Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zero

The past couple days I have had zero motivation to do much of anything.
A big contribution to this has to do with my period (something I wish was non-existent), but I wonder if I'm doing something wrong.

I posted the other day about committing myself again to writing every day.
Even though I've definitely written something everyday since then, I have written zero words on my novel or any of my current major projects. I think one of my biggest challenges when it comes to writing is that I have to create my own structure. I have to make up my own schedule because there isn't anyone telling me to be at work at any set hour for any set amount of time every day.

So, I've come up with a list of things to help me do better as a writer, because as much as I can slack off I want too badly to do something with my words. I don't want to be a zero, a loser, a wannabe-that-couldn't-hack-it.

1. Plan ahead/to-do lists. When I set out a plan for what I want to accomplish the following day, I tend to actually do it. If I don't plan anything and just sort of leave it up to fate or how I feel, then I tend to sleep in late, have a groggy waking-up, and wander aimlessly around my apartment for most of the day.  I've found that when I write a to-do list the night before, when I wake up I already have a purpose for my day--finish all my goals and check them off the list.

2. Get an early start. I am (or at least used to be) a morning person. I feel good in the morning and I work well in the morning. The only problem is, to me, "morning" means before 8 a.m. I'm learning that as lovely as it sounds to let myself go to bed and then wake up as my body tells me, it just doesn't work for me. I need to set an alarm for a specific time and have a specific goal for what I want to accomplish at that time of day--go for a run, or take a shower, or drink a protein shake. That way, my morning has a purpose and a time frame.

3. Designate a time and place for writing. When I write I have to have space so I can focus. I don't do very well when there are people around expecting me to interact with them--it's too distracting. So, I need to set aside a specific allotment of time for writing in a specific place where I can access my favorite pandora station and pop in my earbuds to block out all potential distractions. This is only complicated by the people who want my attention and whom I want to spend time with.

4. Communicate needs and plans. Jo fully supports my writing endeavors and most all other endeavors. The thing is, I haven't really put any schedule or structure to my writing or my other ventures (like workouts and runs), and so it's gotten me in a big rut of nothingness. Communication is key to...well, everything...but I think communication is the key to success and happiness in all aspects of life (even if I'm not so great at it most of the time).

What do you need to keep motivated and on track?

Write on!


  1. I have to have some sort of goal. I also do better when someone else knows my goal so I feel like I actually have to do it. I participate in writing sprints when ever I find someone willing to join me. They are very motivating.Simply Sarah

  2. These are great tips! Mine are about the same as yours: list of what I need to get down, starting early, communicating plans (I'm not the best at that one but I need to be!!!), and having time set aside for the things I need to do. I also have to give myself some downtime or I don't have enough energy, etc. to do all the things I want to. Good luck, Bud!

  3. Sometimes I need a to-do list with specific goals to get my butt in gear. Other times, I need to take a day off and completely feed my artist's soul ala Julia Cameron style. Sometimes I think I'm just running on empty and the creative tank needs a fueling-- visit a museum, take a hike by the lake or in the mountains, read poetry or listen to music, dance like no one's watching (and let's hope they're not-- my dancing is embarrassing!).