Writing Is A Lot Like Exercising. If You Miss A Day, Don’t Give Up.
I’ve always been two kinds of people: a hard worker and a celebrator of all-or-nothing success.
While we’re not all designated “hard workers,” I guarantee you’ve been the second type of person at least once in your life.
You know the feeling: you make a plan to start working out on Monday (going to the gym, working out at home, doesn’t matter). Until then, you do nothing to prepare your body for the change. Then when Monday finally comes, something — anything — comes up that leads you to not start working out. And since you had it all planned out, somehow picking up where you left off on Tuesday just won’t work. So, you figure instead of making the best of the rest of your week, you’ll wait again until the following Monday.
Not all of us are going to be on this loop with exercise, but we’ve all put off something indefinitely due to not feeling ready to face the task.
Maybe your hiccup is with cleaning, or replying to those important emails, or getting started on that new project. But if you’re reading this, my guess is that your tough spot has something to do with your writing life.
Here are a few scenarios I see all too often (some of which I’ve done myself!):
- You come up with a great concept for a novel, only to drown it by saying you’ll “get to it someday.”
- You bog yourself down with the details around the novel, like creating a polished cover before you’ve even written a draft.
- You commit to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), only to give up on Day 5 after you missed your word count on Day 4.
- You’re jealous of others for having more time or more publications than you.
- You think you’re not a writer because you don’t write every single day.
Do any of these sound remotely familiar?
You might try to sugar coat this for yourself for a minute by saying, “I didn’t give up on NaNoWriMo, though; I gave up on this other writing challenge.” But the concept is still the same: you signed up for a challenge, you didn’t perform perfectly, and you gave up when you felt like you’d failed… when in reality, you only gave up too soon.