The Most Important Thing To Do Today
From the October 2008 issue of Advanced Fiction Writing Ezine
This article is reprinted by permission of the author.
Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the Snowflake Guy," publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 11,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.
I start every working day exactly the same way: I ask myself the question, "What's the One Thing I really want to get done today?"
At the end of the day, if I got that One Thing done, then I consider it a good day, even if that's all I got done. If I didn't get that One Thing done, then it was a bad day, even if I got lots of other stuff done.
Now let me distinguish here between things I "want to do" and things I "have to do."
The fact is, there are all kinds of things you "have to do" every day. You're supposed to exercise. Eat right. Work. Sleep. Floss. Make time for your family and friends. Meditate (if you're the meditative sort) or pray (if you're the praying sort) or whatever you do to get in touch with your True Self, your Higher Power, or your Inner Troll.
And a thousand other things.
All of these are the routine stuff that you pretty much "have to do" to survive.
None of these really feed your dreams. Let's face it, unless you are one sick puppy, flossing is not feeding your dreams.
But what about the things you WANT to do? The things you desperately want to do? Are those getting crowded out by the "have to do" things?
For most of us, writing fiction is at the top of the list of things that feed our dreams. We want to sell
that first novel. Once we've sold that, we want to sell the second, third, fiftieth. And we want to market the heck out of them.
For some of us, these dreams are realistic. For others, they're a delusion. Sometimes, it's not easy to tell the difference. There's a fine line behind reality and
Truth to tell, it hardly matters. The dream of getting a novel published is our dream. We don't have to
justify it. We want to write fiction because we want to write fiction. No other reason is needed.
The question is how to get there. In my December 2007 column on organization, I talked about making a roadmap for your next book. That gave the big picture on how to
This month, I want to focus on the little picture. What are you going to do TODAY to move toward your goal? It doesn't have to be a big step. It might not even be a step at all. Maybe it'll just be clearing the path so you can take a step tomorrow.
The important thing is to take action. Take action today. Take action tomorrow. Keep taking action every day that you possibly can. Take action until you reach your dream, or until you decide that you don't want that dream anymore.
Nothing happens unless you take action.
What One Thing do you really "want to do" today? How important is it to you to get that One Thing done today? Will you make time to do that One Thing today? Are there unimportant things you're doing that you need to sacrifice in order do that One Thing today?
Feed your dreams. If you don't, nobody else will. If you don't today, you probably won't tomorrow, or the next day, or ever. And you'll spend your whole life flossing.