IWSG: Lessons I’ve Learned Writing

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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
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Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG
July 5 Question: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?
I think–and I keep having to learn this one over and over–that I’m learning that small goals add up over time. Novel writing isn’t so much a marathon as it’s a thousand sprints. It’s writing a little bit every day, as opposed to sitting down and writing a novel, or even sitting down and writing a chapter. You get up and write another page, or edit a page, and you get there, eventually.
I can’t say I always do that, but it’s a path that has begun to show results for me in other areas of my life–with building my blog, with my fitness goals–and with my writing and my revision. I may have been plagued by small goals when I was a kid–the kind of thing where you have a “project” for the day, and you wind up finishing it in a very short length of time. I’m trying to remember any point at which I would have been working on one thing for a semester or a year, and I’m coming up short.
The more I think about it, the more I see that most goals–the popular ones, the ones that everybody has–come pre-broken down. Baby-steps, until you lose track of the bigger thing that you’re aiming for in the distance.
If you lose track of the whole with novel writing, you don’t wind up with a whole.
The next step can be easy to lose track of in the enormity of the whole.

7 thoughts on “IWSG: Lessons I’ve Learned Writing

  1. Baby steps are the way to go! It’s the only way not to feel overwhelmed by a project and actually get the work done – well, that’s how I write 😉

  2. Juneta says:

    Amen sister, small steps and one step at a time.

  3. Jacqui says:

    I like your thought about big goals coming ‘pre-broken-down’ into smaller goals. That really helps people like me!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you! It helps me a whole lot, too. There’s so much shifting between looking at the mountain, and looking down at that next step!

  4. Jean Davis says:

    I like to small goals method too. It works for me, especially in novel writing.

  5. You’re right, small goals are way more manageable and make more sense than something as daunting as writing “a novel.” Great lesson!

  6. sare says:

    So true. I get overwhelmed when I forget that baby steps will get me there.

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