Join my Mailing List for Free Books!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March Madness Check In Day 15 - Breaking It Down - #WIPMadness

We're just over the halfway mark of March Madness! Woohoo! Congratulations to all who have stuck with it from the beginning, and if you have not set your goals yet for March, what are you waiting for? You still have TWO WEEKS LEFT!

For those who are soaring through March Madness this year and getting tons accomplished, way to go! Keep with it! Keep checking in to inspire the rest of us!

I want to talk today a little about those times when we're not keeping up on our goals, or we're further behind than we'd like to be at certain checkpoints (like the halfway point!)

First of all, you're not alone. I've been there many times, and, in fact, I'm facing that kind of situation right now.

Secondly, this is not an unfixable problem. And maybe the "problem" isn't even a problem at all. Perhaps along the way you've realized that the goal was bigger than expected, or maybe you've realized your story had to go in a different direction than anticipated, and this has required stepping back to discover a new plan of attack.

The most important thing, wherever you're at with your goals, and for whatever reason, is that you're not thinking of your work (or yourself) as a failure.  This kind of outlook is debilitating, and will stop you in your tracks. At first you may think, "Yeah, I'm a little behind, but I'll catch up tomorrow." Then tomorrow comes, and you don't really feel like catching up. The next day rolls around, and you've become so far behind, and you are now so unmotivated, it seems nearly impossible to close your Twitter window and open your manuscript. Sound familiar? Or is this just me?

One solution I've found is to micro-focus until I've built a few small successes to bolster me up again. Opening my manuscript IS an accomplishment when it's hard to do, as is writing one new sentence. Pretty soon, I'm writing an entire new paragraph. Sometimes we miss those small accomplishments if we're focusing too hard on the Big Goal. A question I often ask myself (with writing and with other areas of life) is "Am I going in the right direction?" If the answer is yes, maybe all the little details of when and how and how much are not that important.
Children, Win, Success, Video Game, Play, Happy
Sometimes I think we need to be more like little kids. I love this picture, because it reminds me that kids have no problem celebrating the little things in life, like creating a silly cartoon character or winning a round of a video game. We adults may have more of a tendency to tell ourselves it's not enough, or not good enough, or not worth celebrating. Forward progress of any kind IS worth celebrating. Making yourself accountable to us was a huge step in its own right, so if you're feeling down at all today, remind yourself that you're here, you're doing this, and even though this month may not be looking exactly how you envisioned it, you are accomplishing things! One of my favorite song lyrics is from Avril Lavigne: "I'm waking up to say I've tried, instead of waking up to another TV Guide." That's all of us. We're all trying, and it's a lot better than not trying. 

What do you do when you get behind or feel like you just can't motivate yourself to do anything?

And finally, what's one thing you are celebrating about yourself or your progress today?




14 comments:

  1. When I am lacking motivation, I try doing something entirely different but still creative like gardening. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but at least I am being productive. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea, Katherine (and it goes alone with what Dawn says below as well - I'm more of a cook than a gardener). I agree, moving forward in something will keep your sense of momentum.

      Delete
  2. I love this post, Denise! Sometimes, I can get so wrapped up in NOT completing the big picture project (ie: Edit Jack of Hearts) that I can forget to celebrate the mini milestones. Last night, we had company for dinner and I made three dishes I have never made before. It's a different form of creativity but it worked to spark the muse this morning—where I did manage to cobble out a few paragraphs. I'm going to celebrate that...I maybe reward myself with a walk on what is, yay, another SUNNY day in Edmonton :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so great to hear that your cooking helped spur on your writing, Dawn! I love trying new things in the kitchen, so I'll keep this in mind.

      Delete
  3. As the first half of the semester felt like me just floating below the surface of all my deadlines (though miraculously meeting each of them on time), I feel ya!

    When comes to motivation, I think back to the last five years being a full time stay-at-home aunt. For awhile, I thought that I'd never really get back into my writing, but seeing the world through the kids' eyes gave me a continuous stream of inspiration.

