by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador
*Knocking on microphone* Hello? Anyone there?
I’ve been MIA from this blog for a while. Quite a while. I haven’t touched my WIP for almost 4 months. I’ve lost my way. I could blame it on a lot of legitimate reasons.
My husband had another spinal surgery and my caretaker duties increased during his continued recovery.
I took on a garden plot this spring and summer at the local community garden with some ‘friends’ who quit and left me caring for 1600 square feet of ground that was way too much for me. (More about that in a future post).
Some of my panic disorder symptoms have gotten worse and caused boomerang depression symptoms which may all be related to the menopause symptoms that are closing in fast.
I don’t have a local professional writers group like I did in Oklahoma.
I’ve been letting the time wasters of television and social media whittle away my precious time.
My pain issues are improving, but still get in the way.
I continue to struggle, as so many of us do, with procrastination: that fearful little demon who wears a mask of productivity but in reality is an imp of distraction.
Cue the violins.
These are all, in the end, excuses. Everyone has problems.
I think the greatest obstacle to my writing has been my own inertia.
Inertia – def. A tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged
It’s easier to do the same thing, isn’t it? Whether it’s writing, weight loss, finishing your education, or any other personal goal you might have for yourself, it’s easier mentally and physically to just do the same thing. Because defeating resistance requires effort. Of course, we like to be properly motivated to make an effort. Have all our ducks in a row before we start. Sometimes ‘just do it’ is the proper mantra. When you make the effort the motivation will follow. Because in reality the motivation is already there. It is waiting patiently for an outlet. It’s your choice.
Here’s what I did to help stop the inertia that has been keeping me stuck–
5 Steps To Getting Rid of Inertia:
- Change your physical view – Open your possibilities
I was blessed to be able to get out of my daily routine and travel to Montana to visit my daughter, son, and son-in-law for ten days late this summer. (More details to come in a future post) Being able to enjoy the striking landscapes, peace and quiet, and have space and time to devote to writing gave me a little jumpstart. Thanks to my awesome children, I didn’t have to worry about daily chores, cooking meals, or basically anything other than checking on Keeper Hubby back in the Bluegrass to make sure he was doing okay. And when this is your view when you sit down with your journal and tea in the morning, it’s helpful for inspiration.
Maybe Montana is not your thing, or in your budget at the moment. Try taking yourself on an Artist’s Date as Julia Cameron calls it, to refresh and renew your creativity. Check out my Write Anywhere Adventures page if you need an idea on where to go.
- Get support and inspiration from others
I started attending a memoir writing group at my local library. This is not a professional or critique group. Instead it’s a group of people with a like-minded goal of writing down their life and family stories. We meet twice a month to read one another our short stories. We don’t critique, we instead stand as witnesses and encouragement to the work and stories. These ladies encourage me so much. Many are older than I am, (one is 90 years young!) so I learn a bit of history, as well as get encouraged my their strength, wisdom, and love of life. And it gives me inspiration and accountability to write my stories, too.
3. Write daily
Well, of course, you say. If you write daily, you’ll be writing. True, but sometimes writing something that doesn’t hold a lot of weight (meaning you don’t plan on publishing or revealing it to others) can free you up to find your rhythm for meaningful writing again. I accomplished this by restarting my Morning Pages and using the NaJoWriMo challenge. NaJoWriMo (National Journal Writing Month) is a quarterly challenge to write daily in a journal for one month. NaJoWriMo offers thematic prompts to help you get your habit going. Once I started writing in my journal, structured writing ideas started showing up in the journal writing.
4. Focus on health
If you feel like it’s the blues that are keeping you from doing what you want, check with your doctor. Get a physical and blood work done to make sure you’re not low on Vitamin D, which can affect mood, or other issues found through blood tests. If you feel your blues are long-term and not related to a physical problem, see a mental health professional for advice. I’ve had all my annual check-ups and tests this last month (another upcoming post) and have changed my food choices and movement to help keep depression and anxiety at bay. My evolving healthful lifestyle seems to be helping, and consequently, I’m excited about writing again.
- Face the truth
You know you’re avoiding writing. Be authentic with yourself and examine why. Have life circumstances sucked the creative energy out of you? Are you ‘stuck’ because in truth you are afraid? Afraid of failure? Afraid of success? Afraid of being judged? Burnt out? Out of viable ideas? (Not likely, but sometimes we think so.) You may need to re-examine your writing goals, remove relationships that are stifling you and find others that encourage your goals. Take some quiet time to really think about the ‘why’ of your inertia, so you can take the steps you need to to get past it.
All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail.
– Dorothea Brande
You want a chocolate cupcake. You don’t have any cupcakes in your house. If you really wanted a chocolate cupcake, you’d get one. You might:
Go to the store and buy one.
But what if it’s midnight?
You’d go to a 24-hour Mart.
But what if you didn’t have a car?
You’d call your friend to make a cupcake run.
But what if it was during a blizzard?
You’d search your pantry and gather the ingredients and make one.
What if you didn’t have any ingredients?
You’d find a bakery online and have it sent to you.
My point being, if you really want to do something, there are many roads to accomplishing it.
The true question: How badly do you want a cupcake?
How badly do you want to accomplish your writing goals?
Don’t let anyone or anything sway you from your writing. Especially yourself.
Want more motivation? Check out Wil Wheaton’s post Seven Things I Did To Reboot My Life.