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What Is Your Writing Dream?—An Exercise

by Jennifer on January 20, 2010

By Jennifer Blanchard

I’ve spent a lot of time this month talking about writing dreams and writing goals and how to make them happen. I’m a huge believer in setting measurable goals because that’s the only way you’ll ever be able to keep track of what you’re working on and be able to determine how you’re doing.

If you’ve been following along, brainstorming what you want to achieve in your writing career and creating goals to make it all happen, good for you.

For those of you who are still allowing fear to hold you back, however, here’s an important writing exercise for you to try:

  • Get a piece of paper and a pen/pencil.
  • Divide the paper into two columns.
  • At the top of the left column, write: “Writing Dream.”
  • At the top of the right column, write: “Doubts and Fears.”
  • Now take some time to make a list in each column. In the left column, make a detailed list about what your writing dream is. Then in the right column, write down all the doubts and fears you have about making that dream happen.
  • Once you’ve finished, take some time to reflect on your lists. You can reflect in your mind or you can journal your thoughts. Whatever works for you.

After reviewing everything and reflecting on it, answer this one question: Which column are you committed to?

Are you committed to allowing your doubts and fears to hold you back? Or are you committed to making your writing dreams a reality?

It’s your choice. Remember that.

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brittany January 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm

This is a good idea. Luckily, I don’t have too many fears about writing to hold me back, but I still have doubts sometimes.

2 Archan Mehta January 22, 2010 at 4:14 am

Hey Jennifer:

Let me compliment you for your awesome blog: I enjoy reading your posts, to be sure.

The writing exercise you mentioned helps to get from point A to point Z.

However, it can be helpful only to some people. Others have achieved (or failed) even without taking such pains. It really depends on the individual’s priorities.

What floats my boat, for example, can easily sink your boat. There are writers who need such exercises to overcome “writer’s block” or “analysis paralysis.” And yet, there are other writers who do just fine and get on with the business of writing.

Kindly keep up the great work you are doing. Your readers depend on your insights.

3 Rouillie Wilkerson January 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I actually do this type of list making fairly often, but haven’t in a while. Your article served as a gentle reminder that I needed to bring my self-evaluation current. This exercise is a good way to bring to light anything that one has buried under a myriad of other issues and left to fall into neglect. It’s also a great way to confirm ones progress thus giving one “permission,” to move forward. Thanks again, this was a worthwhile, even (re)enlightening exercise.

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