Are Your Writing Goals Too Ambitious?

Sometimes aiming high is not the right move.

Struggling to achieve a goal is not a great feeling. It makes you feel as though you are failing, or not good at something you thought you were good at. It brings up a lot of negative emotions that aren’t always easy to deal with.

What many writers don’t realize is that it’s not their inability to write a good story or finish a project or “do things right” that is holding them back. It might actually be the goals themselves that are the problem.

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13 Tips for Writers Who Just Want to Finish Something For Once

Do you struggle to finish projects you were once so eager to start? Here are a few things you can try.

1. Start by making sure you have an end goal that makes sense for you — one that is manageable and something you can still be proud of. Maybe writing a novel is too big right now. So shoot for something shorter.

2. Don’t rush. Sometimes when we get new ideas we write 500,000 words in two days and then completely burn out. Don’t do that. Take things slowly, no matter how tempting it is to dive in headfirst at the initial spark.

3. Speaking of burnout, take breaks. Don’t write yourself exhausted. Don’t wait until you’re sick of working on something to set it aside. Put it down for a day while you’re still excited about it, then hop back in, and repeat.

4. When you get stuck, walk away. Don’t sit there staring at your own words expecting an idea to leap from your screen. Go do something creative that doesn’t involve writing. Or the dishes. Inspiration hides in odd places.

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12 Struggles All Successful Writers Eventually Learn to Work Through

It’s OK to struggle! As long as you don’t give up.

1. Being afraid to put your work out there. Like, it’s still scary most if not all of the time, but you get used to just dealing with it and doing it anyway! YAY FEAR!

2. Not knowing what to write about. (You eventually learn to either “just write anyway” or put in many practice hours into refining the art of “just

3. Determining which ideas are good and worth pursuing and which are not. It takes time to get the hang of this one, but as long as you remember that even bad ideas aren’t completely useless, you’ll be just fine.

4. Finishing what you start. There are going to be plenty of projects you start but never get around to finishing, but you’ll learn to make the ones you finish truly count — while also learning from the things you leave behind.

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12 Signs It’s Time to Start Writing Again

Has your writing been on hiatus for a while? Here’s how you know you’re ready to dive back in.

1. You’ve been jotting down an increasing number of idea fragments lately.

2. Returning to writing is no longer a “maybe or a “what if” — it’s a “when.”

3. You’ve decided other people’s opinions of your work aren’t going to stop you from writing anymore. You’re done with that. You’re ready to take ownership of and embrace your work.

4. You’re starting to get kind of bored? Maybe in a good way? But also how many times is too many times when it comes to organizing the books on a bookshelf?

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12 Mid-week Reminders to Get You Through the Rest of Your Writing

I think we all need these this week.

1. Some words are better than no words. Even the worst writing you have ever done can teach you something about yourself, your work, and where to go from here.

2. In writing, there is no such thing as “failure.” The only way to fail is to not write anything. The rest of it is just a series of attempts, which all, ideally, make you a better writer even when those attempts don’t turn into successes.

3. It’s OK to take breaks. In fact, not taking breaks will cost you more writing time in the long term than taking the occasional break will.

4. If you don’t get it all done, it’s OK. I don’t think any of us are ever really “all caught up” on work (even if we’d like to think we are).

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How to Banish Distractions and Get More Writing Done: A Quick Guide

Try not to get distracted while reading this.

If I told you how many times I got distracted while writing this post, you would … oh let’s be real, you would probably believe me. Because it happens to all of us. We go in fully intending to work on something straight through until it’s done. But this rarely, if ever, actually happens.

I just got distracted again. Seriously. I’m not doing a good job of managing my focus today.

Which is the perfect way to transition into my guide that will (hopefully) help you to be less like me and more like a writer who will STOP CHECKING TWITTER AND SLACK AND FACEBOOK AND WHAT EVEN ELSE WAS I JUST LOOKING AT I DON’T KNOW.

Enjoy!

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“What If I Write When I Don’t Feel Like Writing and It Turns Out Terrible?”

What if, though? Does it matter?

It’s Sunday afternoon. You’ve been putting in a lot of extra time on your nights and weekends lately, trying to make progress on a personal project you hope will turn into something more … eventually.

The bottom line: You’re exhausted. You’re also hungry and cold (because the weather went straight from summer to winter somehow and you just weren’t prepared for that, were you?). You haven’t even logged into Netflix for over a month. You don’t want to do anything. You certainly don’t want to do any writing.

But you know you should write anyway. Either that, or you realize with a sinking feeling that you have a deadline coming up. It was one of those “oh, I’ll get to it when the due date gets closer” promises that has suddenly turned into “if I don’t start working on this today, I’m never going to finish it in time.”

Whether you want to write or you have to, “not feeling like it” definitely doesn’t make writing any easier. One of the hardest parts about being a writer, after all, is writing even when you’d rather not. Sitting down to write is often more challenging than the actual writing — yes, it makes sense. You might be shaking your head right now, sadly, because you know it does. You know all too well.

Maybe you’re afraid. Not of writing, not of what your final product might turn out to be, but that you’re going to write when you don’t want to write and it’s going to be bad. Bad writing, a bad story, a bad idea — it doesn’t make sense, writing when you’re not in the right “mindset.” What if it’s not good? What if you waste hours of work on something you’re just going to end up redoing or throwing out later?

This is not an uncommon fear. This is not a fear that you should be ashamed of, or one that anyone should judge you for. All of us want to write good things. None of us want to waste our time writing something that we’re just going to have to go back and rewrite later.

But here’s the thing: Sometimes, you aren’t going to have any other choice.

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What Triggers Inspiration In You?

Do you know what inspires you most?

Have you ever logged onto your favorite website or turned on your favorite movie or TV show just so you could “get inspired?”

We have all probably done this at some point. We know ourselves pretty well, and we know the sorts of things that make us feel good. Being in a good mood isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for writing, but it definitely helps relieve stress and put you in the proper headspace to think clearly and get things done.

But is going after inspiration the best option? Perhaps, as long as you know the things that trigger inspiration for you personally, you won’t have to do any hunting.

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12 Reminders For Writers Who Feel Like Giving Up

Some more things you might need to hear.

1. Taking a break is an option. You don’t have to completely stop doing something forever.

2. But if writing no longer makes you happy, you shouldn’t force yourself to do something that’s making you miserable. It’s OK to make the best choice for you in the moment, even if it’s not the most ideal.

3. It’s always when you’re about to quit, when you don’t think you can stand the way things are going for another second, that things seem to suddenly turn around.

4. Most writers still have day jobs. Money isn’t the only reason for writing (or not writing).

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15 Things All Writers Struggle With Sometimes (Even When They Won’t Admit It)

And guess what? It’s OK to struggle. We all do.

1. Writing things that scare them and take them out of their comfort zones.

2. Balancing writing with all the other things that require space and energy and time in their lives.

3. Gathering the confidence to take a chance on a (maybe) crazy idea.

4. Following through on a project from start to finish. (Sometimes it’s just DIFFICULT, you know?)

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