By Alissa Johnson
It has been the kind of week where you think you're prepared for everything to come, and then WHAM. Everything changes. I'm in a time of transition: Giving back the pets I've cared for since January and getting ready to move, the last time before moving into the house my S.O. (significant other... a stand-in until I can figure out a word I like better) is building.
Transitions can be rocky enough on their own, but this week, I've dealt with some unforeseen circumstances. Turns out I had a VERY hard time letting go of the animals, and the rental we'd lined up became a bit uncertain. In the middle of the upheaval something unexpected happened: Writing became my mainstay.
If you're anything like me, writing is the first thing to go when life gets busy; I have to fight to hold onto it. And yet every day this week I've set a timer for 45 minutes and worked on a short story. I don't question it. I don't procrastinate. I just do it.
The writing itself is keeping me grounded and focused on the bigger picture--helping me stay committed to things like planning workshops and working with clients in between packing up the kitchen and looking at apartments.
That doesn't mean the writing has come easy.
One morning, I couldn't get the revisions to come out the way I wanted. I judged everything, from word choice to sentence structure, and it made me feel itchy in my own skin. Like I might burst... or have an outburst. But I didn't get up. I kept writing, and when the timer went off, my mood had passed and I was engrossed.
WRITING CAN BE A COMFORT WITHOUT BEING COMFORTABLE.
Clients frequently send me updates that include a laundry list of questions that boil down to one idea: I don't think I'm doing this right because it doesn't feel good. Yet the clients who write despite the unease also tell me how much they've accomplished: several new scenes, 2,000 words in a day, or some new understanding of a character.
I believe that when writing feels good, you'll write more and probably write better. But sometimes? Writing doesn't feel good... at least not right away.
It's like going for a walk because you know you'll feel better afterward. You let the end result be your motivation and at some point during the walk, it feels good to be out.
WHEN WRITING FEELS UNCOMFORTABLE, CHANGE YOUR GOAL:
INSTEAD OF TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT, TRY SOMETHING TO SEE HOW IT WORKS.
Movement leads to momentum, and momentum creates progress.