My son used to try to bargain with me all the time, “I’ll do this chore. I promise. Just let me go have fun now and I’ll do it when I get back. Promise!” Ha. It would get put off and put off and further bargained until everyone involved had forgotten what he was supposed to do and he had done nothing but have fun. I’ll own the bad parenting involved when I fell for it time and time again.
Writing can be like that too, “I’ll write today, just as soon as I ____.” But, then you get caught up in the alternative action or sidetracked into another tangent or you lose all motivation you may have felt initially. It’s an easy trap to fall into as my previous compatriots have mention in their posts this month. It’s easy to find excuses to not write and hard to be the only person cracking a whip that says, WRITE.
I’m sure it helps to have an editor/publisher/agent keeping you on task (which Quincy brings up), but what if you don’t? What if you are your own boss (as Evan mentioned) or you’re a habitual procrastinator, so habits are hard to form (as Matt talks about) or perhaps you’re better at making lists than crossing them off (as Kristin discusses) or you’re tragic at prioritization (as Jace does). In other words, what if you’re like me?
The posts I mention all have great points they discuss and I need to incorporate them all. I do. Really-really. So, I appreciate what they have to say and hopefully you found them useful too. I do know what I need to do. It’s the doing it that’s hard.
Instead, I’m going to make some suggestions on what NOT to do and I shall endeavor to not do them myself this year.
Don’t look at your email before you write. I get sidetracked every time and can waste hours on it. So, first write.
Don’t reward yourself BEFORE you earn it. I reward myself with movies, TV shows, video games and reading. But that reward is only a reward if I wrote first, otherwise, it’s really an excuse to not write. So, first write.
Don’t wait for a chunk of time in order to write. Even ten or fifteen minutes can be productive and it’s better than nothing. So, just write.
Don’t wait for the mood/muse/creative spirit to strike before you write. It will show up if you’re plugging along. Maybe not right away, but you can edit crap. You can’t edit what isn’t there. So, just write.
Don’t give up. Like Matt said in his post (linked to above), the one thing that works for everyone is to not give up. Everyone’s vision of success is different and the only person you need to satisfy is yourself. So, just write.
I wish everyone the best in achieving their goals this year, by doing and NOT doing what you need to succeed.
If anyone has some more NOT’s for the list, please share 🙂