Monday, June 16, 2008

Maintaining your focus

Summer is here.

For those of us in the northern portion of the US summer is a fleeting moment of warmth in the midst of the cold. It is a time when you need only have a light jacket when you leave the house rather than a full length down coat.

And it is a VERY difficult time to work on a project. You want to be outside. There are weddings, graduation parties, vacations and traveling to do.

For all of you who have kids, you may have to content with constant interruptions in what used to be your quiet time. You must shuffle kids to sporting activities and play dates.

It is a busy time.

I tend to be a huge planner and I even find summer time challenging. I spend the whole school year being "home school mom" and look forward to the summers as a time to simply be Mom.

So what can you do to maintain focus on your writing goals?

1. Decide why you're doing it.
2. Take a break.
3. suck it up!

Yep, those three things are the key to moving forward during the summer. If you've lost sight of why you're killing yourself on this manuscript then take a step back and remind yourself why you started this in the first place. I can't decide that for you, but your goal will determine the amount of work you put in to it.

Next, take a break. I recently realized I'd reached burn out in my writing. For the last year I'd pushed myself to the limit every single day. There was never a day I wasn't either writing, researching, marketing, bidding jobs or editing. One day I just woke up and said ENOUGH!!

I was on the verge of reaching a goal I'd held since I was 6 years old and NOW I didn't want it any more. I was exhausted. I felt like a bad mom. I wanted to put my computer in my closet and say "Well, I tried."

But, since writing is in my blood, I decided instead to back up and do those three things I just listed. I realized I had only been able to carry such a high GPA [3.9 cum] in college while working and getting married was because every Thursday, after work, I didn't do any school work. I spent the evening with friends watching our favorite shows and eating Pizza. Then Friday when I hit the books again, I had energy. Not only that but I had spring break, Christmas break and part of the summer [because I always took summer classes] to relax between terms. I'd push really hard for 10 or 15 weeks, but then I'd take a week or two off [depending on the way the term was laid out].

I encourage you to take the next 10 weeks to push really hard in your writing. I know it's busy, it's busy for all of us, but if not now-when? This fall you'll be getting the kids back to school, then you'll have the holidays, then it will be too cold, then it will be spring, then it will be too warm....

This leads to #3, SUCK IT UP.

That's what I said to myself today. I'm tired. I miss my family. I am busy with the kids. But I have the gift to not only market my writing but to WRITE GREAT STORIES. If I'm not going to get up and do it I should quit playing around.

So what will you do? Are you going to make this thing work or are you going quit?

To make things easier I will only be posting 3-4 days a week on this blog all summer. That will help you have more time to write and apply what you've already learned. It will give me one less excuse NOT to write.

So, as Red Green used to say on his PBS program "I'm pulling for you, we're all in this together."

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

1 comment:

Wanza said...

"So what will you do? Are you going to make this thing work or are you going quit?"

I ask myself this question everyday. I've decide to make it work! Your blog is great. It's my first time here.