Getting it Done Workshop by Todd Bennett

Gentle readers,

The following is my notes, as taken down, from a workshop I attended at the 2010 Booktoberfest here in Idaho.

Love in Christ,

Andrea Graham

Getting it Done Workshop

by Todd Bennett (90% right can be 100% wrong)

Getting anything done that you think is important. An author may write different books different ways.


Plodder (take two years)

Secluders, lock themselves away for a week.

We don’t get things done because we don’t define why we are doing this. If we don’t attach a greater value to something, it will get deprioritized.

What is the reason this is important? Increase platform? Reach kids? Develop new message our culture needs to hear? A story that needs told? If you don’t have that, you will set goals without the vision to back it up.

Vision is an emotional umbrella.

Big mistake—placing the how before the why. If you do, you’ll never achieve the results you are looking for because the how will never show itself. It’s the pursuit of the vision that will open the doors to the how. You won’t fully understand how the how will come about from your starting place. Opportunities unfold for us as we are moving.

Some opportunities come only as we take up other opportunities.

Vision is the most important part of the goal process. Must know why you are doing it. After you establish the vision, you start setting your goals.

Goals are definable. Make it measurable and a time line. Define the vision, and add a time line, and it has become a goal. Dreams without follow through is what has a negative connotation of “dreamer.”

Emotional roller coaster of doing what we feel like doing only, writing when we feel like it. If you only write when you feel like it, you will never get done. Goals without vision lack the emotional energy to get done. To complete any project, you have to have your vision and set goals for how you are going to complete it.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start setting goals for themselves is they set goals on things they don’t have control over. “I am going to finish a chapter by the end of November.” You can’t necessarily control your creative process or if that information will flow out.

You can control the amount of time you spend writing.

A goal of a pound a week sets you up for failure. A goal of lifting weights two times a week is in your control.

It has to be more important than your other projects. Know your tendency to get distracted on other things. Make a commitment to write something every day. Discipline yourself though the difficult times. Push yourself to do the things you don’t want to do so when the spirit is there, the habit will back that up and allow it to come out.

Took 5 1/2 months to finish his book.

Discipline will teach you to write regardless of your emotional state.

It must be a priority and you must discipline yourself to do it even when you don’t feel like it.


Fear, Insecurity, Negativity.

Fear and belief are the same, just one is negative and the other positive. We will come most closer to the reality of the situation of things we believe to be true. Self-fulling prophecy—we bring upon ourselves what we believe will happen. Brain is resourceful in bringing about the results it thinks it is going to get. When the belief is negative, we call that fear.

Our avoidance of what we fear often ultimately brings it upon ourselves.

Example: Kung fu panda. The person sent to keep the bad guy in jail loses a feather that the bad guy uses to pick the lock and become free.

If you become afraid you aren’t good enough, you will find all kinds of evidence to support that fear—you will find evidence in your work, negative comments stick with you, article in the newspaper, etc. And that fear will distract you from your goals.

Vision is not meaningless, it is there for a purpose. It has been given to you for a reason. It is not a mistake, a temptation, or a false prophet. Your vision for why you need to write is legitimate. Do not discount it as a lie. It is the message that it is a lie that is the actual lie. All of the negative, the fear, plays a part to derail you from finishing your task (the devil.)

Lies about self. “I’m not good enough, talented enough. I can’t do it. I haven’t done anything that proves I can be successful.” We buy into this and it chips away at our vision until we become naturally self-protective. We are given an inate ability to want to keep ourselves from harm. If we get to the point where we believe we do not have what it takes, we want to abandon that thing so we don’t get hurt.

If you apply that to your vision, it is a lie. Not everyone is equally talented. There are clearly gifted people. But skills can be learned. Everyone has something important that can impact other people.

Imposter syndrome—you are doing something, but don’t feel qualified and go along hoping no one notices.

Cast doubts aside. They are only there to throw you off track from your vision. You don’t have to be the best. What you do have is valuable somehow. You might not know how yet. So don’t let fear take you away from your goals. You get to choose to what components you listen to—things related to your vision and belief or things related to you fears.

Facing rejection can devour your desire. Stacks of rejection cause disillusionment. Reject what is inconsistent with your vision.

Trying to protect yourself destroys vision. Unmet goals cause pain. We avoid setting goals to avoid the let down of not achieving them.

1 Comment

  1. This has so many implications in life. I am not a writer yet at my newest stage of life, I can reset my routine to get back to getting the most out of my day rather than slogging through the day putting out fires. Such a helpful set of notes. Thanks!

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