The Truth About Consistency
I’ve noticed that each year, certain buzz words appear in various industries. As a mental health professional in the virtual school setting, the term “personalized learning” is popping up more and more. As a writerpreneur, “consistency” is a term I’ve been hearing over and over again.
Although I believe we writers must be consistent in our endeavors, I admit the word “consistency” used to make me feel some kinda way. When hearing this word, I’d look at the thought leaders and influencers saying it. I’d imagine the workload it took to pull off their level of consistency and immediately got overwhelmed and frustrated.
Here I was, this married, thirty-something mom of three, finishing up my graduate degree and working to help make ends meet. I literally ate, slept, and breathed my brand when I wasn’t fulfilling another responsibility. Yet, my late night and early morning writing sessions had me feeling as if I wasn’t committed and consistent enough.
You see, I fell for the old comparison trap syndrome and soon found myself trying to keep up with the people I admire. I was all over the place emotionally and felt as if I wasn’t good enough to write and be a businesswoman. Here’s what I’ve learned though: Being consistent is great but only if you know what you want, and you’re doing the activities to get it.
Click to tweet >>> Being consistent is great but only if you know what you want, and you’re doing the activities to get it.
I can consistently tweet ten times every day but that means nothing if the content I’m tweeting doesn’t have a purpose or lead to the results I’m looking for. I can consistently host a live chat every week but if I don’t know why I’m doing it and I have no direction, what exactly am I getting out of doing it? How will I ever get off the hamster wheel if I’m being consistent without direction?
Identify your vision.
Before you can even think about being consistent, you’ve gotta know your writing vision. If you’re not sure, grab your notebook or journal and answer the following questions:
Why do you write publicly?
What’s your purpose?
Who are you trying to help?
Where do you see your writing taking you this year?
Think about your ultimate writing goal and what you need to do to make that goal happen. Resist the urge to look at what the people you admire are doing. Stay in your lane and make sure that you only engage in activities that align with your vision.
Now that you’ve got some ideas about your writing vision, it’s time to define consistency. Consistency is simply doing something the same way repeatedly. Don’t fall into the trap of blogging, promoting, etc. a certain way simply because someone else is doing it. Remember, it’s all about doing what works best for you. So, how do you figure out what’s best for you?
Be honest about how much time you have.
Whether you’re a writer who works a 9 to 5 or you’re a stay-at-home mom, time is precious. Since you’re working on being consistent and intentional about your writing goals, decide how much of your day you can spend working towards your goals.
If you work a full-time job, have a spouse, and attend Google University to help your kiddos with homework several nights per week, take this into account as you’re planning. You may need to get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later during the week. Depending on how old your kiddos are, you may even want to explain how important having an hour or so during the day is so you can reach your writing goals. This is a great way to model goal-setting and work ethic to your kiddos. If you don’t make writing a priority, don’t expect your family and friends to either.
Focus on your priorities.
I’m not gonna lie to you, friend. It takes a lot of work to build your writing platform. I’m not saying you can’t block out time to goof off on social media or catch up on the latest How to Get Away with Murder episode. God knows we all need time to let our hair down. However, let’s be diligent about focusing on priorities.
To do that, you need to know what you must do to help you achieve your writing goals. Grab that notebook or journal and take a moment to write down as much as you can. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed or frustrated if your list is extensive. You simply need to highlight or circle the most important tasks to help you write that book, blog consistently, or whatever your writing goal is. These are the items that must be done regularly to help you produce consistent results. Take a look at your planner and figure out when you can block out time to do these priority tasks. It may require you to give up or at least decrease doing something extracurricular.
Don’t neglect your other priorities.
Not many will tell you this, but I’m a firm believer that while God has placed this amazing gift inside of us to write and share with others, we should also refrain from neglecting our other priorities. We cannot allow our passion to prohibit us from doing what we need to do in our home, at our 9 to 5, or even for the sake of our health. Yes, there will be periods where we’ve got to devote a bit more time to our craft and goals; however, we’ve got to learn when to put the pen down, automate our work, create and use effective systems, and be there for those who truly love us for more than our writing skills.
Understand the space you’re in.
Last, but not least, you must be honest with where you are in this season. Just as we all have different fingerprints, we all have different journeys, too. Recognize that your level of consistency may not produce the same results as Sally, Maria, or Sue. There isn’t a one-size fits all when it comes to being a writerpreneur. You know if you’re giving your all, and you know if you could be doing more. Sally may have a virtual assistant or even multiple team members. If you’re riding solo and can’t afford to hire out help, you’ve got to be realistic about where you are and what you can do. No need to be ashamed or frustrated. Know how to operate in your gift at this stage.
Click to tweet >>> Understand the space you’re in. You know if you’re giving your all, and you know if you could be doing more.Know how to operate in your gift at this stage.
If your level of consistency means you can post one blog post per week, then do that. If you can host one workshop per quarter, then do that. If you can write one book per year, then do that. Don’t worry about anyone else. Keep your eyes on your own paper. As you grow in this season, you may be able to do more later to network, market, etc. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t. Half the battle is your mindset. My grandma has a saying that I’ll never forget: Take what you got, and make what you want.
The truth about consistency is that you’ve got to make sure you’re repeatedly engaging in activities that align with your goals. And like Paul, count it all joy regardless of where you are in your journey. The money will come. The influence will come. Just be sure you’re ready for it when it comes by laying the groundwork now. Consistently use what you have now.