Why I wrote the Small Steps Writing Guides

Small Steps Writing Guides

Short, friendly and practical, these Small Steps Guides help you to develop your writing practice by helping you to take small steps towards your goals. Find out more about the books in the series by clicking below.

Four small steps writing guides on our garden table July 22

In 2012, while I was on maternity leave, I wrote a book about time management and goal-setting, published by Emerald, which became the first small steps guide. When I did that, I researched several different time management strategies and started looking into how I could apply the same techniques to my writing life.

Also in the process of writing the first small steps book, I realised that if you break down a task into small steps it not only gets easier, it also means that you can start to take action on it straightaway, as long as the steps are small enough. I liked the example Jinny Ditzler gives at the start of her book Best Year Yet about training for the London Marathon. If you want to get fit, start by picking up a leaflet for the gym or googling online yoga videos, for example. That's a small step that you can do today. 

I had been a fan of fractal planning and Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method for a while, often mentioning them to my undergraduate novel writing students, and I figured – based on what I had learnt from Ditzler and Ingermanson – that I should be able to use the small steps method not only for planning a novel and for goal-setting, but also for turning up and writing one.

From those humble beginnings, there are now several Small Steps Writing Guides and courses, all based on the idea that you can take a goal break it down into small steps and that if you take small steps regularly enough, they'll have a snowball effect.

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