What does it look like when you miss a day of marathon writing your rough draft and need (read: want) to play catch up?
Like a strung out, wannabe lucha libre wrestler hell-bent on proving a point, but also determined to take a break for tacos sometime between rounds three and four.
It was going fine and then it wasn’t. I was making progress and then I wasn’t. Suddenly, I found myself huffing and puffing like a winded, overworked athlete except, once again…I wasn’t.
Just like an athlete, I need to pause and consider that maybe my training regimen isn’t correctly orchestrated.
It’s been two days since I last wrote a chapter. Two days since I last connected with my novel.
I’m doing my best not to feel like a a confused wreck who can’t write a novel, but, for the life of me, I’ve no idea what I’ve done wrong.
I love my outline.
I love my characters.
I love my story!
And yet…two days have gone by without me able to write a single thing.
I’m probably being fickle, I thought unconvinced. I probably just need to sit down and write it TF out.
But what do you do when you’re not sure what to do?
I want to be the kind of writer who enjoys every ounce of the process, not the kind who dreads sitting down to work.
And while there is merit in learning discipline and forcing yourself to show up for your story, there is also a fine line between response and reaction.
Right now, I feel like I’m in reaction mode. My mind is panicking because I’ve not finished my rough draft yet and, in that panic, it’s reacting by guilting me into feeling like a failure.
So today, I’ve decided to take a break. I’m going to give myself the time to come around to my story and will instead, spend my day choosing to respond with reflection.
The trick to responding versus reacting is simple: ignore your emotions and do the logical thing.
It’s hard to shut down your Negative Norman’s guilt train once it gets rolling.
But in this case, I’m feeling particularly befuddled by my absence from writing in the last few days so I’m fortunate: my Norman doesn’t know what or who to blame my shortcomings on!
Hopefully in the next few days I’ll figure out what’s holding me back, but, for now, I’m going to keep showing up to this smackdown until I’ve thrown down my story like this MF, dizzy stumble and all:
REMEMBER: Just Show Up & Watch Magic Happen
Don’t forget to throw yourself a bone of compassion! Remember that if you just show up, day by day, the work will get done.