that is out of your control.

Consider the bigger picture. At the end of your career, what do you want to look back on?

Joanna Penn; The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writer’s Journey.

Episode 62 – Realistic Goal Setting

Lucinda and Mariëlle record their experience of setting writing-related goals. They examine their own goals, which they set at the beginning of the year and discuss why goals need to be individual and flexible.

Goal setting should be different for everyone. One person can feel motivated by attempting to achieve the unattainable or ‘stretch’ goals, while others might feel crushed. Jami Albright talks about setting three sets of goals:

Bare minimum goals – what do you desperately need to achieve?
Realistic goals – what do you want to achieve within the time available?
Stretch goals – what could you achieve in an ideal world?

What are your goals for the year? Evaluate your progress now that we are halfway through the year. Do you need to evaluate and change your goals for the rest of the year?

Episode 61 – Goal Setting for Writers

Setting goals is complicated. There are different types of goals and different types of people, each needing an individual strategy that works for them. In this episode, we introduce our next series of podcasts where we examine goal setting in depth.

Achieving goals can be like life. Unexpected obstacles can trip us, leading us to struggle. Very few people master setting achievable, realistic goals that challenge but do not overwhelm them, and a writer’s writing life is not separate from life. Join us to discover how to set goals that take you to the next level.

Episode 60 – When is it time to call yourself a writer?

In the last few episodes of Diving into Writing, we focus on the overarching theme of imposter syndrome. One of the many ways imposter syndrome can impact you is that it can make you reluctant to claim the title of writer or author.

Mariëlle and I talk about our experience of claiming the title of writer. We identify when and why we chose the moment we did to take the plunge.

Sometimes it helps to take it in steps:

I write.
I am a writer.
I am an author.

Although, for many, writer and author are the same thing. 
Claiming the title could tell the world and  perhaps more importantly, you that will published your manuscript or intend to live off the proceeds of your books. It could signal a transition and claiming the title can lead to you taking writing more seriously and kickstart your career.

Do you call yourself a writer?

Do you prefer writer or author? For what reasons?

When did you start calling yourself a writer?