I love reading about people who have accomplished their goals. It is inspiring when I hear “rags to riches” stories or people who have “defied the odds” to reach success. There is something about hearing those stories that motivates me.
However, in listening to those experiences and their advice for achieving their results, I often felt that I had to adopt their exact plan for my success.
I remember hearing about one author’s, 3am writing session, while her children slept. I’ve read about an author who is able to write for a large part of their day. Another writer shared how they found going to writing retreats great for completing their work. I also heard writers suggest the need for joining a writing group to improve writing.
All this advice is great, but at times it was overwhelming for me, as I looked at my life and tried to put their practices in place.
I attempted to wake up early, while my son was sleeping. I tried to write for a few hours after work. I also signed up to join a writing group, hoping that it would help me to improve my writing. “Surely, if I did exactly what those successful writers did I would be a success too,” I thought. However, that wasn’t the case.
I found it difficult to wake up at two or three o’clock in the morning. I needed sleep. Then I learned that there was no way that I could realistically spend three hours after work writing, when my child needed attention and I had a household to keep up. Also, the writing group that I joined was not good for me, as it was the same day as my son’s swimming.
I then realized that I couldn’t put pressure on myself to do everything that someone else did to reach their goals. I had to do what worked for me. My life and circumstances are different. I have a child that requires attention and I have a job, where I can’t take time off to focus on writing.
I am not saying that their advice didn’t help. It did tremendously. Instead of waking up at two and three o’clock in the morning, I awoke at 4am, to write for an hour. After work, I dedicated one hour to writing. So it did help, yet I made it work for me.
So, the next time that you are reading “secrets to success” or “use my tips to become famous” from a person who has made it, don’t feel as if you have to do everything they suggest. You may not be able to. Just take what is realistic for your life – “Doing what works for you to obtain your goals”.