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Find writing success in small, daily actions

It is a universal law that you must express your power

or the power will turn against you. What do you choose? 

—Michele Jamal, Shape Shifters:

Shaman Women in Contemporary Society

The above is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me to express my power or be my “gift” each and every day. We all have gifts—a light that we uniquely bring to the world—but we don’t always display or use our gifts.

Recently, I was reading “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, the publisher of Success magazine, and realized how easy it is to ride along in life and not make the daily little choices we need to make in order to allow our gifts to shine. I spent much of my early adult life just going with the flow and letting others make choices for me. Because I wasn’t proactively living my life, life was living me.

You know what I mean and, if you don’t, here are some examples:

  • Did I really inhale that bag of potato chips without even thinking about it?
  • Why did I choose to weed the garden today instead of getting my word count in? Why didn’t I get my word count in first?
  • Why didn’t I return those business phone calls on Friday so now I have even more work to do on Monday and less time for writing?
  • Why did I try to do “extreme rope training” with my husband, putting too much stress on my injury-prone ankle and now I can’t train for a week?

According to Hardy, the compound effect is the result of “small, smart choices, completed consistently over time.” He goes on to say that “even one small change can have a significant impact that causes an unexpected and unintended ripple effect.”

A good example of the compound effect is my friend Brian who wanted to learn to play the guitar. He committed to practicing for 15 minutes each and every day and has been doing this for years. Needless to say, he is now an accomplished guitar player. I, too, am learning to play guitar but my approach of playing for an hour or two every few weeks isn’t producing any results. In fact, I may as well not practice at all until I decide to commit to a daily routine.

The same is true for writing. Want to finish the book you’re working on within your lifetime? Commit to a daily word count. Even on an off day, accomplishing your word count will have a compound effect over time and it will make you feel successful to have accomplished your goal. One little success that occurs daily will produce larger successes over time.

A fun way to track your words is with the website You can even read my earlier post “Track your daily words with this website” to see how it works.

For more information on The Compound Effect, visit Hardy’s website at and check out his free tools and assessments.

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