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  • Writer's pictureMegan DiMaria

Three Simple Steps to Move You from Dreamer to Writer

Have you ever just wanted to give up? Or perhaps you haven't even started yet.

When we have a BIG dream the trouble is, well, that it's so B-I-G. We don't know where to start, or if we know where to start, we're still overwhelmed.

Let me encourage you. You start with one small step and then build on that. You know that trite axiom: you eat an elephant bite by bite. That saying has stuck around for so long because it's true.

Step One:

Your dream.

From now on stop referring to it as a dream. From this point forward, it's your goal. As with all goals, it needs some clarification. You want to write a novel? Then set a realistic goal with a deadline: I will have my novel completed in xx months.

Step Two:

How will you accomplish your goal?

What do you need to do consistently to reach your goal? If you want to write a novel, the logical thing to do is to set aside time to write. How can you do that? Your time to write could be early morning while your household is asleep, and you'll get uninterrupted time. Perhaps weekends work best for you. Or maybe after dinner you can lock yourself away and tap out your word count on your keyboard.

Break this goal down into steps.

  • Start writing. Even if you don't know the rules, get something down on paper. After you've connected with writers and writers groups, and after you've read a blog or a book or two on writing, you can go back and fix that puppy.

  • Plan to write every night after dinner (or early in the morning or on weekends).

  • Plan to write 1,000 words a day. If you do this five days a week, you'll have an 80,000 page novel written in four months or less.

  • Check out local writers groups.

  • Consider attending a local writers seminar.

  • Consider going to a writers conference.

Step Three:

Take action to bring your goal to reality.

If you don't respect your plans, no one will. Make a solid commitment to your goal.

  • If you set the goal to write nightly, do it! Don't let family members or social media or a good novel set you off your schedule. Although, I must confess. The good novel or two has been known to eat into my writing time, but I always make up for it the next day.

  • Having trouble pounding out 1,000 words? Here's a hack I use: set a timer for 15 minutes with the goal of only writing 250 words. That's an easy, realistic goal. You'll usually get your 1,000 words written in less than an hour.

  • Be brave. Look online for a good local writers group. Some may have a membership fee, but they may waive it for your first few visits.

  • If you write Christian fiction, check out ACFW. You'll be glad you did.

  • Be brave. Go to a local seminar or conference. My first one was the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park. I met other local writers there, and that helped me to further get connected with the world/business of writing.

  • If you go to a writers conference, you'll have the ability to meet with literary agents and editors from publishing houses. They will be able to encourage you or perhaps give you realistic advice on your next step. What's best about writers conferences is connecting with other writers. The friends you make during your writing journey are invaluable. They can provide critiques, insight, and encouragement.

So, be brave and determined, and get to it! And remember, everyone has to start somewhere.

Write on!

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