We’ve finished one week of the Get Serious about Writing blog series! This is a good time to pause and think about some of the questions we can ask ourselves to begin to write with no (more) regrets, in a way that brings more meaning and joy to our lives—both daily and in the long run.

1. What do you want your future self to feel at the end of the summer?

Imagine yourself waking up at the end of August, looking back on the summer, and feeling really good about your writing. What would make that happen? Write it down—better yet, pretend you are writing a journal entry for that future date, describing your emotions and what you accomplished. We will return to this idea later in the series.

Another approach to this question is to ask yourself what regrets you currently have about your writing. What would you need to change to write with no or fewer regrets in the future?

2. What is your daily word count?

This goal/routine can be in terms of numbers of words, pages, lines, or minutes, and it can be several times a week rather than daily, but it needs to be a regular part of your schedule. The writing will probably be messy and imperfect rather than polished—that’s to be expected and even encouraged. Because confidence comes from doing rather than thinking, start this habit now (you can adjust it as you go along), before anything else.

3. What are you waiting for to take your writing seriously?

Make a list, without judgment or guilt, about the reasons you have for not giving your writing your all right now. Examples include time, money, motivation, support, resources. At this point, just make the list and think about the reasons. Let them percolate in your mind for awhile.

4. What is the writing opportunity cost of other activities, social media in particular?

Every choice we make means we are not choosing something else. When that something else is as important to us as our writing, we can review periodically if we are making smart choices as to how best to use our time.

5. Are you afraid to fall in love with your creative life?

Falling in love and committing fully to that love is scary. We inevitably lose some control, and we remove ourselves a bit from the rest of the world. Falling in love with writing is no different. It will change us forever.