Future You: The Writer

3 questions you must ask yourself TODAY

What does it look like to achieve success as a writer? 

Goals are good, right?. They give us something to work toward. 

But only if they are specific.

I had a vague notion for a long time. Landing somewhere on some list of notable writers. My name recognizable by some number of readers. Generating some amount of income by producing some amount of published work. 

My guess is that some aspiring writers are very clear on their goals, but I think more are like I was . . . very fuzzy on the details. 

Whether you are clear on your goals today or not, I want to offer a way of using our future goals to feel successful – and motivated – today

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Today

1. What is your goal as a writer this year? Five years from now? 10 years from now? What do you hope to have accomplished? Be as specific as possible. 

Of course this will change over time. But what are your goals right now?  If you don’t know, then play with it! What are your biggest dreams? Let the ideas fly! 

Be sure to word these goals so that they are in your control. This is so, so important. If you are waiting to feel successful until one of the big publishing houses publishes your memoir, what will happen if they all pass on it? However, if you can feel successful by “ensuring that it is published” – perhaps by a publisher, perhaps independenly, perhaps in a hybrid model – that is in your control.

2.  Imagine you have achieved the goals you listed above. How do you feel?

Proud? Satisfied? Lucky? Visualize yourself standing in the spotlight, having achieved what you wanted. What emotions are bubbling up in the future you?

3.  Look at those feelings you listed in the second question. What can you do in your writing practice – today, tomorrow, next week – to produce these same feelings today

This too is in your control. Why wait to feel those feelings of success? What if just showing up to write on Thursday morning at 6 a.m. when you said you would, or just producing the 500 words that you committed to this week, gave you those same feelings? 

Being future-focused in our writing is only beneficial if we can use it to our advantage today. Predicting how we will feel when something happens is only useful if we realize that the power to feel those feelings is in our control today. 

Now what?

Take your writing dreams and goals and turn them into realistic, actionable, productive, small steps. Remind yourself with each step how you want to feel, and choose to feel that way as you complete each step. This generates motivation that will keep you moving through your projects, even in the toughest moments. 

Photo by Tuur Tisseghem from Pexels

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