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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > April 2018 > Make the dream real

Make the dream real

Simple steps and changes of perspective could make your writing dreams more achievable than willpower alone. Personal development trainer Terry Gillen shows you how

Many people’s experience of long-term goals is not good. Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start or our good intentions peter out. Sometimes we resurrect the same goals annually only to repeat the cycle of initial enthusiasm, procrastination and, finally, self-reproach. Sometimes we allow ourselves the ubiquitous copout that ‘life gets in the way’.

If any of this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Every January thousands of people join gyms, paying an annual or monthly membership but never go there more than a couple of times. This phenomenon is so common it actually forms part of the financial planning of many fitness companies – and no doubt diet companies, educational companies, etc, etc.

The problem is amplified for people who want to write. Writing can seem like a selfindulgence, the ‘payback’ can be years away and, unlike slimmers or improvement to keep you motivated. The solution, however, is relatively simple and does not require huge reserves of willpower. It begins by learning from carpenters.

Working with the grain

Carpenters know that the natural grain of the wood, its internal ‘makeup’, is important. Instead of fighting it, they work with it because working with the grain is easier and results in a better finished product. This has a parallel when we try to achieve long-term goals. Working ‘with the grain’ of what our brain does naturally is easier and results in a better finished product.

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BUMPER ISSUE including your 2018 Competition Supplement with details of writing prizes worth over £450,000 Inside, read our writer's survival guide to discover how to beat writer's block, learn what you need to do to make your writing dreams come true, and how to make the most of London Book Fair. Discover what made Michael Bond's beloved bear Paddington such a popular character, and keep up to date with all the opportunities to get published in Writers' News. If you want to know how to take readers on an rollercoaster ride, read our star interview with Dorothy Koomson, the bestselling author of unputdownable emotional thrillers.

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