Please Kill Me,
*Overtly racist Irish voice*
“Top of the Morning to ya'”.
That was awesome, but I now feel somewhat unclean. Being that I’m American, there may be way too much xenophobia permeating through our country for me to make ,(what I swear to you is nothing more than ) light-hearted jokes. So to the great people of Ireland – #nooffense (#PattyO’Sorry). Now, that I’ve effectively alienated an entire group of people let’s begin.
Push, ( Not the one based on the novel by Sapphire). It always comes to this point. When you’re in the thick of your creativity and things have begun to plateau on your recent level of progress. It’s frustrating, to say the least, though I after some time dealing with the repetition it becomes anticipatory.
This moment is less a call to action, and more of a test of your own consistency. A huge part of any long-term goal is actually being present , during the interim of successes. The constant work is what drives the elusive feat of a satisfying victory. Lack of knowing that fact is often what discourages people, and can even lead to them to abandoning a goal altogether.The mistakes here are simple-
1.) Never undervalue any progress (no matter how seemingly small). When you do that you’re teaching yourself to ignore the positives in an otherwise laborious field.
2.) Do NOT mistake the absence of a success, as failure. This a long job. There WILL be empty periods between publications, contracts, jobs, offers, contests, etc. Just because your phone isn’t ringing off the hook , doesn’t mean that things aren’t moving forward. Learn to be patient.
Sidenote – To combat the downtime, find a hobby. It can be something that compliments what you want to do, or not. The goal here is not to double down – it’s to give you a place to have peace of mind when you’re feeling anxious. (Just try to make sure it’s not heroin #ForObviousReasons.)
Moving on. If you find yourself hitting this point -where things are moving kind of slow, and you’re motivated, yet the drive seems to be dwindling – rest assured that this is a normal point,(unless you’ve just started, in which case, you need to work on your patience). No one can be super motivated and hyped up about anything from sunrise to sunset (and probably sunrise again). Besides, we all know at least one person that seems that way – and most of the time people unanimously hate that person (fuck you, Greg). So, it’s better to deal with your rising displeasure – with structure.
Yea, yea – I’m being an old man again and throwing in my support for structure. Hear me out – even if you have a wild writing style (where the spirits take you , and you do that weird “seizure in church thing”) no one is perpetually inspired. So, as a contingency to the moments where you aren’t, and also to combat the writer’s plateau – set a daily goal for yourself.
This doesn’t have to be anything ridiculous. Keep it simple 1,000 words a day (or whatever your daily cap is) – no matter what. If you have the drive, GREAT! – however when you don’t – you’ll still have trained yourself to get at least those 1,000 words down. Doing this shifts your brains focus – from the need for gratification to satisfying a ritual. So now, you’re complacency, has no need to latch on to your doubt – and your craft can skate freely.
Little tricks like this keep us going when we may not feel like we juice to get it done. The basic point is re-train yourself to see your craft -not as a mission to be completed – but as something that is simply a daily part of your routine; no different than eating or sleeping.
So push DAMN IT , PUSH!!!!!
See, that wasn’t so hard.