Whether it’s writing a novel or your autobiography, big writing projects seem exciting in our minds but can be really hard to get started. What’s the first thing to do? Does it make sense to start if I’m not sure I can even finish? Thoughts like these and all of life’s other responsibilities get in the way, so the big projects collect dust in our imaginations. Instead of tackling that big project, how about giving yourself something smaller to finish instead? It could be a few essays on a particular time in your life, a poem on the whirlwind of 2020, or your reflections on Covid. A mini writing project can be just as exciting as a big one, with the added bonus of seeming more doable. Here are three more reasons a mini writing project is worth pursuing:
1. You’ll develop a writing habit
Getting into the habit of writing is the first thing you’ll need to put you on the path to getting any project done. How often are you writing today? Is it whenever you feel inspired, or are you too busy to write at all? If the writing itself is stopping you, the first place to start is building your writing muscles. Trying to arbitrarily start a habit might be daunting, if you’re nervous you’ll never have anything to say. Giving yourself a particular subject to write about will help generate ideas when you show up to your set writing times. Once you’re in the habit of writing, you’re miles further down the road to making your big project come to life.
2. You’ll build your confidence
As you keep writing you’ll find yourself more comfortable sitting with your thoughts and putting them onto the page. As you see the project slowly take shape, you’ll feel proud of yourself for making it happen. And if you can do that with something small, surely you can replicate the process and do that for something big! The confidence boost from your mini project will help you feel more capable of tackling anything that comes afterward.
3. You’ll get something finished
How amazing will you feel when you get to the end of your project? How will you treat yourself once it’s all done? Getting to that finish line will be like giving a gift to yourself. Not only will you have the creative result, you’ll have built greater trust in yourself along the way. You set out to do something, and you did! This is somewhat related to building your confidence, but having your finished project to point to and share with other people, or just look back on for yourself, will prove that you can do hard things. With that knowledge, you’ll be ready to take things up a notch.
How to structure your project
To recap, giving yourself a mini writing project will help you develop a writing habit, build your confidence in your writing ability, and give you tangible evidence proving that you can trust yourself and do hard things. So, what should your project be? Anything you like! We’ve been talking about documenting your story, so you could write about Covid or some other major event that happened in your family or community. Another idea is to collect family stories and give them as a gift to your family at the holidays.
To help keep your project small and manageable, give yourself a specific time limit to get it done. Since we’re looking at the end of the year, a Jan 2021 or December 25th deadline are natural ending points. You’ll amaze yourself at how much you can do in just two months! Take this a step further and decide ahead of time which days, and/or for how long you’ll work on your project each week. These boundaries will give you clarity beyond what you want to write and help you create realistic expectations for getting your project completed.
Even with all these details sorted, you might feel like completing your project is out of reach. That’s where I’d like to offer my help! As your writing coach I’ll hold you accountable to your goals and help you overcome the mindset hurdles you’ll face along the way. If you’d like to work together, shoot me a message and we can talk through the details.
What’s your project gonna be? Tell me in the comments, or if that seems too public for you, send me a message via the contact page. I’m happy to cheer you on at the starting line!