Positive Writer

Write with More Confidence and Greater Satisfaction

The Hardest Thing to do as a Writer (But You CAN Master It!)

2007, at the age of 37, I finally published my first book. I started writing when I was 12 and it took me 25 years to finally finish and publish a book. That’s a long time. I was ecstatic to complete my lifelong dream, but I still felt like a failure.

Almost a dozen books later, when I look back on what changed, it’s easy to point out, but it was the hardest thing I ever did. It’s just unfortunate I didn’t do it sooner. And, maybe this effects you, too.

In the comments, I’d love it if you would share with me your goals as a writer. What are they exactly? Have you defined them? Can you write them down?

Note: If you’d like to attend a free training on how to set goals and actually achieve them, click here. (It’s only available once a year!)

I’m going to be honest here, setting goals was the hardest thing for me to do, and frankly, it’s the hardest thing for most people, especially writers. You and I, I’m willing to bet, we could compete for who is the best at procrastinating and it might end up in a tie, that is, if we ever reached the finish line.

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.

–Tony Robbins (Source)

All joking aside, as writers we need to find ways to sit our butts down, do the work, and publish. The world needs your words, but if you never find a way to make things consistently happen, the world could miss out on what you have to offer and that would be a sad thing indeed.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

And, it shouldn’t.

But it’s not that easy. I sucked at setting goals and it cost me time and time again. I eventually had enough, I got so fed up with being late and never reaching my potential that I deliberately decided to do something about it. I found someone to help me. I couldn’t do it on my own.

Too many of us seem to think we’re in it alone or we need to hide our shortcomings, but the truth is, there’s help out there. Find it. Use it. Leverage it. Make your dreams reality by setting goals that you’ll keep time and time again. It’s the only way.

It’s also the way we all avoid the most. Let’s admit it. I mean, there’s a difference between those who do and those who don’t. Inherently, we know that. It’s painful.

But, like I said, it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s not always easy to find help, but if you can, please, by all that the writing Gods are, do it.

In the meantime, allow me to describe the process I learned and followed:

1) I started creating daily routines. Basically, I set myself up to do the exact same things each morning, in the same order, even brushing my teeth. The routine resulted in me ending up with my butt in the chair and writing a minimum of 250 words. I did this every morning, before 8 am! And, I have ADHD. I can’t begin to tell you how hard creating a daily routine was, but I can tell you how rewarding it was to actually stick to it. My prolific work since then shows the results.

2) I practiced in public. By starting a blog, I published my daily work online for others to read –the good, the bad, and the oh-so-ugly. Grammar police, typo police, and anyone with a half-awake brain corrected me. But it paid off and I got better and better. To be honest, this is what ultimately took my fear of publishing away. If you can publish crap with online trolls ready to pounce, when the good stuff comes out of your fingers, even the trolls will let you know you’re improving. Everyone, consciously or not, admires persistence.

3) I set goals. (Not imaginary ones) Once I was set with routines and stayed tenacious, I began to see I could do it and I finally set goals. Goal setting and maintaining was the hardest part, let me tell you, but they made all the difference. I started small, I didn’t go crazy, and over time I created stretch goals and when I achieved those, I set more. When you have serious goals for serious writing you have the audacity necessary to be a writer.

Listen, it’s true setting goals is hard, perhaps the hardest thing to do as a writer, but when you do, and you start achieving them, it changes everything, and we realize we can do this writing and publishing thing! Heck, we can do this life thing!

You Can Do This!

To get help on setting goals that matter, take advantage of this free training with Michael Hyatt (former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers). He’s only hosting for one week. Michael asked me to share the training with you. The new year is coming up, so I can’t think of a better time.

From personal experience, I can tell you the training is worth every second and just a few of the tips alone will pay off for the rest of your life.

Click here for your free spot in the training.

Remember, create a daily routine, stick with it, practice in public, and start setting goals and working towards them.

I didn’t say it was easy because it’s actually pretty damn hard, but the rewards are phenomenal. I’m talking about the sense of accomplishment and living a life where you see the fruits of your labor and not just dream about them.

No regrets. So, let’s stop talking about it and start doing!

I know, easier said than done, but not impossible if it’s important to us enough. Some people can’t be bothered with this stuff (the old me), so good, there’s just that more room on the bestseller lists for us!

The Way To Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing. (Click to Tweet)

–Walt Disney

Write on!

PS: Don’t forget to sign up for your free training with Michael. (I mean, seriously, we’re talking Michael Hyatt here.)

About Bryan Hutchinson

I’m a positive writer and when that doesn’t work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • Catherine North

    I am self-publishing my first book early next year at the age of 42. Like you, I’ve been writing for many years, but it’s only recently I’ve found the confidence to put my work out there for people to read. It still scares me a lot, but the idea of never doing it in my lifetime scares me more. Re: goals, I set overall goals for the year and break them down to manageable daily lists. But I also try to be flexible when circumstances change. Thanks as always for sharing your inspiring story.

  • I’ve always enjoyed writing, but the thing that really got me thinking about real goals and the possibilities was writing fanfiction (I know, I know, but it is what got me back in the game). Does that count as posting your work for people to correct? I rarely get a correction which makes me wonder if the comments should be taken as valid feedback.

    Since then, I’ve almost completed an original work (it needs one more section finished up and then editing), but I still have one fanfiction dangling that needs finished so the readers and I can have peace. My goals are to finish that WIP and then to get back to my original story and see it published. I feel like I have a huge clock tied to my back and can hear the ticking constantly! Editing and my total avoidance of it is the biggest stumbling block to my writing. Its just so hard to edit.

  • Rita Dunn

    My goal is to create a mythology like Harry Potter or Star Wars.