This week I’ve been wrestling with myself about my creative writing. I just can’t make myself do it, even though I have most afternoons blocked out for it. I’d rather read than write, it’s much more enjoyable and not such hard work.
And it’s reminding me very much of what it must be like for those of you who are freelancers or running a business. You are having to do the day to day work but you are also trying to learn how to market it better online at the same time.
You are having to learn new concepts and new skills, just like me and you have no guarantee that it’s going to work, so it’s hard to find the motivation to do the work.
And one thing’s for sure – if you don’t DO the work the thing doesn’t have a chance of working!
I’m trying to write a novel. I’ve got it planned out and I’m 20,000 words in and I need another 80,000 words. That’s before I even start the edit, another long painful process. I’ve written a pilot for a TV series (and planned the other episodes out) and I’ve got a killer idea for a feature film.
But I just can’t make myself care enough to start to write again.
To actually do the work.
I was on a roll in Australia, I was on fire. But just before I went, I got some very personal feedback from one of my peers and it knocked me back a bit.
I admit it, I let it get to me, in spite of some robust coaching from a mentor along the lines of “Why are you even listening to the opinion of someone that has not yet achieved what you want to achieve?”.
This is the business equivalent of getting all enthusiastic about using Facebook Ads, investing in a course and then throwing some money at it and failing to achieve any leads at all. Then giving up saying “Facebook Ads don’t work”. It’s a big psychological setback that has a sweeping effect.
So how am I going to break this deadlock? How can you break your deadlock when it comes to learning how to market your existing ‘real world’ business online?
The only way is to envisage the positive outcome if we can push through and do the work.
If I can become a science fiction writer with a published book (even if it’s published by me) that is selling on Amazon, I will have fulfilled a lifelong dream.
If you can crack the social media marketing code, you will generate prospects, leads and new customers for your business.
Those things alone should keep us keeping on.
So here are the three things I’m going to do, to make myself start writing again.
- Make a commitment to someone else
I don’t like letting other people down. So I’ve volunteered to submit 1500 words for critique next Wednesday (talk about putting my head back in the lions’ den!).
- Clear a space for it and become conscious
I’ve gone back to my diary and blocked out 2-3 hours every afternoon for writing. I had cleared them all but I’m going to put them back in again. Then, every time I cancel one of those blocks I’ll be very aware of what I’m doing. Letting myself down.
- Just get the file out!
One of the first time-management & productivity coaches I ever met was a Brit called Mark Forster. He used to use a phrase that’s stuck with me ever since, which is to “…just get the file out!”.
He figures if you get the file out, even while telling yourself you are not going to do any actual work, then you are much more likely to take action. I could use that, or tell myself I’ll “just read the last scene I wrote”. Or that I’ll just review my scene list to see what key scenes I need to write next.
I hope you will find these tips for overcoming prevarication useful too. I’ll let you know how I get on next week and I’d love to hear from you too!
#fridaymotivation #fridayfeeling #motivationhacks
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