A while back I decided I needed to lose some weight. I stepped on the scale the next morning and took note of where I was at. The next morning I did the same thing. I carefully followed my ritual every morning for a full year, fully expecting to see a change in the numbers. I did manage to wear two perfect footprints into the rubber pad, but alas, I did not lose a single ounce.
The other routine I followed religiously was that I continued to eat all my favourite foods, especially my hot buttered popcorn and potato chips. Yet I kept hoping that I would see a new mark on the scale. What is the definition of insanity? Doing something the same way repeatedly and expecting different results every time? If I expected to see a change, then my routine needed to change.
So it is with writing. If we are not progressing, something needs to change. The same old routine is not going to magically produce results. I would love to wake up a writer with a published book and several more writing credits to my name but I have discovered it’s not enough to think, talk, and dream about being a writer. Strong desire does not equal amazing results. It’s not enough to ‘weigh in’ every morning and see if I have magically written anything in my sleep. Something has to change. Something needs to be sacrificed.
My writing strategy this past year was to write first and THEN check my email and facebook. It worked. I was able to have many non-fiction pieces published. Funny how just that one little sacrifice had to be made. My writing plan for this year is to give up that first golden hour after supper – from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. when the couch is calling after a day at work. I have started this routine and have discovered that once I get writing it is often 8:30 or 9:00 before I need a break. I am also part of a small facebook writing group. We write for 30 days and then choose our best rough work and send it out to each other for editing. We have had a few stalls but we’re still going and I find I am motivated to write just knowing that they will be waiting to see a piece.
These days when I weigh in my writing, and on the scale too (the popcorn machine doesn’t come out as often) I am seeing a new balance with more credits to my name.
What are you willing to give up to see change?