You’ve been encouraged before to see projects through.
One month left in 2017. What can you put in the plus column?
More guidance from Jon Acuff , author of Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done.
I’ll even join you.
My challenge: Finish three projects by December 31. They don’t have to be big ones. They don’t have to be ones you’ve already started. I’ll let you know my three soon-to-be-finished projects. [Overconfidence…it’s so unbecoming.]
I would love to hear even one of yours comment section!
Let’s gain momentum from each other.
Even when you have momentum and direction and focus, it’s easy to drift into a quagmire of your writing life’s ins and outs and ups and downs. [Four prepositions ought to be enough.]
The challenge is to rebound and play to your strengths.
Once you establish your ‘focus’ mindset, you can release the shackles (getting a bit dramatic here, aren’t we?) and work elsewhere.
Yesterday, you were advised to “just write the damn book.”
Time to tune into Hugh MacLeod’s advice in his book, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity]…
“So you’ve got the itch to do something…You don’t know if you’re good or not, but you think you could be. The problem is, even if you are good, you know nothing about this kind of business…”
“That’s…your adult voice, your boring and tedious voice trying to find a way to get the wee crayon voice to shut the hell up. Your wee voice doesn’t want you to sell something. Your wee voice wants you to make something.”
And so, there you are for your hour [or two or three], inside your hermetically sealed fortress of focus—go make something.
Or Joseph Finder and Hugh MacLeod are going to find out about it.
Well, now you’ve done it.
You’ve followed enough of the tips from 11/26 and 11/27 to create your own sensory deprivation chamber. [Yes, a slight exaggeration.]
And now it’s just you.
Luckily, your stubbornness in sitting down with pen and paper equals your stubbornness in resisting your work.
Let’s call in Joseph Finder to tip the scales.
His title says it all: “Just write the damned book already.”
Yesterday was the slow-pitch softball approach to warding off distractions.
Today, we go major league.
- Dogs belong on the other side of the door. [Pick up a multi-pack of industrial strength earplugs. They’ll muffle out the plaintive canine cries for attention and/or the symphony of squeak toys your furry friends have pulled out of the closet.] I know, I know…noise-canceling headphones, but what’s the fun of those?
- Significant others? Make an appointment for lunch. Let’s get real here–they’re going to love an hour away from you.
- You’re granted one preset alarm–a midpoint reminder to blink and stretch.
- Restroom breaks–cordon off the path with crime scene tape or, better yet, electric fencing. No straying allowed. [Warning sign is optional.]
Need me to be your productivity cop? Airfare, lodging [I’ll even walk and feed the dogs.], $100 an hour. It’s a steal!
With all due respect to the anti-drug message of the 80’s…
Just say no.
Not to your writing, of course,
But to the anti-writing forces.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
But to the myriad of distractions that come with busy times of the year.
- Go for one focused hour. Preferably in the morning. [Srini Rao has nailed down this one-hour thing.]
- Internet OFF. You don’t need Google Docs to crank out your daily words.
- One device only–your productivity tool of choice. That poor shlub in the photo should can the camera. And that clapperboard? Really? It’s just begging him to leave the keyboard and make an annoying racket. [I’ll give him a pass on the coffee.]
- Music with lyrics? Not if you’re in a nix-ative mood.
- Still locked into multi-device existence, are you? The TV? Only one of those music stations.
Otherwise, you’ll fall prey to the ‘Oh, I can do some drafting while the movie is running.’ ploy that the evil manufacturers have wired into the circuitry. [Talk about paranoid…]
Okay, that’s a safe and sane start. Let’s get a little more manic tomorrow…
come more options.
You’ve nailed #1.
But does that choice mean you’re taking a chance? At alienating an audience? At annoying an editor? At disregarding the usually treasured advice of a colleague?
And that choice might mean a complete change in direction. You tilt toward fiction. You opt out of long, luxurious passages for a staccato delivery. You drop the local writing group that’s lost touch with its members’ needs.
Lots of ways to go with this writing thing.