One of the key factors that keeps writers going when they hit a wall is an unapologetic belief in themselves. Their belief in the goal helps them renew their energy and reconnect to the project they want to finish.
What do you do when you know you need to recharge and reset? How do you protect your time from the 24/7 distractions that prevent you from writing?
Mute your self-critic. Self-doubt is a powerful paralyzer. It’s the anxiety-inducing, confidence-shrinking behemoth festering inside many otherwise functional adults. What is your inner critic grumbling today? Write it down, crumple it into a jar, tighten the lid and shelve it. Gifting yourself the image of it in timeout might be all you need to free a few unfettered hours of writing time.
Don’t get psyched out. Some thought leaders are writing tornados, self-publishing to market their businesses and attract speaking and workshop opportunities. Are you on a different journey? Stay connected to what, why, how and when you are writing. Remind yourself back to center so you can get back to doing your best work.
Get more sleep. Seriously, stop running in unproductive circles that keep your writing productivity stunted. Sleep is highly underrated. I’ve said this for years, but if it takes a brain scientist to convince you, watch Matt Walker’s “Sleep Is Your Superpower” on TED. A never-ending day will derail every tomorrow.
Stay accountable. At some point, we all need a little nudge. If you’re not into writing groups, work with an accountability partner, someone you can talk to about your progress and to-dos each week. Finding a willing partner or coach to keep you on track is an action you can take today to maintain a productive headspace and writing pace.
Envision the end result. Image you’re published. If we can beat ourselves up for not accomplishing enough, why not tip that mental impulse in a positive direction? Set pop-up reminders that say things like, “Chapter 6. You can do it!”
Embrace the Grind. Some days are more productive than others. Some weeks are downright difficult. Reader’s Digest blogger Kerrie Flanagan wrote an inspiring post on how children’s author Madeleine L’Engle faced the challenges of writing. Jeff Goins has a lot to add on the subject.
In the words of comedian Kumail Nanjiani, “Nobody is paying attention to your failure. The world is full of people failing. People are failing all around you. Failure is boring. Your failure will not be so spectacular that people will write articles about your failure or even remember your failure.”
We all need the nudge. Get yours and get back to work. In the process, hold on to what keeps you believing in you. Nothing is more important.