Okay, so you’re past the guilt. You’ve conquered despair. [Frankly, you were a mess this week.]
It’s time to finish something.
Yes, to you, a foreign concept.
But today’s the day.
The TV is unplugged [yes, you’re that serious], the wi-fi will soon be off, fresh coffee awaits, and you dove into the freezer for those cinnamon rolls. [Cooking takes a back seat today.]
And you’ve reached a conclusion: You don’t work well under pressure.
So you’re going to: A) Start with the smallest unfinished project first. B) Work in 15-minute increments.
Joe Bunting from thewritepractice.com prescribes small deadlines. Sounds contrary to your not working well under pressure, but…
Cut to Jon Acuff in his book Finish–“Cut your goal in half.”
Jane Porter also chimes in with solid support in her Fast Company contribution.
Final word: Go!
You made it past yesterday’s guilt.
Time for another demon.
You want to give up. Words aren’t flowing. Ideas aren’t flowing. Tears, however, well, they might be another story.
Ben Angel in his contribution on Entrepreneur suggests two steps to win out:
- Remind yourself of what you stand to lose by quitting.
- Make a public declaration of what you’re working toward.
Ali Luke’s guest post on Goinswriter.com teases out the issue even more extensively. Lots of good ideas here to think through, including ways to cope with:
- present-day life’s incompatibility with your writing
- discouraging feedback
- your loved ones not understanding your work or your calling to put pen to paper
And you could always subscribe to Copyblogger’s Brian Clark’s mantra: Keep going.
I’ve added four new components to the free prewriting course:
- Using online video to boost your prewriting vision
- Interviewing the author [that’s you. I wouldn’t worry about a development of multiple personalities.]
- Using the ‘foolscap method’ of outlining. [Rule: One sheet of paper only!]
- Mind mapping with Bubbl.us [online tool] and Inspiration [commercial product].
More details here: [The Teachable version will be available this weekend.]
You’re camped out under your apple tree watching a woodpecker five feet away.
It’s the closest you have even been to one in your life.
And you wonder, ‘Geez, am I so lethargic that a woodpecker has no clue a living being is nearby?’
That’s when you should reach for a trusty source of inspiration:
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.”
Yes, it’s just a bird. And yes, you’re not raking in serious cash, but your writing life is not routine. And for that, you can be thankful.
Your search for new stories has taken its toll.
There is no way that chapter’s getting done. You’d be lucky if you make it past the title.
Shrug it off and take that nap.
If you wake up the next morning, so be it.
Who knows–all that rest might have launched your subconscious into overdrive.
And that brilliant plot twist will appear when you least expect it.
And here’s another convincing benefit–you’ll live longer.
That search for new story material from yesterday?
Perhaps you were a little overzealous.
Take your quest down a notch. Or at least wait till the clothes are dry…and nobody’s around.
Time for an alternative workspace.
Yes, your own little auto-cubicle.
Stop and think…
Your own food.
Your own music.
Your own companionship.
You can easily move locations if things get too loud.
And you’re in your own little ‘cone of silence’. [Skip to the :40 mark of this video.]
That’s just a start.
Give it a try.
It’s called comparisonitis.
Up to now, you’ve been immune.
Not so today.
Some fellow writers have recently bolstered their career, while you’ve continued the daily grind without much acclaim–from others or yourself.
A few questions to ask:
- How do I define ‘progress’?
- Am I still making ‘progress’?
- Am I still energized by this work?
Reap the wisdom on comparisonitis
You’re not just a writer of novels or blog posts or weekly columns.
You are a listener. You’re a storyteller. You condense thoughts. You cut through blather and deliver a message. You’re a narrator. You ask the right questions. You catch details most people glide right past.
There is a need for you and your talents.
Take a look here and here. As a great man once said, “Hey, ya never know!”