Getting Back on Track

In Writer Challenges on September 27, 2009 at 5:17 am

  Is it just me, or are some days just harder than others?  

  Some days when it comes to my writing I just lack direction.  I feel frazzled, and it’s hard to focus.  I start thinking about all the money I’m not making and I get discouraged?  Am I wasting my time here?  How would my time be best spent right now?  Just recently I was having one of those days.  I felt like I was stuck in a rut.  I didn’t quite know what I should do right then.  Of course I have my writing business plan (which you can read more about in my post here) – but that was long term.  I was beginnign to feel a little fuzzy on the short term.

  I’ve mentioned before the importance of doing something to advance your career everyday ( if you missed that you can read more here).  But on this particular day I was finding it extremely difficult to take my own advice.  I had no clue what I should be doing.  So I decided the best thing to do was STOP.  I stopped everything.  I took a step away from the computer, took a few deep breaths and tried to just slow down.  I thought about my finish line goals, and I took a minute to get real.

  By “get real” I just mean that I had to think about how much time there is in a day and how many other responsibilities I have.  I had to keep in mind that I can only do but so much in a day.  I realized that if I’m so busy pushing myself to accomplish unrealistic goals I’d be more likely to fry my brain, run through my energy reserves until I had nothing left, and end up facing another day like the one I’m discussing right now very soon.

  After I’d done that I thought about what calculated steps I could take over the next few weeks to get closer to achieving my dream of becoming a big wig in the writing world.  I decided I’d try to accomplish one task a week.  These are the tasks I came up with:

  • complete book review for Anything But a Dog! 
  • complete book review for Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers
  • complete 2 queries for local publications 
  • complete article for web zine
  • wrangle at least 3 more interviews for another article I’m working on
  • and then complete the article concerning the reviews
  • complete 2 manuscripts to submit
  • rework an already complete article to submit to Ezine Articles
  • apply for Examiner
  • work on a newsletter for Mommy Writers
  • work on completing my first book

  I wrote this list a little over a week ago and I’ve already completed 1 task and made progress on 3 others.  Not bad if I do say so myself.  I hope this will inspire someone else who may be hitting a wall to make their own list and get re-focused.  I’f you’d like to cheer me on and see if I cross another task off my list this week, check back.  I’ll keep this updated.

  1. I’m cheering you on! Just do what you can do and the rest will come to you. I try and not put pressure on myself or even a timeline unless there is a true deadline (rare for me).

    I hope and pray you find the freelance success you are looking for. I have a friend who is quite successful and if you are on FB, let me know, I can “friend” you – he was part of a writer’s group I was in.

  2. I know exactly how this feels! And I do the same thing, I keep a running to-do list and make it a goal to check off one thing per day. And I do keep things on the list for those days when I just can’t seem to accomplish anything – like, email so-and-so, or mail a birthday card. Just so I feel like I crossed something off.

    One thing I’ve discovered really helps me focus: taking a walk with the dog 🙂 Somehow it just clears my head.

  3. What a list! I would be so proud of myself for crossing any of those items off my list – just getting one blog post out every day if hard enough…I am finding that getting away from my computer and getting out of the house is a must if I’m going to write. I read a tweet that said something like ‘You can’t write about life if you’re not living it’ and it is so true for me.

  4. OK D where are you? I miss you writing. I will give you another assignment for my blog. Write as guest blogger again? I loved what you wrote. So get back on track if you are stuck. Write about your little one and life, vs. about writing and being a mom. I miss your updates!

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