A Creative Goal: Know Why, And Begin, To Avoid Danger

Want to achieve a creative goal? The goal can be anything.

It may be:

  • To win a top-tier client in an industry (freelance writing.)
  • Publish a series of novels (novelist.)
  • Develop an online class (although you’re new to teaching, you have knowledge and hard-won insights to share.)

After setting a creative goal for a project late last year, I haven’t managed to begin. All I have for this project is a collection of links, ideas, and notes. This is dangerous.

Researching and thinking isn’t creating. Writers write; if you set a creative goal, and don’t start writing, it leads to problems.

Read on for Sarah’s story.

Get started. Writers write

Not only do I know this all too well, I help other writers to ACT:

The key: she needed to focus on action— on writing, rather than studiously researching, and thinking.

The process from that post begins with writing; everything begins with writing. When you’re not writing, you’re suffering from resistance. This post on resistance to writing has some good advice which works for me, and for my students.

What helps most, is knowing WHY you want to achieve your creative goal.

Know your reasons: why do you want to achieve your creative goal?

For example, one of my writing students (we’ll call her Sarah) set a creative goal of writing an historical mystery. She’s intrigued by Anne Boleyn and her court. Her sleuth? A widow, forced to spy on Anne.

Sarah’s hard-working; she spent six months researching Tudor England. When she revised her publication deadline, she asked me to review her outline: “please let me know what you think.”

It was fine.

Last week she contacted me again. She shelved the Tudor novel last October so that she could continue her cozy mystery series, but she’s unhappy with the new mystery.

“Tell me why,” I asked. “Why publish this novel? Give me some reasons.”

We always need to know why. Sarah’s primary reason is that she’s set up a pre-order in Kindle eBook Pre-order; if she cancels it, she won’t be able to set up any new books for pre-order for a year.

We worked through Sarah’s panic attack. I’ve no idea why she got cold feet; she doesn’t know either. The mystery is excellent; her beta readers loved it. However, after her non-writing research-only period for the Tudor novel, she lost confidence—she began to doubt herself.

Set a creative goal, and begin: not-writing is dangerous

Sarah hasn’t cancelled the pre-order, and she’s determined to write her Tudor novel. We’ve created an Action Plan for it, so that she starts writing immediately, even if she’s still researching.

By the way, if you need help with your books, contact me. Not only do I offer ghostwriting services, I mentor authors too.