I am so excited about this first week of March Madness! Not only have we had huge participation, but also we have bloggers and readers and illustrators involved this year! Plus we've already seen people reaching some of their goals!
Besides that, I have some more great news! One of my favorite March Madness cohorts (ok, you're all my favorites) Deb Marshall, has just told me she'll be donating $25 for a craft book of choice to one of our lucky participants! I'll be starting to award prizes next week, so make sure you don't miss your name being announced at any of our check ins.
We have seen some great goals accomplished in the last week already. But...that's not true for everyone. Because sometimes life gets in the way, doesn't it?
I admit, life is getting in the way for me in a pretty good way this week. I'm writing this post from sunny Mexico! For me, this time around, it's the lure of cocktails and swimming pools and sandy beaches that has been threatening to keep my from my March Madness project. It's also been nearly impossible for me to find wifi in order to check in. But if you're struggling with health or money or relational issues, or over-commitments in your life...I have also been there.
Here's the first rule to helping yourself get back to the writing: Don't beat yourself up about it.
It's true, stuff in life will get in our way, and some of it is completely unavoidable. But I honestly think what gets MORE in our way is our own attitudes. When we feel angry or guilty or frustrated with ourselves because of our lack of production, that only multiplies the problem. So give yourself a break. Have you already had to take a day or a few days off of writing this month? It's not the end of the world. What would be worse is sitting around and moping about it for the rest of the month. See if you can make time today to squeeze in a hundred words on your latest project. It's something, and it may break the negative words that are playing on repeat in your mind.
If life is getting in your way, here's a second thing you can focus on: Use your creativity to find more time.
We are all creative people. That's why we're here. Do you have someone in your life you could ask for a little help from that would free you up for a couple of hours per week? Can you keep a pad of paper with you on your lunch hour to brainstorm plot points or snippets of dialogue? Since having a young child in my life, I have learned that I can't always have one-hour writing blocks, no matter how much I want them. It took me some time, but I've learned how to be productive in five minute slots, if that's all I have. How can you be creative in order to get more done this month?
And one more suggestion: Encourage others.
Even if you are struggling on your project, reach out at our check-ins and encourage others. Put a smile on your face as you do it, even if you don't feel like it. Don't get caught up in jealousy over those who are writing more than you (or those who are writing from Mexico). Be positive for others, even if you don't feel you can do it for yourself right now. I promise, your kind words and encouragement will come back to you just when you most need it.
So even if you haven't made the progress you'd hoped for so far this month, make a commitment with me right now to get back on that horse. We still have THREE weeks left! In the comments, tell me you're with me, or I'd love to hear how you have overcome life getting in the way of your writing, either this week or in the past. What has worked for you?
Don't forget to stop by Kim Baccellia's blog tomorrow to check in!