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Posts Tagged ‘getting started writing’

Every day we all do many things that are hard, but without a doubt one of the hardest is to make time for a writing session.

Your life is hectic, complicated, challenging, and there’s never time to write.

But what is funny is that even if you have somehow arranged or finagled a way to take time off from work to write, you will still do about anything else before or instead of writing. Am I right?

What is stopping you? Fear of failure, belief that you don’t know enough or aren’t ready?

How about this? You’re smart—you know how hard writing is. Who the heck wants to wade into the snake-filled, deep grass of writing if you can possibly avoid it? Writing goes on and on. You can slap a few words on the screen, but then comes the rewriting and reworking and trying to find some meaning in this ridiculous mess of words. 

So we all avoid it until we’re scared of truly and forever missing a deadline and proving to ourselves that we’re as sniveling as we have always suspected.  And then, maybe, we’ll brave the snake-infested waters. We pull on the boots and wade in.

Does it have to come to this every time? God help us all. We are better than this. I’m tired, even now, as I think of the hordes of procrastinating, perfectionist, sensitive, worried would-be writers, myself included, who are sitting in front of the TV or reading every blog known to man or woman instead of writing.

Enough. 

How can getting started writing and sticking with it be made easier?

You hear that the way to get writing done is to “just do it.” People who routinely make room in their busy days for more commitments may seem to “just do it.”

But ask someone who has added to their busy day a taxing commitment, such as running or swimming or teaching a class or producing text, if they “just do it.”

Or do they have strategies, rituals, and preliminaries that help them get started and get the job done?  When do they write?

My dissertation coaching clients will tell you that what they hear from me is that it is easier to start writing if you have a daily routine and write first thing each morning. The good news is that the more you sit down and write at that time each day, the closer you will be to having a robust writing habit.

Why wait all day and into the evening, with the hope that somehow you will trap yourself into writing? 

Write first.

I would love to hear  from my readers.  What ideas do you have about how to start writing more easily?  Does writing first each day work for you?

All good wishes,

Nancy

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com
www.nancywhichard.com

 

 

 

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Writing can be like rowing a kayak.

This past week-end my husband and I visited long-time friends at their lake house.  In the early evening, when it was a little cooler, they suggested it would be a good time to go out on the water.  I hadn’t really noticed that the only boats available were individual kayaks, and when I realized that I would be alone in a kayak in the middle of the lake, I became more than a little anxious.  My friends equipped me (though not my husband) with a life jacket and pushed me out into the water. I was scared, and I had to talk myself into the moment.  As I think back over it, I could have upended the kayak two inches from shore.  But I didn’t.  However, I was spared by a storm.  We had to get out of the kayaks and make for the house.

The next morning, soon after breakfast, we were back in the kayaks, rowing into the little fingers of the lake, gazing at houses along the shore, hearing my friend’s stories about this neighbor and that neighbor.  We were the only people on the lake, and I was fine.  Well, sort of fine.  I had to beat back my many incredulous head voices who routinely doubt my ability to do much of anything, but I managed to turn down the volume of the head voices, settle myself, and keep rowing. 

One point of my story is that having had 5 minutes in the kayak the night before prepared me for the morning’s rowing.  Those few minutes gave me a good overview of the situation.   I knew how to get into the kayak, and I had evidence to support my belief that I probably wouldn’t tip over.
 
A second and even more important point is that there was no choice.  My friend, the self-confident extrovert to my scaredy-cat introvert, had it all planned.  And it was her routine.  We just settled into it.

And now we’re down to why I think this event might be of interest to you. 

Here it is—if you can’t set up your own routine for writing, hang out with friends who will push you to get going or make it easy to jump in.  Get a friend or a writing buddy or a coach, who will put you into your writing kayak and push you out into the lake.  You don’t have to row around the lake the first time out—just get everything into place and make a few attempts.  Row a bit and tell yourself how well you’re doing.  The next time out, it will be easier. 

Writing and returning to your writing gets easier with each outing.  Don’t expect much from yourself the first time or two or three, but do it first thing in the morning before the heat or other demands slow you down or take over your life.   And continue to put it first.  Writing is hard work, and you need to go at it when you’re at your best.

So much comes back to writing for me.  Many things take courage as well as hard work, but nothing takes more courage and hard work than writing.

Courage!
Nancy
Your International Dissertation Coach
nancy@nancywhichard.com
www.nancywhichard.com

 

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