Baby steps to a writing life

By Milli Thornton

Courtesy Stockfresh

Courtesy Stockfresh

IT’S NOW March 31 and the puritanical glow of New Year’s Resolutions has long worn off, correct?

Or perhaps you never felt it to begin with.

Common problem these days: After being buried in enough Information Overload on a daily basis, paralysis sets in and we end up doing . . . umm, nothing. We stay in the same ruts and fail to live our dreams.

Sad state of affairs. But it’s not as hard to turn that around as we tend to believe.

Ready, Aim, Fire Me Up Already!

I’ve culled what I consider to be two of the best mental and emotional attitudes you’ll need for the remainder of 2014. Apply these to your writing life (even if currently you can’t even say you have one) and this will help blast you out of those old ruts—one teeny-tiny stick of dynamite at a time.

Tip #1: Do It In 90!

Choose something you would like to accomplish or change within the next 90 days. Ninety days is a much more manageable length of time than a year and allows us to enjoy reaching our goals more often.

— Jeff Herring, The Internet Article Guy

Pick a baby step that’s so doable it’s almost too easy. For instance, you’ve been yearning to write a new short story . . . but so far you haven’t managed to get started on a new story in 2014. Plan how you could work on a new story, say, twice a week for 20 minutes. Be sure to schedule 20 minutes to write, twice a week. And then do it. Ninety days later, you’ll have a finished story.

Are you thinking it sounds highly unimpressive to take 90 days to write a short story? Turn that thought around to see the benefits. If you haven’t written anything in the first three months of the year, but in the second three months you write a story, aren’t you ahead already?

Plus you’ll have broken out of writing paralysis, which is more than half the battle.

Not sure what to write a story about? Use a Storyteller Writing Prompt to get you rolling.

Tip #2: First Be & Then Do

Pick just one thing—yes, it can be your ‘big’ thing. Then ask yourself: Who will I have to BE to attract this into my life?

— Andrea Hess, Intuitive Consultant

How we view ourselves is critical to anything we want to accomplish in life. I’ll go first. Here’s who I want to BE to continue to make my biggest writing dreams magnetically attractive to me:

  • Confident in my writing abilities (torch that insidious inner critic!)
  • Liberated enough to write it as me, a unique individual (torch those imagined future outer critics!)
  • Enough of a morning person to equal time gained, not time pressure
  • Ruthless about anything external that can fritter away my precious scheduled writing time
  • Write for my own passion and fun first. Everything else follows from there.


Milli Thornton, writing coach and author of Fear of Writing

Milli Thornton

MILLI THORNTON (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course and Unleash Your Writing!, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Milliver’s Travels and Screenwriting in the Boonies and coaches at Writer’s Muse Coaching Service.

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