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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Step By Step

The biggest lesson I've learned in writing that I can bring over to the rest of my life is to take a big goal and break it into chunks. Thinking about writing a 100,000 word book is daunting. Terror-inducing, even. That's a lot of writing and I'm not a plotter.

What kept me from hyperventilating as I signed a contract was remembering that I only had to write one chapter at a time. Heck, one scene at a time! Ten pages isn't scary.

I started doing the same thing with projects that weren't writing related. Have a huge project for work that needs to be done? Break it into chunks. Since I work at an airline and the manufacturers break the documents my department uses into Structures, Systems and Zones, I do the same thing. I don't have to get through this huge document, I just have to make it through Structures. And on some airplanes that's too huge, so I break it up again by chapters (just like Boeing and Airbus do). All I have to do is finish chapter 54.

It's a mind game because the project isn't any smaller by breaking it up like this, but it works for me and that's what counts. I've even started breaking things down in my planner so that I can check items off the list. That's another mind game, but it feels so good to check the box and it encourages me to keep working on whatever the project is, say updating the A320 fleet's database.

I'm a little slower on taking this into household projects, but I'm going to try it. My office still isn't put away from when I moved to Georgia...more than 3 years ago! But it's an overwhelming task. So I'm going to try smaller steps like take care of everything on the desktop and unpack one box, etc. And if I write it down in my planner and can cross things off, it should propel me to do more. That's the theory anyway. :-)