A LONG BREAK
It’s currently the middle of my Spring Break, and besides a killer sunburn on my shoulders I’ve also acquired a bit of self-knowledge: that routine is a super important part of my creative process, and neglecting it 100%, even in the name of fun, is a good way to set myself a looong ways back.
(it’s not for nothing that I’m writing this the day after St. Patrick’s Day)
So if you’re anything like me, I’ve compiled a couple tips to keep yourself writing, or at the very least working, just to keep things going smoothly.
- Know your Weaknesses
And write them down. As you may have realized at this point in your authorial career, writing things down is a good way to help make them a bit more tangible, understandable. Maybe it’s just the time you spend dedicated solely to expressing the thought. So know your triggers! I often find myself jonesing for a ‘whole day off’ after a long work week, but I always know that I feel like crap by the end of those days. So I wrote that down — I try to shoot for ‘nonzero days’ where at least SOMETHING is accomplished, even if all I want to do is stay in bed and watch TV.
2. Know your Strengths
On the other side of that token, know what motivates you, too! I have a Google Doc that’s filled with things I know will pump me up, or at least will prime my system to get pumped up. (NERD ALERT: here’s one such song) People have different triggers, whether it’s going for a walk, listening to aforementioned awesome tunes, or even just watching a motivational video (LESS NERDY ALERT: my favorite is here).
3. Keep Track of your Progress
Put together a little log of things you’ve worked on for the day. Whether it’s a small section of a calendar, a post-it, or a journal you keep for yourself, keeping track of what you’ve been doing is a great way to keep moving. The habit alone of writing things down makes you feel a bit more guilty when trying to skip a day, and all the more accomplished when you do stuff. Plus having a backlog of your successes never hurts, especially when the motivation is running low.
4. Write Every Day
Possibly the most annoying and trite advice in the world, it nevertheless bears repeating. Even if you’re just blocking a couple of minutes out to, say, write a blog post, it goes a long way. I’ve reached my quota for today — have you?