Category Archives: On writing

Lessons from the Lowitt Trail

I come from a long tradition of writers whose creativity seems to depend on movement. Long walks clear my mind, creating space for the seeds of stories to grow unchoked by the weeds of surface worry. Running cuts through my self-doubt and overthinking. Yoga feeds my intuition and cultivates mindfulness and self-acceptance. These are key qualities of mind to induce states of flow. I lean particularly on lessons learned in yoga while in revision mode. Hiking and/or backpacking cultivate the resilience to trust in the messy process. In late July, I backpacked around Mount St. Helen’s, along the Lowitt Trail,  with two friends. The trail offered several physical and mental challenges, plus some nuggets of wisdom that I carried home with me to use when I returned to the page. Let me try to break them down here in a few key aphorisms. 

In this moment, there is peace.

No matter how hard I try to avoid it through careful preparation, I always seem to pack heavy. This was a topic discussed often on the trail as other hikers seemingly sped by us with comparatively petite backpacks. We asked each other: What would you leave behind to have a lighter pack? Answers were–not much. So, our packs were heavy. Except for the first overcast morning, the sun shone fiercely. We spent four days and three nights on the trail. At times the trail seemed to be a mere scratch on a cliffside, the ground just shifting sands underfoot. We trekked up and down many rock gullies. Three of these were so steep that they required ropes to navigate the trail. In a couple of places, the trail seemed to disappear before our eyes as we walked across boulder fields that stretched on and on into the distance. We scrambled our way from trail marker to trail marker, following the dusty footprints or cairns left behind by hikers before us. So much of the trail was exposed that you could see the routes ahead for miles. But here’s the thing: there is a lot of discomfort that comes with thinking about those miles ahead. Just as there is discomfort in thinking of how much further you need to go on your journey to finish your book, or to publication. For the most part, worrying too much about the future makes everything harder. During rest stops, I would pull out my map and think about the road ahead, but when we got to walking again, I tried to stay in the moment. I literally counted the number one to myself over and over to myself at times as a reminder. In this moment, there is a three-headed tigerlily proudly lit by the sun. In this moment, the lavender lupine carpet spreads out along the base of the hills and along the trails. In this moment, I can turn and see any of three mountains and feel a rewarding breeze at the top of a hill. 

In writing, there is the ritual of the warmup. I feed and walk my two dogs, do a moving meditation, and prepare the sacred coffee. There is the feel of the keyboard under your fingertips, the sound they make when you get going. The pause of thinking, too. There is the moment of the story unfolding in your imagination. The stall when you get to a sticky part. The breakthrough. It’s counterproductive to the work in these moments to think too much about the miles ahead. Doing so has been known to sabotage an entire writing session. If I’m honest? It’s enough to do in a whole week of them. 

India paintbrush flowers on the hillside at sunrise

Turn up your senses.

The mind wants to worry about the future (or to rehash the past). On the trail, this becomes strikingly tedious. There is so much more joy to be had in turning up the senses. Notice the bright red miniature strawberries along the trail. Then bend over to pick and eat one. Identify plants and trees. Take in the panorama of trees, sky, and earth. Listen for birds, the sound of flowing water, the voices of other hikers approaching, who might have intel on upcoming water sources. 

The days were long. The water sources were sparse. Our bodies were more tired and sore each day. Our feet hurt, then blistered. But what do I really remember when I look back on all that? The moments, when I had my senses turned up to the volume of awe. Every night we sat under an open sky, trying to name all the constellations we could remember knowing. That is the sort of thing we need to do as writers: turn up our senses in the spirit of constructing our stories so that the places, characters, and scenes come alive in our imaginations. 

Lupine flower blanket and Spirit Lake

Take care of others.

I know some people who like to hike alone. I’m not one of those people. When we stopped for water, we stood in a line so we could remove each other’s water bottles from the sides of our packs. At one point, my shoe was untied, and my friend said, here, put your foot up on my knee so I can tie it for you. We told each other stories. We pointed out what we saw along the way. We all paused when one of us needed a break. We shared snacks, sunblock, and moleskin. The end of every day was spent sitting in our camp chairs, sharing a meal, and laughing. Well, except for the night when we were too tired and possibly dehydrated to eat. But even that night, we laughed. 

