OK, let me first admit something. I am guilty of approaching things with a scatterbrain approach. I don’t mean this in a disorganised way as such. It’s more like an unfocused way.
My brain seems to suffer from a syndrome that someone has probably already studied and named and of which I am unaware. You see, I tend to throw myself fully into an endeavour, with 100% of my effort but the problem is how I use my time in pursuit of that goal.
So what’s the problem?
My problem today is best expressed by “aaarrhghghghghghghg!!!!”. I am my own worst enemy. I’ve decided that I’m going to try my absolute bestest ever at writing. I’m going to read, learn, develop, practise and do all of the things that a great student would do. Except now I’ve ended up grabbing as many books as possible, as many courses as I can afford, signed up to as many challenges as I can fathom and the end result? Well, it’s a blubbering mess of disorganised nonsense. It seems I have the attention span of a gnat.
I’m also very, very susceptible to marketing techniques and people online are getting way better at that shit! I kid you not! (Please tell me it isn’t just me that wants to buy every course under the sun.)
So what’s a young (in my mind anyway) writer to do? Easy. I’ve got to set goals.
I don’t mean general writing goals. I mean I have to seriously take out all of the fluff and figure out which of these resources is going to help me on my personal writing journey. It’s not too hard to do if you really spend some time thinking about it.
I don’t mean goals like “finish a novel” or “write more”. That’s way too general. What I need are deeper, more specific goals.
Time for some career analysis.
So for me right now, I want to develop my abilities in short story writing and novel writing, but that’s not deep enough. I need to figure out exactly which parts of my craft I want to work on. They always say that three is a good number to start with so that’s a good start.
I took a long hard think about what I wanted to improve about my writing or what I wanted to work on with my author business and decided on three areas to focus on.
1) Building an author platform
2) Structuring a novel
3) How to write better dialogue
There! That wasn’t so hard.
Now, I can filter out anything that doesn’t work towards these three particular goals and file it away until I have re-evaluated my goals and changed them up. That’s definitely progress. 😀
Are you in the same position as me? Do you feel overwhelmed by the information overload on the internet or by the plethora of courses and books available? Do a little bit of analysis and decide on your three areas of focus. No more, no less. Certainly don’t be tempted to put down more than three. Now filter out anything that doesn’t serve its purpose in the areas for improvement. Trust me. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and more focused on your goals.
Filter out all of those distractions. Make time for your goals and make time to write. Then hopefully we’ll all stop feeling so overwhelmed by all the noise and we can get on with being awesome!