Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

brick by brick!!! (1 Viewer)

kunox

Senior Member
I got a wierd question for writing. well not only writing but life in general... two actually that sound the same... how do youu break down a project into actionable steps... the other one is how do you personally break down a project into actionable steps.... and two more... what inn fact makes a step actionable... what would be the smallest steps for each section...
 
Last edited:

Llyralen

Senior Member
What makes a step actionable is when you know at a 80% or above that you are able to complete a task. If your faith is low on it, then either make it smaller or change the goal completely to something you feel you have a 80% chance of completing with success.

With any goal like this you have to identify what needs to be done so that you can break it down that far. Some people dread outlines, but that might be what it takes to then identify what the next paragraph should say. Or if that doesn’t work (80% on that is more like 0%) then maybe making a goal to improvise 1 paragraph per day in any part of the book, it really depends on what you have faith in. This is called self-efficacy, by the way. Change it up until you know you can accomplish whatever it is, no matter how small and then give yourself kudos and it can snowball after a few. :). Snowball in a good way.

Oh, and if 80% isn’t working, look for the 100%. Even if the 100% is getting a shower or something you usually do anyway, and give yourself full credit for reaching your goal, you’re building skills here!
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I got a wierd question for writing. well not only writing but life in general... two actually that sound the same... how do youu break down a project into actionable steps... the other one is how do you personally break down a project into actionable steps.... and two more... what inn fact makes a step actionable... what would be the smallest steps for each section...
How do you plan anything in life?
Capture the beginning and end, then work out the steps between them.
That’s overly simplistic, but I don’t understand what the problem is.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
The first step is to realize there are a lot of steps and that you don't yet know what they all are. If you're not comfortable with that, then don't take on any large projects, like writing a novel.

And if you can develop the patience not to rush the project until you fill in all the blanks, you will have a better outcome. The key is to develop a framework to capture all the facts and ideas that you do already know, and one that is scalable so you can add action items as you go.

What makes a step actionable? If you can complete the task without compromising everything else in the project. Think of building a house. You wouldn't build the walls before you had decided on the foundation. But you can start to build the walls before you have decided on the paint colour. And that is the general principle.

For writing a novel, I would say the theme and the POV are like the house foundation. You have to decide on and action those first. Then you action plots, characters, and scenes as needed using the same principle above.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
how do youu break down a project into actionable steps
That's something I'm struggling with all the time, and I'm still looking for an answer. Some people seem to be fine doing big things without seeing small successes along the way. I just can't.

Talking about writing a novel, you can figure how long it's supposed to be, when you can reasonably expect to have the first draft completed, and then let Excel tell you every day how much you have to have written. That's the best I've figured out so far.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
I just want to formalize my method of doing things.
As far as I know, life in general is too complex to enable formalization of doing things. (I would be very happy to be wrong on this.) The best I've been able to come up with it to write tasks down in the order of priority, but the method of breaking large tasks into manageable chunks differs greatly from case to case.

Many people seem to have an inbuilt mechanism in their brain that enables them to do (much of) the above without (much) thinking. It's probably biochemical. Maybe it has something to do with serotonin levels, maybe not.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
It's complicated... I just want to formalize my method of doing things. Also not get overwhelmed by the process.
The first time I do something I take my best shot at it.
The next time I do it, I recall my previous effort and make improvements.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
No process is ever complete, it remains in a continuous state of iterative improvement.
 
Last edited:

Just_Phil

Senior Member
With anything, I usually just start with whatever is most important man. If my water is overflowing and someone knocks at the door, I turn the water off first. Like, I used to work at a restaurant so serving multiple tables required prioritizing everything: hot food first, refills for tables currently eating before ones without food, to gos before dine ins etc.

Thats just me personally now, some people like to assess the entire situation and make a plan before starting. Which is probably the best advice, but I find that overwhelms me and I procrastinate, so just diving in with whatever is most important and going from there til it's done works best for me.
 

Megan Pearson

Senior Member
I got a wierd question for writing. well not only writing but life in general... two actually that sound the same... how do youu break down a project into actionable steps... the other one is how do you personally break down a project into actionable steps.... and two more... what inn fact makes a step actionable... what would be the smallest steps for each section...

What an awesome writing question. Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder comes to mind. He gives some awesome advice on how to set up beats in your narrative.

As a personal question, and I confess to skimming, so maybe this was already mentioned,
1) set a goal.
2) set a timeline in which to accomplish your goal.
3) List everything that you think is relevant to meeting that goal, given the timeline.
4) start working the list.

Presto! Goal accomplished.

Granted, that's a bit of an oversimplification, but I think you can get the idea. Good luck with your goals!
 
Top