Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Reach Your Writing Goals Using Creativity

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyAdict

It’s February. The bubbly optimism of “This year I’m going to succeed at _________ because I have the perfect plan” has worn off. Whether it’s snow days with the kids, pressure from a job, family obligations, or one of a thousand other life happens moments, the road to our goals in never smooth. This is when we face a choice: give up or get creative.

Ahh, you probably thought I was going to tell you to work harder or have more discipline. That mentality can be sustained only in short bursts—say less than a month, which is why this post is coming in February.

Creativity is the opposite of discipline. It encourages us to throw off the restrictions of “work” and look to the realm of possibility. Here are a few ways we can use creativity to keep us charging toward our goals.

1. Remove Restrictions
Sometimes when we pursue a goal, we think our steps have to look a certain way. Trying to lose weight? Then of course you have to join a gym. Trying to write a novel? Then writing 5000 words, seven days a week must be part of your plan. But what if you hate going to the gym or writing every day is nearly impossible for you? Then it’s time to ditch your restrictions.

Our aim is not to follow arbitrary rules but to reach our goals. So, dance in your living room if you hate cardio workouts at the gym. Lift bags of fertilizer in your garden if exercising with dumbbells isn’t your thing. Write one scene a day four days a week if that’s what works for you. The point is not how we reach our goals but that we do reach them. So loosen up. Ditch those restrictions. Pursue your goals in a way that makes you truly productive not frustrated.

Ever wonder why prolific writers all have slightly different methods? They’ve found what works for them and stopped worrying about how others say writing “should” be done.

2. Make Goals a Game
If we went into a game with the attitude I’m going to lose, we probably wouldn’t do very well. Yet, this is the same mindset many people have when approaching their goals. It’s time we treat reaching our goals like an intriguing game.

Good games are fun, they make us think, and they make us want to win. As we come across roadblocks on the paths to our goals, think of them as chance cards in a game. How can we overcome this challenge? How can we set ourselves up to win in a few more moves? Most importantly, how can we have fun with this? The best game players enjoy the process.

3. Keep Trying New Things
William A. Donahue said, “Remain firm about your goals but flexible about your methods.” It is through relentless pursuit that we find a way to succeed. If what you’re doing now isn’t working, keep looking. Keep trying. Study the latest gurus and yesteryear’s wisdom. Try new mash-ups that are all your own. Eventually you will triumph.

Then one day someone will ask, “How did you do it?” And your answer will be, “You’ll probably have to find your own method, but this is what worked for me…”

Want a creative idea for how to get more writing done? Here’s one from Lynn Blackburn.

I’d love to hear how you’ve used creativity to succeed in pursuing a goal. Please share your tips in the Comments section below.


Cynthia Owens is The Efficiency Addict, a technical trainer helping writers, speakers and small business owners work more effectively. She runs www.TheEfficiencyAddict.com, which specializes in computer training, business organization, career development and event coordination. 

Connect with Cynthia on Twitter and Pinterest.


  1. Inproving my spelling was an important goal for me when I was in college. Being a dyslexic spelling doesn't come easy. In order to reach my goal in spelling, I found if I would write words on a textured wall, I could feel the word and write the word successfully.
    This unconventional method brought professors at my side during tests asking what I was doing with my hand moving through the air. I responded with as smile as I told them I was remembering how to spell a word. It was a creative solution that brought questions, shaking heads, and correct spellings.
    Thanks for the post of encouraging unconventional methods to reach goals. Inspire on!

  2. Now that is using creativity! Thanks for sharing, Carolyn.