It can be the same way in writing. You certainly can go it alone, and I suppose that’s a quicker way to dig into the deep dark shadows of your soul if that is what you are after. As for me, I am looking to connect to others through my writing and along my journey. This means cultivating friendships with other writers, taking time to read other people’s work and give feedback, offering encouragement, writing a blog to inspire other writers, being a part of a writing group or community, and reading and reviewing other writers’ work. It’s taken me some time to see that this part is at least as important as the writing itself. 

hiker helping hiker tie shoes

I’m taking August off from actively writing forward with my novel, focusing on rest and renewal. I’m gathering all the strength and commitment I will need to get back to my desk at 4 AM on school day mornings through the coming school year. I’m proud of myself for writing through June and July, and also for having the sense to take August off. It hasn’t even been two weeks, and I already feel the benefit of the pause. When I return to my characters again in September, I will be more present for them because I took the rest I needed to. The need for a rest may also have been inspired by the incredible effort it took to make my way all the way around Mount St. Helen’s in four days. And you bet your ass you would have heard the three of us singing that familiar refrain “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes” when we got there. 

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?  Find free resources and information here.

Some past posts to keep you making time: 

Adjust your pace accordingly.

It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine

There are things you will have to give up

See it to achieve it

Washing the dishes

Write slowly

A celebration of the pause

Monday, a run through the driving rain

Zen accident

Get out of your comfort zone

Additional Inspiration: The Washington Trails Association pairs a few hikes with poetry!

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ocean waves

Putting goals in their place. A creativity paradox.

I am a firm believer in goals, as S.M.A.R.T as you can make them. Check out my 2022 Writing Plan document and file/make a copy for yourself while you’re at it. This document should be proof enough that I root for team have a specific plan and write it down

And.

I believe that when you sit down to write you should kindly ask your goals to go for a walk and get some air. 

When you sit down to write, you want to enter a flow. You want to be patient and stay in the moment. Future-tripping about whether you are going to meet your word count or deadline is going to hurt your writing. You will let things through that you know could be better just because you want to finish.  

When you sit down to write, you need patience and presence. You need to climb into the sentence, the scene, the place and be there: hear it, see it, smell it, feel it, taste it. Then, you need to sit back, read it out loud and ask yourself–In what ways does this scene develop my story? My character? What parts of this scene does neither of those things? 

Then, cut, cut, cut. 

You can’t also be thinking about your word count goal or deadline. That efficiency mindset will stifle your voice. Isn’t telling stories that matter to you in your voice the reason you wake up at the crack of dawn or write during your lunch break? 

Here are some things I do to keep my goals out of my writing time. 

Mood matters. 

For me right now that means I have an electric blanket on my lap. I’ve meditated, said my prayers, lit a candle. Even before that, I have a designated space where I know I will work. I have visual inspiration and affirmations posted everywhere. I have lists to keep me focused and to remember good habits. For instance, I have a post-it note with a no symbol (circle/slash) through it. Email is productivity straight up. Send it walking too. 

Sit for the time. 

Once you sit to write, do not get up for anything that isn’t a true emergency. So, basically unless there is a fire or you might pee your pants. I use a Pomodoro timer to keep me single focused in twenty five minute chunks. If a thought pops up screaming to be addressed now, I write it on a post-it and promise to take care of it after I write. 

Connect. 

Talk to other writers about your process. Listen to what works for them. Read craft books. Join a writing community or group. This will build your identity as a writer. The more you truly see yourself as a writer, the easier it will be to honor the time. 

Have a schedule. 

You can’t sit for time you have not scheduled. 

Practice.

It may never go perfectly. You might have five minutes of flow or fifty. Doesn’t matter. Keep showing up. 

I am here with you, showing up for the time. My light sees your light. We’ve got this. 

Let’s Make Time, 2022. 

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?

 Find free resources and information here.

Some past posts to keep you making time: 

Adjust your pace accordingly.

It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine

There are things you will have to give up

See it to achieve it

Washing the dishes

Write slowly

A celebration of the pause

Monday, a run through the driving rain

Zen accident

Get out of your comfort zone

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!

The Weekly! October 4-10 2021

My current goals

I am so close to wrapping up the first draft of the novel I am working on now. Let’s see…can I elevator pitch it yet?

Three women who were close in college are all at points in their lives when they need to take charge of their own stories and make some changes. They see each other through social media, which is a false and isolating view. Through their stories, we see how it might be possible to subvert the passage of time and bridge distance to restore friendship.

That’ll have to do for now. I haven’t even finished the damn book. My goal right now is to finish by the end of October, then spend National Novel Writing Month working on a new short story collection and submissions. I know, it’s not the program. It’s been a lot of years since I followed directions in November. My goal will be two new stories per week and six submissions. This blog update is forcing me to pin that down.

