This week, I’m tackling what I think is the biggest project I’ve ever taken on. That is, if you don’t count the novel I’ve been working on for a few years. While the novel is a project that is close to my heart, I’m not in any real hurry to finish it. I plan to make a little progress on it throughout the year, but right now I have bigger things on my mind. Well, one big thing in particular. For the last year, I have been collecting notes for a comprehensive article writing guide that I hope to complete and publish this year.
With nearly 20 chapters outlined, it is a big project, bigger than anything I’ve ever attempted. But I know that was planning and dedication I can complete it.
So, all this week, I’ve been rewriting editing and organizing the outline for the writer’s guide. The resulting outline is huge, intimidating even. There’s so much I want to include and while I know that it won’t be perfect, I want to make it as comprehensive as possible. I want to fill it with all of the things I wish I’d known when I first started writing and all of the things I’ve wanted to share since I started editing for others. I also want the guide to be just as useful for experienced writers as it is for those who are just getting started.
My expectations for this project are high, and that’s a scary thing. But it’s a good kind of scary. The kind of scary you should embrace. When I first started writing this, planning for this, and talking about this, I’ll admit I wasn’t really ready. I didn’t know a lot of the things that I know now, a year into the project. But that hasn’t stopped me from making progress. Throughout the last year, I’ve been gathering resources, taking notes, and writing bits and pieces of the guide. Because of that, now that I am ready, I already have most of what I need to complete the project. I just have to do the work and put it all together.
If I had hesitated to begin simply because I wasn’t ready, it would have put me at a severe disadvantage. I wouldn’t have half of the resources that I have now. I’m glad I started working on this before I was ready. It is going to make the whole project so much easier. And because of that, I feel even more confident in my ability to take on this big, scary, exciting project.
Not being ready shouldn’t stop you from making progress. If there’s something that you want to do but don’t feel ready to start, don’t hide the idea away in the back of your mind or the back of a notebook. Start anyway. Do what you can and figure out the rest later.
- Learn some of the things you’ll need to succeed.
- Take notes on what you’ll need to do to accomplish your goal
- Find little ways you can make progress.
- Schedule your first few steps for whenever you think you’ll be able to handle them.
- Give your project a notebook, box, or space of its own so that you can start collecting resources and notes.
- Commit to checking in on your project every few months. You never know when something will change.
- Talk about your project goals with the people around you. They might have some insight or know someone who can help.
Want to write a novel? Start sketching out character ideas, writing bits of dialogue, and thinking of storylines.
Want to go back to school someday? Make a list of the things you’ll need to do to get funding or to make time (or both). Then check out some more affordable ways to keep learning, like free online courses or buying used textbooks to refresh your mind on what you may have forgotten since you were last in school.
What ever your project, however big the goal, there are ways to get started right now. Even if you can’t take big steps, you can always learn, plan, take notes, and collect resources. Then, when you’re really ready to start making real progress, you’re likely to find that you already have.
What big project are you working on?
Share in the comments. 🙂