How To Balance Impatience With Long Term Goals

Photo by juan pablo rodriguez on Unsplash

I’m Going To Have a Novel Published

This isn’t an announcement, just a public declaration of my goals.

I saw a post by Gary Vaynerchuk this morning that said

The bigger your ambition, the slower you need to go.

Man, that hit me.

I’m not a very patient person. In general, this means I act on things quickly, which is a positive. When it comes to writing, I write incredibly fast: I wrote my last novel in 31 days. I did the first edit in 3 days. I want to move, move, move.

So it’s good to remind myself that this is a pretty big goal. I’ve had it for 20 years — after I wrote my first novel at the tender age of 15.

So how do I balance my impatience with a need to always be moving forward? As much as I’d like to say “If I can write a rough draft in 30 days, I should be outputting 10–12 rough drafts a year,” I don’t think that’s the answer.

I used to think that if I can write super fast, I should just write as many novels as possible.

But I’m past that phase. I know a lot earlier in the process whether a novel is going to work out or not. I can make wiser decisions on how to spend my time.

I spent my 20s writing over a million words a year. I’ve done my practicing.

1. Diversify Projects

Most of the common advice is to focus on your goal. If I want to get a book published, all of my creative work time should be devoted to it.

I can’t. Maybe that’s smart advice, but it doesn’t work for me. I get bored. I get burned out. So I do multiple projects at once.

I have one podcast, I’m developing another, I’m developing an online course, practicing vlogging, and writing articles for Medium.

Is that too many projects?


2. 1% Moves

The reason I feel okay with doing so many projects is that I know I’m making forward progress on all of them. It might be just a 1% improvement toward the goal each week, but it’s still 1 more percent than I had before.

Most people don’t even do that.

I organize my time and evaluate my progress on everything every week. I’m always moving forward.

The bigger the ambition the slower you have to go. I guess my ambition is to be good at ALL of my projects.

1% moves are fine.

It settles my impatience.

I’m a happier person.

And I get to have a really cool, long bio.