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Golly gosh, Batman, it’s now February. Where did January go? February always zips by so quickly because it’s only 28 days and then comes March. I can already see some of my plans for the first quarter skating on thin ice.
Some of you know Fiona and I (plus our two much loved kelpies) are relocating to Melbourne. Both of us are new to such a move and, perhaps a little naively, thought it would be a lot easier to find a suitable place to rent. But alas, I’m still in Sydney and Fi is continuing her weekly commuting routine that is now quite tiresome. Moving activities have consumed more time than I expected impacting writing time.
So what do we do when life gets unusually busy, unexpected events emerge and/or things you anticipated would take less time take considerably more?
Often as a result of changed circumstances we allow the buffeting waves of life to curtail other planned activities. I’m the first to admit I can be overly precious about waiting for “ideal” conditions for writing. I fuel my procrastination by telling myself I’ll catch up tomorrow. Then tomorrow arrives and very few words get written.
Perhaps after the excitement of our New Year goal setting activity has lulled we’ve become nervous about starting that something new we had listed. The new manuscript, the email campaign, increasing our social media presence, or whatever it may be. Once again, we wait for the perfect conditions.
Then there’s the perfectionist in us all. We won’t start something until we’ve read everything there is on the subject or consulted with a cast of thousands or … you get the drill.
But that target we set only a few weeks ago isn’t going away anytime too soon.
Momentum is so important. Even if times are uncertain or the procrastination bug has grabbed you simply starting is a powerful first step.
“There are no rules. You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over, and it’s because you fall over that you learn to save yourself from falling over.” (Richard Branson)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting aimless and unfocused activity simply to get a monkey off your back. Take a first step: open that blank page, mail off your current WIP to a critique partner, join Mailchimp, and so on.
2. Modify your Commitment (if possible)
So it’s been a long time since you hit that 2,000 word daily limit that got you so far writing your first manuscript. Maybe it’s only 200 words to start. Do something manageable and soon you’ll see the benefits of momentum.
3. Exercise Grace
We’re often our harshest critics. Negative recriminating self-talk can start to dominate our thoughts. This only fuels the fear.
“Whether you think you can or you can’t—you’re right.” (Henry Ford)
Be kind to yourself. Congratulate yourself on achieving those 200 words. Don’t edit your day’s achievement. Leave that for the second draft.
4. Engage your faith
How often do we jump into something and do it on our own? Jesus wants to do it with us; in fact, He’ll lead the way if we allow Him.
I was only telling a friend today how amazed I was when I pulled Angelguard out of the draw after four years of not touching it, how quickly I was able to re-write it. I know that wouldn’t have been possible unless I’d allowed Jesus to guide my writing over that three-month period.
“There’s not a day that you won’t need it; there’s not a situation that won’t demand it. What is it? The power of Jesus.” (Paul David Tripp)
How are your plans for 2015 coming along?