To Do a Great Big Thing, Break It Into Tiny Daily Things

Here’s how to discourage-proof those big dreams

Jennifer Locke
Forge
Published in
4 min readApr 7, 2020

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Photo: Peter Cade/Getty Images

WWhen I tell people that I write books, they sometimes act as if I’d said I build houses by myself, with only my bare hands. “You what? I could never. I don’t know how you sit down and write a whole book.”

Here’s a secret: I never sit down and write a whole book.

Maybe William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in six weeks and didn’t change a single word (so he claimed, anyway), but that’s not how most writers work. For me, a good day’s work may look like any of the following:

  • Brainstorm revision ideas for 15 minutes.
  • Work on outline structure.
  • Write 500 words in chapter six.

And so on. The work is divided into tiny steps — and then broken down even further.

How you write a book is how you do any big job: piece by piece, consistently. You don’t write the whole thing in one fell swoop, just like you wouldn’t run a marathon with zero training.

Small actions repeated over long periods of time pave the way for quantum leaps. Whether you want to start an online business, embark upon a new career path, leave a bad relationship, or start a family with your partner, you first have…

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Jennifer Locke
Forge
Writer for

Jennifer Locke is an author, ghostwriter, and author coach. Visit her at jenniferlockewrites.com.