Hey, we’re halfway through 2019 – so what better time to check in with ourselves and see where we’re at with our current writing project?
So at this juncture – where are you at?
Are you further along than you hoped or not quite where you wanted to be? If you’re where you hoped you’d be – excellent! And well done on maintaining momentum and being so goddamn awesome.
If you’re less than happy with where you are I have some thoughts about how you can get back on track and stay there.
Something you probably don’t know about me is that I really hate housework. Don’t get me wrong, I love clean and tidy I just have to force myself to do it and then tend to stop halfway because I’m bored. Sound vaguely familiar?
I hear this same kind of talk about writing all the time. We love and want the outcome – so what’s the big deal? Why is it sometimes so hard to start and go after what we desire? (The answer to that question is a whole other post, probably a book…)
So how do we get ourselves motivated and working? Some tips for you…
Getting to Work Tip #1 – Take Small Steps
Here’s how I force myself to do housework (I wish I was joking – I’m not.) I set the alarm on my phone for 15-minute blocks – and try to get as much done as I can in that time. Here’s my rationale – I don’t want to do it but I know I can bear 15 minutes of tedium. And then I just rinse and repeat until I’ve done 15 minutes in every room. And it works. Squalor avoided – phew!
How about applying that technique (or a variation thereof) to your writing task every day? Little and often is surprisingly effective.
My housework trick is essentially my own variation of the Pomodoro Technique which you may also find useful.
Getting to Work Tip #2 – Choose a deadline and stick to it.
The world is awash with competitions and submission opportunities – my monthly newsletter is always full of them. Choose one that suits you and your medium – and then work towards it. A deadline is fantastic – otherwise, there’s the temptation to meander forever. (I know, I’m in that place right now on a particular project.) And it is SO satisfying sending off that entry or application. Notice how whether you are successful or not – just entering/submitting has forced you to move your project forward.
Getting to Work Tip #3 – Get a Writing Buddy
Being held accountable to someone makes your writing life easier. If you have to show up, you probably will. If someone is waiting for you to show them your work – you’ll probably do it.
Getting to Work Tip #4 – Consider a Writing Group
As you may know, I’m a big fan of the writing group as a mechanism to help you move your project forward. Company, motivation and regular accountability. These are exactly the guiding principles, the very point of The Writing Room that I run in Auckland – check it out.