Your Write Path: Retracing Our Steps, Ep 3.3


Sometimes it's helpful to look back at where you've been, in order to look to the future—as long as you don't linger too long in the past. Still, how can we do things differently the next time, if we don't acknowledge the mistakes—or shall we say—lessons learned, of the past?

We've toyed with goals, we've talked about success, we've hashed about what's holding us back. We've looked at strengths, weaknesses, and the like.

I've asked a lot of you and perhaps taxed your brain a bit. Flip back through the pages of these initial episodes in your journal to review and revise your responses, if needed, and add any new ideas you might have.

Maybe you even want to review a couple of articles, like this one, on juggling the balance of day job and writing. Or this one, too, about why some people need both.

In last Monday's episode, you conducted a SWOT Analysis of your writing. What you felt were your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Before we move on, let's dig deeper into that.


I hope you have taken some time to think about what you are good at, what you suck at, and opportunities that can help along the way while being totally cognizant of the threats. If you haven't looked at your SWOT in a few days, take another gander.

Use the questions below as your guide when writing in your journal, or download the worksheet at this link:

The next questions will help you move forward.
  • Right now, today, what is your long-term goal? The one thing you want to achieve?
  • What do you need to do to reach that goal (interim goals perhaps? a class to take?)
  • Who can help? (who are your supports?)
  • What resources do you need? (what opportunities can help?)
  • How will you utilize and/or maximize your strengths?
  • How will you measure your success?
Perhaps use the following chart for your responses, reproducing it in your journal or using the downloadable worksheet. Put a date to your goal, even if you decide to move it later. It's always nice to have a specific timeframe to work within.

If you need to do any pre-thinking or just feel the need to doodle some thoughts, do that in your journal:

My Write Path—First Steps

My Goal ___________________________ By When? _____________________

What I need to do to reach this goal

Who can help me?

What resources do I have? (need?)

How will I know I have succeeded?


Consider an earlier task—to obliterate anything holding you back. Are those pesky hold-backs gone yet? If not, push them out of your head now. Remember, whether you want to write to support yourself, or to write for the joy of the process, it makes no sense to hold on to the things that are holding you back.

Let them go! Seriously. And soon.

And if you need a little help with letting some of these writing fears go, take twenty minutes out of your life and listen to this TED Talk by author Elizabeth Gilbert at this link:

It's a talk that touched me the first time I watched it, and I want to share it with you. You may look at Your Write Path, or your muse and your writing, a little differently.

Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love; Big Magic) is simply brilliant. I "heart" her much. Watch this if you want to ponder things like creativity and genius, writing and art, the assumption that artistry leads to anguish and that creativity is linked to suffering, the relationship between humans and the muse, surviving your writing life after success, and more....

Okay, I'll pause while you watch.

Back now? Great!

Remember—keep showing up. We'll return to some of Liz Gilbert's thoughts in the coming episodes.

We've come to the end of the first section of the series, prompting your responses to the question, "What is your Write Path?" Designed to provide you with thinking time before you delve into what comes next, I hope the previous episodes were helpful in determining your mindset. While you may not have fully answered the question yet, you may have a good grasp of where you are heading. I hope you do.

Take a breath. Listen to some soft music. Relax.

Then, next Monday, we will move on to the next episode, and explore Path-Point 2: Ideas and Creativity.

For more articles on writing, search the hashtags #microworkshop or #writepath within this blog.