I hate my ab workout–thanks A LOT Jillian Michaels! But I love what it does. You see what happened there? Instant gratification vs delayed gratification? There’s probably a reason that inspirational YouTube videos geared towards athletes work so well for writers too (and I’d venture to say there would be a crossover for all of your goals). I’m saying that Writing is like Exercising. There are definite correlations between an exercise program and getting your other goals done.
Hurts So Good: Do one thing that hurts but is good for you. One Sunday, a church leader gave me some good advice. He said make a list of things that you really want to do, NEED to do, dying to do… but you haven’t done yet because you’re scared of it. After you make that list, pick one thing–just one thing–on that list! And concentrate on that.
Make a goal. Set a schedule. Find a time: Self explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this part.
Warm Up: I heard a guy talking about his writing ritual at the conference. He sits down, checks his social media for ten minutes and then gets into writing. A lady in the class asked what the difference was between that and procrastinating! Oh, oh! Let me answer! One gets you ready for writing and one avoids it. You’ll know the difference. But this teacher reiterated something that I’ve heard from many goal gurus, which is: people work well with rituals, so find yours.
Feel the Burn: I hate pain. I will always run away from it when I’m not thinking, but… when I am conscious of what I’m doing or if Jillian Michaels is behind my ear shouting, “The way you approach this workout is how you will approach your life,” you better believe that I’m gonna try a little harder. Writing hurts a little bit too. Everything you love turns into work. The difference between failing and succeeding is whether you quit when you feel the burn… or if you keep going.
Workout Buddies: I touched on this on another post, but if you are someone who needs accountability with your exercising then you’re probably someone who needs it with your writing. So find people to report to!
Gym Rat: There’s the person who goes to the gym to be seen and there’s the person who goes for the workout. For results, you know who you need to be. Just opening your laptop won’t make that novel happen. We all get “Blank Page” syndrome where we feel frozen and feel like we can’t write perfectly and so we write nothing… but you need to throw the perfectionist out the window and get lost in the magic of the story instead.
Pulling a Muscle: I put Bengay on it! I wear a brace. I strengthen that muscle so it doesn’t do that to me anymore. I find the right equipment. I’m saying that when you hit a bump in your writing or any goal that you have, that you fetch yourself the right tools and then you get back to work.
Cool Down: Okay, I’m giving this another spin, but… take a deep breath and relax! I’ve recently come to a realization that we writers care far too much about what other writers are doing, what people think of them and their work, and even use writing to fill some sort of hole in their lives that writing will never NEVER give them! Which means you need to take care of those emotional problems and leave writing out of it. Treat it like a business, separate editing from people’s personal opinions of you, and stop caring what people think. 1–No one is thinking of you. 2–if they are, who cares or can control that anyway? 3–You’re usually projecting negativity from others anyway! Look up “Projecting.”
Getting Stronger: There’s a beginner and an advanced workout option with my ab video. And you better believe I had to do the beginner version when I first started out, but now when Jillian is shouting, “Wrap those legs around your arms,” I am! I couldn’t do a burpie to save my life, and now I can do those in my sleep. The point is that what is hard now, won’t be later… if you keep working!