If you can’t tell by my listed and categorized New Year’s resolutions (not to mention the countless other organizational habits I reveal through my website…), I’m a big fan of using efficiency, logic, and positivity to “trick” myself into being productive. And luckily for me, it’s still early enough in 2016 to do just that.
Every day this year (yes, all whopping six of them at the time of this writing), I have written on one of my works-in-progress. Now, for you more seasoned authors, or you enviable full-time creatives, this probably isn’t impressive. But for those of you stuck in the day job grind or the continuous battle with “the muse,” you know that, sometimes, maintaining even a measly six day writing streak can feel like climbing a mountain. And with how much hell Desertera #2 is giving me, I feel like I’m tackling every inch of Everest.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m an “all or nothing” person. If I’m going to do something, I put all my energy into it and do the best job I can. If I don’t think I can do it well, I usually don’t even try. Is this a great philosophy? Obviously not. I’m continuously working on it, but for the time being, I’m learning to work with it. And if you want to accomplish your goals, whether writing or otherwise, you need to sit down, psychoanalyze yourself, figure out your weaknesses, and find a way to turn them into strengths.
Learning to manage this personality quirk has been one of my greatest accomplishments over the last few months. Slowly, but surely, I’ve seen a quantitative increase in my writing and a qualitative increase in my writing itself and my attitude towards it.
For those of you needing a little inspirational boost, here are some of the many benefits my writing streak has given me:
- A sense of purpose
- Increased confidence in my writing ability
- Less “staring at the blank page” time when I start a session
- A healthily growing word count
- A sense of accomplishment
- Greater creativity in other aspects of my life
- Closer bond with my best friend (who is my alpha reader)
- Validation of my authorial aspirations
And here are some of things my writing streak has taken away:
- Guilt at not doing my creative work
- Feelings of self-doubt and self-loathing
- Time spent binge-watching Netflix
We’re only six days into 2016. I know I’m still in the New Year honeymoon phase, and I know this streak cannot last. But what I do know is that I’m making progress toward my most important goals, putting something good into the world (even if the world can’t experience it yet), and feeling better about myself in general. And all it takes is actually sitting down at the keyboard and putting in the work. Some days, it may be a struggle to get there, but if I can remember my strategies to get started…and the feeling I had while writing this post, I know I can keep hacking away at my goals, one word at a time.
As for you…if you want to join me in this honeymooner bliss (or stay here with me), you’ve got to commit. You’ve got to be brutally honest and figure out what’s keeping you from your ambitions. Fear? Laziness? Poor time management? Don’t be ashamed – we’re all human, and we all fail. Victories come one day, one minute, one word at a time. Find your weaknesses and learn how to beat them.
What goals are you working toward? What keeps you from writing or doing other creative work? How can you find the motivation to overcome your weaknesses?