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?

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.