Ep 201: Next-Level Writer – Have You Emerged at the Next Level?

WritingEp 201: Next-Level Writer – Have You Emerged at the Next Level?

Ep 201: Next-Level Writer – Have You Emerged at the Next Level?

[Ep 201]

In the first episode of this series, I described a hypothetical character in a hypothetical game—a little dragon that gains power or abilities after playing the game for a while. This dragon demonstrated what it means to level up in a video game.

Depending on the rules of this hypothetical game, the dragon might gather certain tokens, interact with key players, or conquer a small castle, and by completing the tasks and achieving the goals, he gains enough experience and skills to level up.

And leveling up transforms him and empowers him with bigger flames, broader wings, better aim. As he emerges at the next level, he then plays in that evolved state with more powerful skills to gain even more experience and level up yet again!

You are that dragon.
Where Are You Now?
You’ve been at this writing game, so to speak, for a while, working the plan you made to level up.

For the past few weeks, you’ve awakened each morning with more intention about your writing. You’ve implemented your plan intentionally, faithfully, relentlessly. You’ve broken down goals into smaller goals and tasks, scheduled the work, completed tasks, and made progress. You’ve evaluated how things are going and adjusted the plan as needed.

It’s been about a month. After this purposeful effort, where are you now?

Have you leveled up to where you thought you’d be?
Did you exceed your goal?
Did you fall short but realize you’re closer than you were before?

You Leveled Up
Let’s start with leveling up. Did you level up to where you thought you’d be in a month? Did you achieve your goal?

If so, congratulations! This is why you made a plan and set out with goals that you’ve chipped away at, one after another, with grit and determination. Look back to see where you’ve been compared with where you are now, and celebrate.You, my friend, are on fire!
You Exceeded Your Goal
Some people double-down on areas showing promise or take advantage of an opportunity that arises. In doing so, they exceed their goal.

Is that you? Did you level up beyond what you expected? If so, wow! Make that a double-congratulations! Roll with that momentum and keep doing what works. Lock in your routine, because it’s working for you. At this pace, you may level up again before you know it!
You Fell Short of Your Goal
It’s possible you got blown off track and fell short of your goal. You wouldn’t describe your current state as having leveled up.

If that’s where you find yourself, take heart. You can press restart and try again. I know you can, because I’ve been there and pressed that button myself. You can always start again.
Celebrate Progress
And yet, you don’t have to return to square one. If you consider where you were with where you are now, you’ll see that you’ve made progress. Even if you’ve inched forward, you’re closer to the next level than you were when you started!

That’s progress! Be glad you set off with that original plan and celebrate that progress. Then decide if you want to revise the plan before you relaunch.
You’ve Grown as a Writer
At all levels of achievement, you’ve changed as a writer—you’ve gained experience and grown—all because you made a plan to level up and faithfully did the work.

You wrote, polished, and shipped out content. You surged forward with a big effort to complete something challenging. You followed through with daily tasks in a constant drip that added up over time. You realized what didn’t work for you and felt energized by what did.
Questions for the Next-Level Writer
When you first started this next-level writer process, you set one-month and three-month goals. As you head toward that third month, ask those same questions along the way to determine where you are now:

Have you leveled up to where you thought you’d be?
Did you exceed your goal?
Did you fall short but realize you’re closer than you were before?

At the three-month mark, my friend,

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