    Even now, when I know I've got a thousand and one things to do the next day, I go and spend time with the kids. It may seem counterintuitive but, I destress, let my mind focus on other things for a time, and LAUGH. Laughter has really helped me through the tough moments. I'm in awe of my nephew and niece's innovative approaches to dealing with what (to them) are huge problems for the day.

    When I leave them (sadly, usually) I'm completely recharged on the creative level and all's well in Whoville once more. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Laughter is great for the creative drive and the soul!

      Delete
  4. Halfway through March Madness! Wow! Already?

    Breaking down big projects or goals into a series of small manageable tasks is always my best tactic when I'm feeling overwhelmed. It's that starting-a-long-journey-with-the-first-step thing. Making a list and being able to cross off accomplishments, however small they may be, is such a good feeling and really helps build morale.

    Right now I think I'd face this new week's writing with more enthusiasm if I cleaned off my desk first. It's gotten to be a huge mess and I have trouble concentrating in the midst of clutter. However, given my impending kitchen renovations, I think the condition of my office is soon to be overshadowed. I'm settling down to do an hour of writing this evening in the hope it will give me a head start on tomorrow's words.

    I hope everyone will have a great writing week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I can imagine it would be hard to focus among the chaos of your house renovations, Carol. But good for you, doing it anyway! I hope you got some great material written last night.

      Delete
  5. I've found that I need to make smaller goals and not big ones that often don't get done and set me up on that cycle of feeling I can't do it.

    Slowly going through this revision, upping the emotion and chemistry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear things are going well, Kim. Upping the emotion and chemistry is always a good thing :)

      Delete
  6. Yes, I have hit that place far too often lately. The best thing I can do is force myself to open the file and look at it. It doesn't take long before I can't help but want to change something or add something, and suddenly, I'm WIP-ing it again. It might be only a sentence or a revision of a sentence, but at least I have dipped a toe back in.

    I have altered my goals already for this month. But I'll save the details for Wednesday's post.

    Rock on, Wipsters!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I look forward to hearing more about how your month has been going on Wednesday, Mary Ann!

      Delete
  7. I'm reading this post a day late, and yet oddly, I'm reading it at the perfect time. Thank you, Denise! My weekend wasn't good writing-wise...motivation was nowhere to be seen. And it's easy to let a couple off-days completely derail me! But not this time... *dusts off determination* *slaps it back into place*

    I love this: "Am I going in the right direction?" I was stalled for a wee while, but today I'll take a step forward again, and it'll feel great to picture myself moving in the right direction again. Heading to the gym now, but words will definitely happen this afternoon. :)

    ReplyDelete

  8. There is certainly practically a full week March Madness of action before the NCAA tournament announces their field on Selection Saturday. But even though that won't happen until Mar 12, March Madness Live it's simple enough to project the four No more. 1 seeds in Walk Madness.

    The four top seeds should be March Madness Live Stream protecting national champion Villanova, North Carolina, Kansas and Gonzaga. Those four have recently been at the top of the rankings and possess also been the selections of bracketologists March Madness Bracket like ESPN's May well Lunardi and March Madness 2017 s Jerry Palm, and it could be a surprise if they didn't emerge at the conclusion of the seminar tournaments that will be held at throughout the week.

    Villanova (28-3, 15-3 Big East) has put together a sensational season after beating New you are able to in last year's March Madness 2017 Live countrywide title game. Head mentor Jay Wright has held his foot on the gas pedal, and the Wildcats have continued to produce on a regular most basic. NCAA March Madness

    Villanova is the No more. 1 seed in the Big East tournament 2017 March Madness , and while that league has regularly produced upsets in the conference tournament, it would be somewhat of a shocker if the Wildcats didn't make it to it game. In the event they face second-seeded Retainer, it could be a good game that should go down to the line because Butler has recently defeated Villanova twice. In case it is any other Big East team, the Wildcats would be a significant favorite.

    ReplyDelete