The routine

So far, fall writing has gone well for me. I’m up at 4 am, in bed by 8 pm. There are sacrifices I have to make in doing that, such as less time in the evening and just less free time in general. While the siren song of more leisure time on weekdays does call me at times, I keep reminding myself that this is a choice I am making so that I can pursue my passion. Other people sometimes say to me they don’t know how I do all the things I do, i.e. how I work as a teacher and still have time to write, take yoga classes, and go to the gym. It’s not magic. It’s a schedule, discipline, and a lot of sacrifices.

It helps that I am no longer drinking. Wine is a major time-suck, plus it mucks up your mood and energy. I’m on my second read-through of Quit Like A Woman, a book that finally spoke to me in a way that felt true to me about alcohol.

Last tidbits on how I’m making time

Sometime early pandemic, I found a new writer’s group online. That group is working well for me. It is one of times I am happy to Zoom these days. That group, guitar lessons, and an occasional “coffee date” or tarot reading with a friend.

My goal this week is 5000 wc, write two blog entries, submit three stories.

As for the blog posts, I’m hoping to shake things up a bit here. I’ve got years of posts motivating you to make time and I will keep talking about that, for sure. I’m also going to be posting more creative non-fiction this year as a themed experiment of mine. I’ve got themes lined out for every month, and I hope to post once per week. What’s the October theme? Stay tuned…

Want more inspiration?

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?

 Find free resources and information here.

Some past posts to keep you making time: 

Adjust your pace accordingly.

It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine

There are things you will have to give up

See it to achieve it

Washing the dishes

Write slowly

A celebration of the pause

Monday, a run through the driving rain

Zen accident

Get out of your comfort zone

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!

In case you need a reminder to keep going. I know I do.

I’m 25, 000 words into my novel, and I’m stuck. Worse yet, self-doubt is finding it’s way in despite the traps I’ve laid to catch it and snuff it out before it can take root. It’s the usual shit that can creep in during a first draft. Is there even a plot here? How will this all even come together? No one but you is going to find these people at all interesting. This is going nowhere. Why even waste your time? There are so many better books out there already. Stop embarrassing yourself. 

So, this morning I am reminding myself and you that the first draft is simple about persistence and pushing through all of this bullshit designed to stop you. Simply trust that whatever needs to be fixed can be fixed later. Do your best right now to get your characters from beginning to end. Stay connected and committed to the story you felt compelled to tell and, for now, don’t worry too much about the future. 

I am reminding us both. Now, go set a timer and get some words on the page. Today and tomorrow you may feel like you are crawling one word at a time through enemy territory, but you’ve got to focus on the words and keep going. 

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?
Find free resources and information here.
Some past posts to keep you making time: 
Adjust your pace accordingly.
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
See it to achieve it
Washing the dishes
Write slowly
A celebration of the pause
Monday, a run through the driving rain
Zen accident
Get out of your comfort zone

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!
woman at race finish line

Adjust your pace accordingly

A lesson that has been coming up for me again and again in various aspects of my life is the importance of paying attention and adjusting my pace accordingly. I’ve had some runs of late where I start to feel low on gas mid-run. As soon as that happens my mind starts to tell the story about why I’m too tired to run the full route. Maybe I didn’t eat enough or I didn’t sleep enough or whatever explanation my imagination can find for why that original feeling of low-energy means the run is over, I may as well start walking now. Here’s what I’ve started doing in those moments. I keep running, but I slow the pace and listen. I let go of my sense of urgency and expectation. Just about every time I do this,  I find my stride again.

I’m writing this to remind both of us that the same is true for writing. Lately I feel like I’m moving slow motion through molasses to even get a paragraph written. The longer this goes on, the longer my list of ideas and projects get. When this happens writing starts to feel like a chore that never gets done. Something responsibility that you have, but you have no time to do it in. I’m reminding both of us that writing is a choice and YOU get to set the pace. I heard a trainer say to someone at the gym the other day “you are not running a race” to get them to slow down the pace of each lift. 

This is true for writing too. You are not running a race. Be happy with a paragraph is that is what you get. It will be your bridge to the next sixth paragraphs tomorrow. 

If you’re like me, you drum up this sense of urgency. This desperate need to finish the book. For me, it’s about outrunning death, about meeting some imaginary timeline by which I should have accomplished such and such, but mostly about wanting to get through the difficult parts of writing as soon as possible. 

Here’s what I’ve noticed, though. When I slow my pace and listen? The work opens up. The writing is better. 

The picture I’m posting along with this blog entry is a photo of me at mile 26 of the first marathon I ever ran (2005). You might be thinking, but wait that doesn’t fit at all with your “you’re not running a race” analogy?! My only goal in that race was to finish with dignity. Endurance was the ultimate goal. Adjusting my pace is how I finished that race.

