158: #WhyStickers

158: #WhyStickers

Jess and KJ extemporize on the power of stickers - where the only thing that matters is getting into the work, and getting the words out. And some bonus advice to authors on what not to do.

Kj here, with a confession: I've been lying to myself

Letting myself off the hook.

Not keeping my butt in the chair and my head in the game.

I mean, sure, I had lots of excuses. I've been traveling or doing intense farm stuff since April 12. That's almost a month with--count them--only two days of being entirely home without travel or a major, all-day farm commitment. So okay then. Some of those days I called it. I knew I wouldn't get anything done on my next book, and I didn't.

Some of those days I had a reasonable plan. Open the file. Stay with the work. That's all.

But SOME days... some days I futzed around. I kept moving the needle. I let myself quit because "I'm really not focusing" or "this isn't getting anywhere" and although I had time to do something, and plans to do something, I didn't manage to do anything.

So here's the thing about goals, and getting your daily (or 5 days a week, or 6 days a week) sticker: the achievement needs to be hard, but do-able.

Something that will pull you alll the way in and ask something of you. Something that will measurably move the dial.

If your sticker goal doesn't demand that you say no to some things--no to lunch, maybe, or no to taking a walk on the nice day, or no to a child who wants but doesn't exactly NEED a ride somewhere--in order to say yes to the goal, then the goal isn't high enough. Because it's the saying no that makes you, as Steven Pressfield would say, a pro. It's the saying no that means you're saying yes to yourself as a serious person with work that needs to get done, whether there's anyone else waiting for that work or not.

You're waiting.

I'm waiting.

So this is my declaration of re-intent. My "sticker" for the next 30 days (at a minimum) is 1000 words. No shortcuts, no lowered goals. SOME DAYS I MIGHT NOT GET A STICKER--but there will be no participation awards. No A-for-effort.

It's sticker or nothing around here, baby. And that's #WhySticker.

Other links in the episode:

The Secret Library Podcast, episode 147: Martine Fournier Watson
What happens when your editor asks you to change a major plot point?

The famed 2-tier outline process at Author Accelerator.


Chasing Cosby, Nicole Weisensee Egan

The best novel KJ's read yet this year (drumroll please):

There's a Word for That, Sloane Tanen


Book People Austin, TX

This episode was sponsored by Author Accelerator, the book coaching program that helps you get your work DONE. Visit https://www.authoraccelerator.com/amwriting for details, special offers and Jennie Nash’s 2-tier outline template.

Find more about Jess here, and about KJ here.

If you enjoyed this episode, we suggest you check out Marginally, a podcast about writing, work and friendship.

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.