Do It Now Part 4: Progress, Not Perfection
Writing a book may be your lifelong dream, but it can also seem like an overwhelming task when it comes to actually doing it. Plus, you’re passionate about your message, so you naturally want to write the best book you possibly can — and that’s a good thing! But, especially when you’re just starting out, it’s a lot more effective in the long run to focus on making progress, not perfection.
In Part 4 of the Do It Now series, Coach Tam lays out simple strategies to help you focus on making progress — even if it’s just a little at a time. When you consistently work to get your book written, all that progress adds up little by little. And before you know it, you’ll be done!
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- How to tackle an overwhelming task
- Why you need a daily word count goal
- The best way to make sure you reach your writing goals
- One simple action to take right now to help yourself focus on progress, not perfection
Is this you? You’ve been wanting to write a book for years; you have a great idea; you’re passionate about the subject. But for some reason, you just can’t seem to get started. Or maybe you have gotten started, but you can’t seem to make any real progress. You just keep putting it off, telling yourself that you will start tomorrow, next week, or next month. But the day you’re supposed to get started just never seems to come.
If this describes you, you’re in the right place. Because throughout this Do It Now series, you’re learning practical strategies to help you get started and finish that book.
One of those strategies is to focus on progress, not perfection. So here are a few ways to do just that.
1. Break Your Goal Down into Small Steps
When you think about writing a book, it can seem like a very overwhelming goal. But if you break that process down into smaller steps, it becomes much more manageable.
Instead of thinking about writing an entire book, focus on writing one chapter at a time. Or instead of focusing on writing an entire chapter, you could focus on writing one page. Or, to take it a step further, instead of focusing on writing a page, focus on writing one paragraph at a time.
You can keep going like this as long as you need to. The point is that when you break the big goal or task down into smaller steps, it doesn’t seem so daunting anymore.
2. Set a Daily Word Count Goal
Once you’ve broken your task down into smaller steps, try setting an attainable goal for writing a certain number of words each day. It doesn’t matter how small the number is; the important thing is that you’re challenging yourself to make progress every day. This means setting a goal — be it 500, 300, 200, or even 100 words — and then meeting that word count goal every day, even if some days are harder than others.
And remember: progress, not perfection. That means giving yourself permission to make mistakes and not striving for perfection in every sentence or paragraph. It also means remembering that your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect — it just has to exist. You can always go back and revise it later.
3. Make It a Habit
The best way to make sure you reach your goal is to set aside some time each day to work on it. For many people, it’s ideal to do this first thing in the morning, before things get crazy, people start vying for your attention, and your day gets off and running.
Whenever you do it, set aside some time and treat it like it’s an appointment that can’t be moved or canceled. During that time, turn off your phone, close all the other tabs on your computer so you’re not distracted, and then just start writing.
The Key Is Progress, Not Perfection
Remember: the key to getting your book actually finished is to focus on progress, not perfection. As long as you’re making some sort of progress each day, you’re moving in the right direction. And before you know it, you will have finished your book.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started! What action are you willing to take right now based on what we’ve just discussed? Head on over to the Christian Authors Network to share your thoughts!
My name is Tamara “Coach Tam” Jackson and I am a published author, Facebook© Certified Digital Marketer, host of the Top 100 Publishing Secrets podcast, and founder of The Christian Authors Network (C.A.N.) Facebook© community. I specialize in helping mission-driven authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs increase their exposure, impact, and income through strategic self-publishing and digital media appearances. Just say yes and we will work together to attract a tribe of loyal followers that 1) “get you”, 2) love what you do, and 3) are happy to invest in your book, business, cause, or movement. Plus, we will accomplish all of this without fake, salesy, sleazy, or manipulative tactics. Yes you CAN write, publish, and profit in a way that honors God; join the community today at https://christianauthors.net/fbgroup.
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