Which Bucket Do You Fall Into?
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about the fears and excuses that get in our way, and stop us or slow us down from getting to where we want to be … living our version of the writer’s life.
Based on the comments and notes I’ve received, it looks like many aspiring writers are falling into one of the following four buckets:
1. Fear of success.
What if you actually DO succeed, and are able to live the writer’s life. Will you be able to handle it? Do you deserve it? (For the record, the answer is YES! But we’ll talk more about this fear soon because many people have it.)
I think lots of us can say, “yep, that’s me!” It happens … and often. The key, though, is to find a way that works for you to move forward. I’m going to give you some ideas you can try out in a future issue of The Writer’s Life that have worked for me and other writers I know.
3. Perfectionism – will you ever be good enough?
We talked about this one a little bit last Friday … that there will always be one more program, book, or workshop to take. And for many writers, I hit the nail on the head.
But for others this runs deeper. They’re either not sure about their actual writing ability or they’re concerned that it’s “not as good” as one of the master’s they’re learning from.
We’re going to address this one on its own soon too, because just like the other two, it’s a big roadblock and I want to make sure we knock it all the way down if it’s getting in your way.
But today I’m going to talk about the fourth bucket …
Now some may lump this one in with procrastination, but not me. I think it stands on its own. And the good news is that it’s the easiest one to fix.
4. Not focusing on the goals you set.
Margaret from Follett, Texas blames it on procrastination …
“I seem to be a master at procrastination. It’s something I’m not proud of because it’s become even stronger the last ten years. I’m still in the process of learning goal setting, and sometimes I feel the goals I set are totally out of reach. I’m still trying to complete the Accelerated Program, but the problem I run into is I look at the whole project instead of one section at a time. That's where I tend to get stuck, and don't accomplish anything.
I’m guilty of not focusing on goals that I set.”
But procrastination isn’t the real issue. It’s the point she made at the end:
“ … the problem I run into is I look at the whole project instead of one section at a time. That's where I tend to get stuck, and don't accomplish anything.”
Many of us are able to understand the concept of goal setting. We’re even able to set a realistic goal, and create a plan to get to that goal.
But it’s the necessary itty-bitty steps along the way where we get stuck.
Whenever I talk to an aspiring writer with this issue, it’s usually the lack of a clear plan. And I’m not talking about the big plan – what you need to do this year to hit your goal – but the details of that plan.
Let me explain …
If you want to be a copywriter, regardless of whether it’s for the web, the B2B market, or writing video scripts for nutrition companies, you need to start with AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
That’s where you’ll get the foundation to be a persuasive writer. There’s no easy button, and no way around it.
BUT, even if you know that, and have included finishing the program in your plan for 2011, that step – finishing the program – can put the brakes on your entire plan, and stop you from reaching your dreams.
Because if you can’t get through it, you can’t move on!
You don’t get to pass GO. You don’t get to collect $200. (Sorry, I couldn’t help throwing in a Monopoly reference.)
And THAT’s where the details come into play.
Let’s take a look at a more specific example by using AWAI Member Susan Fox’s response to my email last week …
“I’m always procrastinating. Not just with this endeavor but with most things. It’s a life-long character defect that I’m trying to overcome. I’m a good writer, and I have written hundreds if not thousands of published stories as a newspaper staff writer for 20 years. I had to retire for medical reasons a few years ago, so I bought the Six-Figure Course, but now I find myself sitting on my hands. No good reasons, no entertaining excuses. It's a new year … maybe I can make a new start.”
Once again, she blames it on procrastination. But if she had a detailed plan to follow, that issue would go away.
So let’s give her one!
In Susan’s case, she has a good chunk of time to spend each day on getting through the program, so she can easily get through it in 12 weeks. (And yes, that includes ALL the writing exercises. They’re proven to work. If you ask any now successful AWAI copywriter who has done them, they’ll tell you – don’t skip a single one.)
If she were to start next Monday, I would recommend she break down the program like this:
- 2/7 – 2/11: Pages 1-84.
- 2/14 – 2/18: Pages 85-146
- 2/21 – 2/25: Pages 147-202
- 2/28 – 3/4: Pages 203-235
- 3/7 – 3/11: Pages 236-252
- 3/14 – 3/18: Pages 253-332
- 3/21 – 3/25: Pages 333-362
- 3/28 – 4/1: Pages 363-438
- 4/4 – 4/8: Pages 439-470
- 4/11 – 4/15: Pages 471-518
- 4/18 – 4/22: Pages 519-553
- 4/25 – 4/29:Pages 553-566 and review.
And there you have it. On May 1st she’s ready to start her freelance copywriting business, and move on to the next big step in her plan of becoming a copywriter.
Now it’s your turn …
If you’re like Susan or Margaret, and are having trouble moving forward towards your goals, spend the next few days really detailing the next step in your plan. First to the weeks, and then down to the day.
And if taking the Six-Figure Copywriting Program is part of that plan, I’ve already made it a lot easier for you. Take the outline I recommend above for Susan and then plan out each of those weeks to the day, as your schedule allows.
If you need more time, spread it out. If you want to finish it faster, condense the weeks.
The key is to make a schedule that is realistic and that you can commit to keeping.
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