Monday, February 27, 2012

Get Up Off Of That Thang! (And Get Writing)

I've heard it said that when do something for two weeks straight it becomes habit. Whether it's exercise, waking up earlier, writing, two weeks is the magic number.

In the past I've found this to be true. Earlier this year I made a goal of waking up a half hour earlier. And now I can't sleep in past 7:30. I'm a total sleep whore, so this is a miracle. And I'm proud that I wake up early enough to get things done around the house before the kids wake up. (Not that you can do much with a watermelon attached to what used to be your stomach.) This also worked really great when it came to my writing. I know many people say that you should write EVERY DAY, but that's just not feasible for me with three little ones and another on the way. Instead I made a goal of writing down two thousand words a week. This is perfect because then if I only get a couple hundred (and often times ZERO) down, I know that I can make up for it on days when I have more time. Things were going great, I was on a streak. My story was really going somewhere. Then I got sick. And I lost any and all brain functionality to the illness.

Now I'm finding it harder and harder to get back into the groove of things. Once your schedule is shook up in such a way, it's hard to get back into it. It's a lot like getting an injury when you're exercising. One day you're on that treadmill getting to your goal for the day, and then, next thing you know one of your kids throws a toy right at your feet and you end up twisting an ankle. (Yes my children like to do that, and no I have not YET received an injury from it, thankfully). You go to the doctor, you're told to rest. You can't do much of anything. Then, once you're healed, you have to strengthen your injured ankle before getting back to it. You can't just jump right back in and start running however many miles a day again. It takes time. And it's incredibly frustrating to lose all that hard work. That's where I'm at right now. I'm in the recovery stage. I'm strengthening my writing muscles before getting back on that treadmill and doing my weekly miles. At times I feel like I'm making no progress at all, but when you take into account that I wasn't writing at all a few weeks ago, I know I'm doing better.

If any of you are struggling, trying to get back into the writing groove, you're not alone. Keep working. It may be just a few hundred words this week (maybe less), but pretty soon you'll be back on the track you want to be on. Until then, I'll keep exercising my writing muscles.


  1. I totally understand how you feel. For instance, on Friday night, I went home from work with good intentions to edit my WIP. But my body ached for a nap. When push came to shove, I resisted the urge to crawl into my bed for a snooze. What I had to do was turn on my laptop and just edit. I've noticed when I make goals, especially with someone else (ie: my beta and I are going to exchange books in 2 weeks to edit) it seems to push me to do what I have to do. Get her done.
    Mind over matter. Gotta do it so I do it. I pushed myself to edit on Saturday night as well even though I'd have loved to watch some more Downton Abby or hang out with friends.

    We can do this!

    Good luck!

  2. Oh, I know exactly how you feel. I took a few weeks off writing when I was first pregnant because my morning sickness was so bad. It has been so hard getting back into it. I'm just barely getting into the groove again. :)

  3. I'm a born procrastinator. While I should be working on my sequel, I keep returning to other projects. I'm sure when I get my edits next week, I'll have to fight the temptation to work on the sequel. It's a vicious cycle!

  4. Such a good way of looking at it! I'm going to adopt that two week philosophy--I hadn't heard that before, but what a fantastic idea!

  5. Good advice! Although, I've heard that it's longer than two weeks. But, I can't remember for sure. So, I'll go with two weeks. Ha ha.

  6. As you read, I got no writing done last week during the fiasco that was winter break. Now that I have time, I'm happily procrastinating by doing webby things. I need an intervention!!!

  7. Wonderful post. I think we all go through periods like that. My last trimester really messed up my writing schedule, and then having a baby, well, you know! ;) Keep exercising and have a good week.

  8. This is great advice. It's so true, in everything we do. I can attest that the same is true for practicing karate - once you take a break, it's so hard to get back into it. I've felt the same way about writing at times. Now I'm trying to go without large breaks just to keep the momentum going and to cultivate a habit.
    Great post!

  9. I absolutely understand this, and it's something I'm struggling with right now as well.

    Also, I tagged you here! :D

  10. Julia: you resisted a nap? Your will is stronger than mine.

    Chantele: I can never write with morning sickness, it zaps all for your brain power and energy.

    Kaylie: I,too, am a procastintor. It's a daily struggle.

    Meredith: Do it! Even if it doesn't work, you get two weeks of work out of it.

    Brenna: It might be longer than two weeks, I'm not sure...I should look it up.

    Tamara: The interwebz has this funny (NOT) way of helping us avoid what we should be doing. I'm just as guilty of it as the next person.

    Christine: Thanks, I'm going to keep at it. Some days are better than the rest.

    Yelena: I've never taken karate, but it seems very physically demanding.

    Lori: Ah, another tag! JK, thanks for letting me know, I'll stop by and check it out later.