Remember the story of Alice in Wonderland? The poor girl was lost and uncertain when she met the cheshire cat. He kindly asked her where she wanted to go and she replied she didn’t know. The cat quite logically replied that it didn’t matter then which road she took.
While I can smile at this scene, amusing to me because I was not standing before that infuriating cat, it has a deep significance. One that many authors and self-improvement gurus preach on a regular basis: if you want to see your dream fulfilled, you must take steps, make measurable goals and keep moving in the right direction.
I’m in the middle of a book helping me to focus my writing career. I’m going through steps like figuring out where I’d like to see this dream of writing books end up, and why I want to get to that particular place. If I understand the why, it’s easier to focus on the what and easier to keep going when the daily grind becomes boring or monotonous or unpleasant.
Really, for me, it comes down to breaking it all down into little steps. Sure, I have the dream of being an author with a fairly recognizable name. But that’s such an overwhelming goal right now that it’s intimidating to think about it.
So I work backwards. I know that writing a lot of great books increases those who read and look for my books, which will eventually get me well-known. But that’s still huge.
To break it down even smaller, I need to write and get published one more book than I’ve already written. Still quite a task considering that even working very hard, the whole process can easily take a year.
So I go even smaller. A certain number of chapters per week. For me, in my current life status with all I’ve got going on, three chapters per week is doable. Sometimes more than that fits in, but rarely less.
Now I know where I want to go, and thereby which road I need to take. And I can see progress as I write down the number of completed chapters on the calendar beside my computer.
What about you? Do you have a dream or a huge goal you’d like to tackle? How can you break it down into smaller parts and make sure you are on the road to seeing it accomplished?