Last week, I realized some stuff:
1) I’m not yet boss enough in the frozen desserts category to successfully create the ice cream cake of my dreams (thought it’d be a walk in cake park…turned out to be a sprint through frozen cake hell),
2) I’m so fearful that my novel (read:I) will be considered a silly waste of time that I’ll let damn near anything come between me and a few good hours per day of writing time (that includes picking up yet another DIY cat tree project and deciding that, this week and this week only, I must learn origami), and
3) Most importantly, if I keep letting setbacks and fear cloud my thoughts, I’ll never figure out how to make that bomb ass ice cream cake or write the fantastical book I have roaring inside of me like a gasoline fueled bonfire.
Just when I think I’ve learned my lesson in gung-ho enthusiasm, I realize all I’ve really learned is to call the beast by its name.
Unfortunately, learning what your setback is and having the awareness to call it out doesn’t alleviate the issue, it only labels it.
While I learned in the last few weeks that my fear of failure (or even, sometimes, success) is a very stunting emotion, I hadn’t really taken the time to unpack the emotion enough to understand why I buy into it and what I can do to combat it.
So instead of making lengthy headway with my rough draft, I fell back into my least favorite bad habit that stems directly from my innate sense of fear: avoidance.
Instead of buckling down with the work I knew I should be doing, I spent a lot of last week choosing everything else to come between me and my rough draft.
This week, I’m saying ‘fooey’ to my distractions and saying ‘hello, beautiful’ to my ambitions!
It’s hard, you guys; it’s fucking hard to show up for your hopes and dreams everyday when you don’t see any reward for your efforts aside from a nicely compiled computer document and a few hand-sketched notes.
When your hopes and dreams take as long to manifest as a novel, and that novel is as imaginative as your lifelong mental sidekick, Norman, you really have to pay attention to how you think about your goals in relation to your own fulfillment.
If you don’t pay attention to how you’re processing the responsibility of writing (which is exactly what it is, a MF responsibility; to your story, to your readers, to yourself for showing up), if you don’t listen to your internal rhetoric and support your pursuits, then you, like me, may find yourself creating obstacles in order to avoid your ambitions.
So this week, I’m yet again striving for rough draft glory, but this time I’ll be going into it with a plan to knock out my habit of avoidance, once and for all.
The name of the game is Speed-Write Sprint-Off Rewardsand it looks a little something like this…
I know, I know; I know what you’re thinking: “but Tiffany, didn’t you try to speed-write your rough draft last week only to have your Norman convince you to avoid it with DIY cat stands and origami that you inevitably folded all normal-like because you aren’t patient enough to fold 365 pieces of little papers into 365 pieces of little paper swans?”
And you would be right.
I am, in fact, too impatient to fold more than one small piece of paper into what came out resembling more of an origami blob than a swan.
HOWEVER, I did take the time over the weekend to come up with a new masterplan that I think is going to pan out real nice!
I call it, Speed-Write Sprint-Off Rewards and the goal is to sprint through each chapter in 30-minute sessions, getting at least 10-12 chapters completed by the end of the day (which would get my rough draft up to chapter 18-20), and then reward myself in ways that feel impactful for me.
Speed-Write Sprint-Off Rewards have their perks…
Instead of setting specific goals and rules for myself like last week (because my distaste for authority apparently also includes any orders that come from myself, for myself) without any vision for gains once accomplished, I’ll be setting rewards specifically for when said goals are reached.
Good twist, right?! I’m thinking things through, yea?
Behold! The rewards:
1. FINISHED ROUGH DRAFT IN 2 DAYS
Can you imagine?! What a reward in and of itself!
2. HIKE TO PLAYA LAS ANIMAS
Check out my instagram to find the photo of Las Animas…should be easy enough, it’s gorgeous!
3. A NEW NOTEBOOK JUST FOR SNOWE
Since I’m not that far into Snowe Storms, I haven’t bothered to get a notebook especially for it. That’ll change in the next few days when I complete this draft!
How do you treat yourself when you meet your goals?
I tend to torture myself rather than love myself; it’s a nasty habit. Instead of giving myself kudos for completing a goal, I tend to buckle down and move on to the next one.
In an effort to change that for the better, I’m going to continue setting rewards for myself instead of ignoring my accomplishments by immediately setting up my next rack of ambitions.
How do you treat yourself after a minor victory in goal getting?