Progress Update 5/9/16

Getting Out of a Writing Rut and the Value of Easy Goals

Recently my writing consistency has suffered. Perhaps you’re in the same boat. 

One of the best methods to get out of the rut is to set very easy writing targets each day. Once a writer nails these easy goals, he or she can return to their typical, more challenging goals. So if your standard goal is to write a thousand words—which by the way is pretty high for someone who doesn't have much spare time—then you should set the target for fewer than one thousand when getting out of a rut. In such a case, it would be better to shoot for five hundred words, maybe even fewer.

The point is this, when we get into a rut, the most important thing is to get out. That’s where I’m at currently. I’m fighting to get back into a regular writing flow, and I understand that part of what I need to do is to set an easier target.  

Another important element for getting back on track, along with setting smaller goals, is to do some writing strictly for the fun of it. This is another piece I’ve been missing. I’ve made my writing so focused on things that I felt I needed to write that I forgot to write just for the heck of it. I think it’s vital to write occasionally strictly for fun. I’m going to be doing more of that, even if it’s just a few hundred words each week.

I’m confident that I can get back on track. My teaching should be winding down for the summer break in the next month. That will afford me more time to write.

How is your writing going? I’d love to hear!



Progress Update 2/11/16

My progress this past week has been mediocre. As a result, I’m reminded of the absolute importance of focus. Without focus, I can’t hope to advance my writing. 

Last week, I was sick. My illness wore me out, making it difficult to write. I literally fell asleep at my keyboard more than once. This trend has continued because I’m still getting over the cold. I also made a big mistake and agreed to take on extra work for a part-time teaching position. The combination of illness plus extra work has wreaked havoc with my writing routine. 

I have done some writing every day, but I haven’t been consistent in meeting my quota. I’m reminded that I shouldn’t commit to anything that threatens my consistency. If there's doubt in my mind that I can stay steady with my writing, I need to turn down offers to do anything extra. 

Not only has my writing suffered, but my performance on the extra project has not been as strong as it could have been. I’m sure this is true, in part, because I have been frustrated by the disruption of my writing routine, which tends to set a positive tone for my day. 

I’m reminded of a great acronym for the word FOCUS: 

Follow One Course Until Successful. 

That idea of sticking to one course is huge. Most of us are so willing to move on to something new, but we really need to stay with one thing. Let that one thing reach its real potential. Refuse to move on until things are really maxed.

That's my take away for this week. If you’ve experienced a setback in your writing, I hope that this will inspire you. Press on. Don't beat yourself up. Don't dwell on the negative. If you can turn things around by doing just a little bit of writing, you’re on your way to being back in the swing.