At the end of each coaching session, clients are asked to come up with action steps that will help them accomplish the goals they set during the session. After the action steps have been stated, the client is asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10, how committed they are to carrying through with the actions. If the coaching session has been a good one, the client is generally pretty keen and committed. The actual carry-through is a different matter.

I know.

I’ve been through these sessions, and I feel that level of commitment. I have a clear plan, the steps aren’t big, they’re doable. I also know my own laziness. I can be perfectly committed, and then I hang up the call, and then I go to my kitchen to get a drink and I get distracted, and often times, that commitment dissipates. It’s like it never existed.

The problem is that solid commitment is necessary to achieve our goals.

To a certain extent, that wavering of commitment is on me. In part, it is the responsibility of the coach to make sure the client truly wants the end result and is willing to do what it takes to get there. If that commitment isn’t there, then the coach didn’t ask the right questions to elicit the goal and actions that resonate strongest with the client, to make sure it is something the client really wants.

When the goals and actions coincide with what the client truly wants, they will do anything to get there, and great things are accomplished.

Last week I asked you what your writing goals are. I asked you to dream big and I asked you to make them specific.

Now I’m going to ask you how badly you want to achieve them.

Are they someday I hope to get their dreams? Or are they something you want so bad you can taste it, to not get there will devastate you?

I’m a huge sports fan. One of the things that amazes me about athletes, is their commitment. When we get to see them, it is at a competition of some kind, where they’re showing off their skills and abilities. And the best ones are exhilarating to watch..

What we don’t see, are the hours and hours of time they put in at the gym lifting weights and doing cardio, and the hours of training, perhaps practicing one particular move over and over and over again. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. I can barely stand half an hour on a treadmill. But they do it. Day after day, hours each day, because they know it is only the hard work they put in, that will get them to their goal.

So here’s my athlete-envy analogy: writers are athletes too. Our glory event, competition, is when our writing gets published, when we get to do a reading. That’s the exciting part, where people get to see our talent and skill.

The time we spend at the keyboard or putting pen to paper, writing those words down, are the same as the hours athletes spend in the gym. The hours we spend editing, perfecting our words, are the same as the hours athletes take perfecting each maneuver.

I think we can all agree, that most of the time, sitting down and writing isn’t fun. We love writing, we love telling stories, but it would be so much easier doing something else: going out with friends, going to a movie, especially having a nap. OK, maybe that last one is just me. I wonder about athletes. How much do they enjoy running on a track or pumping iron and all the other training they have to do? I am sure there are days they want to just stay home or go out with friends. But they don’t. They go to work. Because to not go in to the gym means they are farther from their goal.

So how much do you want it? Are you willing to push through the unpleasantness of the drudgery of writing? Are you willing to push through to find the enjoyment in the work?

I am. I am committed to editing this novel, making it the best it can be. I am committed to getting this novel done and out the door. And I am committed to working on it every day, in every spare moment.

Are you with me?

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