A goal is a dream with a plan. How are you at making plans? Sticking to them? The reason goals fail, resolutions fail is because people make them nicely vague.
Example: “I’m going to write and publish a novel.”
Great! … How?
If you have “Write novel” on your goal list without any thought as to what you need to do, you may find you struggle a bit.
It’s another reason “To Do” lists fail. We add dozens of things to our to do lists thinking well they aren’t many things on it… forgetting that some of those “To Do’s” are actually big jobs that will take a lot of time.
There’s a tip that says you give every goal 20 Steps.
If you break your goal down into manageable pieces you will have a better chance at succeeding at it.
Think about how you can break your goal into pieces. Let’s take the above as a (broad) example:
Step 01 – Plot novel
Step 02 – Outline novel
Step 03 – Create character profiles
Step 04 – Write 1st draft
Step 05 – Edit 1st draft
Step 06 – Write 2nd draft
Step 07 – Edit 2nd draft
Step 08 – Take break from manuscript to get a clear head
Step 09 – Work with critique partners
Step 10 – Write 3rd draft based on feedback from CP (let CP re-read)
Step 11 – Work with Beta Readers
Step 12 – Write 4th draft based on feedback from BR (let BR re-read)
Step 13 – Edit, polish and make perfect manuscript
Step 14 – Send Manuscript to an editor for checking
Step 15 – Make changes to manuscript based on feedback
Step 16 – Write Synopsis and query letter
Step 17 – Research publishers
Step 18 – Check out publishers submission guidelines and send manuscript to publisher
Step 19 – Work on building platform and following
Step 20 – Start working on next book
Firstly, these are just an example, of how you COULD use your steps. Also, the steps aren’t meant to be done quickly or all within the same time-frame.
Some, such as “plotting novel”, could take months/years. Whereas others like “researching publishers” could take just a few weeks.
Secondly, you don’t always have to follow the steps in order. For example, you could be building your following/platform before the manuscript is finished.
In fact I’m all for doing that – as I said in my post Things You Should Be Doing Now.
The idea of making up 20 steps is just to give you ideas of how to achieve what you want. Rather than seeing the whole thing and being overwhelmed, you break it into steps. Each of the 20 steps can then be broken down again.
For example: Research publishers could be broken down into the following steps:
- Check favourite books (in same genre) and make note of publishers
- Read The Writers Handbook for publishers who deal in my genre
- Check website of each publisher
- Create spreadsheet for corralling the information on possible publishers (I do love my spreadsheets)
Sometimes a big goals needs to be broken into pieces. It can help give a clear picture of what you need to do. Also, make a note of the steps then take some time to re-arrange them into the correct order.
Have you ever used the 20 Step Method? Maybe you have your own method that works. Share it in the comments below!
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Thanks for everyone who gets through to the end of my sometimes long posts, it’s totally appreciated!
Happy writing people!