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?

Episode 59 – Dealing with Comparisonitis

The Difference between Comparing and Comparisonitis

When we compare ourselves with others, it can inspire us to do better, to recognise that a goal is achievable. At the same time, comparisonitis leads to negative emotions of jealousy and shame. It makes us want to give up because we aren’t good enough, and there’s no point trying. It results in us focusing on what we don’t have and makes us question our self-worth.

Counteracting Comparisonitis

Awareness of the issue is the first step to tackling the problem.

Recognise that most people have to put the work in before achieving success, even if you are not there to witness it.

Share your feelings with someone you trust.

Consider what’s essential in life — everyone will die.

Perhaps you are exactly where you need to be.

Try to get away from thinking with a scarcity mindset. Success is not a pie! It is not divided into finite pieces.

This Episode’s Question

Think about the last time you experience comparisonitis. How did it make you feel? How could you have done or thought things differently?

Episode 58 – The Fear of Success

‘As I interpret the Course, “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A COURSE IN MIRACLES, pp. 190–191.



It is not only the fear of failure that can affect us at a fundamental level, it can also be the fear of success. Our goals remain small when we are reluctant to embrace the change that would inevitably come with success.  Deep inside, we might believe that success is dangerous and our family and friends may worry that we won’t want to know them anymore if we become successful.

As with the fear of failure, understanding what drives you places you in control, allowing you to seek a balance that enhances your writing life. 

Does a fear of success show up in your life and if so, do you have any idea of where it comes from?

Mariëlle mentioned Elizabeth Gilbert in the podcast. The book Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life and Let Go of Your Fear is widely available.

Episode 57 – Fear of Failure

Whether it’s a blank page or the terror of publishing, writing can be scary. At the heart of the problem could be a deep-rooted fear of failure. The effect can stop progress and induce a reluctance to experiment. It can manifests in different ways despite the commonly held belief that it results in paralysis. The truth is that it drives some people to work harder. However, failure as the driving force increases stress, which sucks the joy out of a potentially positive experience.

Understanding what drives you places you in control, allowing you to seek a balance that enhances your writing life. Consider a world where failure was feedback and curiosity drives experimentation.

How does a fear of failure affect your writing?
Are you afraid of failure or afraid of success?

Mariëlle mentioned Elizabeth Gilbert in the podcast. The book Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life and Let Go of Your Fear is widely available.

Episode 56 – The Effect of Limiting Beliefs on Writing

Do you know what is holding you back from a successful writing career? It could be something as simple as your deep-rooted beliefs about success formed in childhood or as a result of life experiences that have convinced you that it’s safer to pass through life unnoticed and unrecognised.

There are three stages to addressing these issues:

  1. The first step to uncover any limiting beliefs.
  2. The second is to consider when and where they originated.
  3. The final step is to identify what you would like to believe instead.

Start by trying this free 19-minute meditation on Youtube led by Mariëlle, or find the exercise in Mariëlle’s free resource for writers when you sign up for her newsletter.

Episode 55 – How Does Imposter Syndrome Affect Your Writing?

People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements. They feel that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others, and someone will discover the truth about them. It’s that nagging feeling that you aren’t good enough or that you fall short compared to those around you. People in the highest, most successful positions can suffer from imposter syndrome.

Most people can be affected by imposter syndrome to a greater or lesser degree. Comparing ourselves to others can limit what we can achieve.

When do you experience self-doubt?
How does imposter syndrome manifest itself to you?
What kind of things are you telling yourself?