I’ve been all talk these first few weeks of 2016. I was hoping the motivational jargon coming out of my mouth would inspire written words. Alas, I’ve only allowed myself to be distracted and aloof.
I’m ’bout to get my rear in gear, and cannonball into my writing.
The writing waters are cold, and I know because I’ve hesitantly dipped my toes in the shallow end of the pool the first few weeks of January. It’s so frigid, actually, that every time I retrieve my pen and paper or pull out my laptop I’ve finished before I’ve even started. I retreat from the freezing writing waters because I’m not inspired or motivated. The only thing I can think to do now is step up to the diving board at the deep end of the pool and jump!
Have you ever jumped into the pool for the first time simply to avoid the slow agony of getting acclimated to the chill of the water? My kids have always been fearless. They step up the edge of the pool ready to take the shock to their system, so they can adapt and get to the fun of swimming. Hesitation is inevitable, but eventually you have to take the plunge.
I want to be brave (or childish) and shock myself out of my self-doubt and procrastination. Here are some ways I plan to pluck up the guts… You should join me!
- Sit down. Focus on your story with your manuscript (laptop or notebook) in front of you, EVERY DAY. Whether it’s 30 minutes or 2 hours, the time is not as important as thinking about my characters, settings, and plot lines. If I’m dwelling on the story I’m more likely to make time to write.
- Listen. You may enjoy a podcast dedicated to the writing life (I love Indie PUB Podcast) or maybe it’s a playlist you tune into when you write. When you’re not writing listen to things that remind you how important your voice is. (Maybe not my singing voice. 😉 )
- Get creative. Visualize your characters and cast them on Pinterest or draw a timeline and integrate your plot lines. I tend to go all out and make bio sheets for my characters, collaging pictures of things they love or clothes they wear. (Think Polyvore.com, but on my office wall.)
- Step away. I’m learning that it’s okay to put off the latest TV show, sink full of dishes, and pile of laundry… For a little bit longer. I’m even taking a break from social media one day a week.
I hope these tips charge you with courage as you experience the give at the end of the diving board. You may be wanting to write more, like me, or you may be fighting the procrastination in some other area of your life. Wherever you are, know that leaping into your craft is the first step–So why not tuck your knees in and make a fun splash!
2016 promises to be an exciting (and scary) year. Here’s to jumping into my writing life!