Ever think about writing a novel, but find yourself getting stuck before you even start? The sheer magnitude of huge tasks like writing an entire novel seems daunting, almost impossible when you think about what you are facing. 50,000 words. That’s a lot (or at least it seems that way when you look at the entire task).
That’s where #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) comes in. It’s like a giant kick in the ass to get it in gear.
Because when you think about it, writing a 50,000 word novel works out to about 1,667 words a day (for the month of November). That’s like three shortish blog posts (plus a smidge). That seems doable. It will take some commitment and focus, but doable.
Or you could think about how long it takes you to write that amount. For me, a shortish blog post takes about 30 minutes. Multiply that by 3 (and a bit) and I am committing myself to about an hour and a half a day of focused writing time. Again, it would take a bit of schedule shuffling, but doable.
And really, it’s only for a month. That’s not a huge amount of time to commit yourself to this project.
These (and others) are the types of mental games we sometimes need to play with ourselves to overcome our self-doubts, our love of procrastination, our willingness to put everything (and everyone) before our creative pursuits.
7 Ways to Kick Your Creative Ass Into Gear
#1: Jump Onboard — Join a group, a campaign, a movement and use the group momentum to power your own creativity. Caution: choose your group wisely as sometimes the camaraderie of the group can prove more distracting than your own procrastination.
#2: Break It Down — Don’t think of it as this giant looming goal, but a series of steps that you need to take (daily) in order to achieve your ultimate goal. You have to hand it to those elephant eaters, they know a thing or two about breaking a large task down to size.
#3: Share Your Goals — Use the power of social media (and peer pressure) to keep you on track. Fitness apps that allow you to share your progress with your social circles prove that peer pressure works.
#4: Plan Your Success Strategy — Don’t just say you are going to do something and hope that it will just magically happen. Set your goal and then map out step-by-step exactly how you are going to go about doing it. Remember to attach deadlines to key milestones along the way.
#5 Support Your Success — Prepare all the tools you need to be successful at your creative project. That may mean clearing your desk of clutter or finding whatever inspirational materials you require beforehand.
#6: Get Down to Work — Don’t give procrastination a chance to take over your creative time. Instead, focus on getting on task as quickly as possible (before those tempting distraction threaten to take over).
#7: Forgive and Refocus — If you find yourself giving in to temptation, don’t turn that into a reason to sabotage your entire process. Chalk it up as an “Oops!” and carry on with your original plan!