You are doing many other things while also trying to write and all of these things will impact your focus and energy. Adjust your pace accordingly. That will allow you to write through even the tough times, so that when your energy begins to flow again, you will be poised, warmed up, and ready.

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?
Find free resources and information here.
Some past posts to keep you making time: 
Adjust your pace accordingly.
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
See it to achieve it
Washing the dishes
Write slowly
A celebration of the pause
Monday, a run through the driving rain
Zen accident
Get out of your comfort zone

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!

It’s all about the routine–and how you shake up the routine

It is about making a schedule and sticking to it. It’s about getting up before everyone else and setting aside all distractions to get to work. It’s about stopping at the coffee shop on your way home and claiming those two hours before you go home to your family, really claiming them. Not taking texts during that time. Deep-diving into that single focus during the time you have set aside for you and your work. It is about that. And yet, you will feel impatience because that time goes faster than you think and that goal you made is taking longer than you thought. When you feel that impatience coming on, you might be tempted to throw up your hands in defeat and take up binge-watching as a more suitable hobby for you. Why not shake up the routine instead?

Here are some ways to do that:

  • Set your alarm for fifteen minutes earlier than you already do.
  • Take one weekend and drop everything from your schedule except writing. Turn off your phone, and dive into a virtual retreat. Don’t make coffee dates, skip the Saturday appointment at the gym. Just for one weekend–single focus. Try this once a month if you are feeling particularly motivated toward progress. Here is a link to my virtual retreat form to help you get your goals lined up for this weekend. More forms available on my coaching page.
  • Make easy meals or do a family fend-for-yourself week and write during the dinner hour. 
  • Write during your lunch hour every day for a week. Reward yourself for your commitment at the end of the week. Plan the reward in advance and follow through with it. 
  • Try using audio memos to talk through your ideas when out walking or doing housework. Yes, you will look like you’re talking to yourself, because you will be talking to yourself. Own your crazy. 
  • What ideas do you have? I want to know. This list is for me as much as it is for you. 

Happy writing this week, my writer friends! 

Oh, and here’s a free Pomodoro timer to keep you honest. When you hit that timer, do just that one thing. Ah, ah, ah–put that phone down. Just that one thing. 

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?
Find free resources and information here.
Some past posts to keep you making time: 
Adjust your pace accordingly.
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
See it to achieve it
Washing the dishes
Write slowly
A celebration of the pause
Monday, a run through the driving rain
Zen accident
Get out of your comfort zone

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!
Lake in the Olympics

There are things you will have to give up.

I’m assuming you are like me, trying to write while also working full time. Like me, you may have a family and hobbies that keep you happy and sane. A big part of your work as a writer is how to make time when there isn’t all that much excess time to start with. I am constantly making little shifts to carve out time to write. Over many years of trial and error, I have found that morning is my best time of day (fresh, open mind). Lately, my routine has been to wake up at 4:30 on weekdays to make coffee, walk the dogs, and write until it’s time to get ready for my workday. This usually yields me anywhere between an hour or two hours of writing time each weekday. 

Out of a constant negotiation for an equitable distribution of duties, my husband has been walking the dogs on weekends, while I sleep in a little longer. Well, guess what? I have been trying unsuccessfully to add more writing time to my weekends for months. Then, the obvious solution dawned on me. 

I negotiated for morning dog walking responsibility every day and won. Truth be told, he was happy to hand that job over. He’s less of a morning person than I am anyway. All for the best. 

When I told my son about this he asked, “But won’t you miss sleeping in?” 

The answer: No, not if I kept it framed in my mind as a choice I made. I get to get up early so that I can get some writing time. So, recently, I have given up sleeping in to make time, but that’s just the start of the things I’ve given up. Here’s some others: 

  • regularly watching TV or movies
  • phone games
  • scrolling social media
  • surfing the web
  • reading the news except in three minute digests

There are things you will have to give up. And, there are also practices that build your focus, concentration, and ability to believe in yourself even when the struggle is real. Like what, you ask? Like meditation, yoga, long walks–mindfulness practices that increase your ability to sit and just be in the moment, which is a lot like being in a scene of fiction in your imagination and trying to write through it. Writing guru Natalie Goldberg is a good source if you’re looking to zen up your writing practice.

If you are a woman, you will have to fight against a culture that has taught you that you are responsible for keeping everything together, that whatever needs to be done is yours to do. This one is the most difficult for me and is why morning is my best time for writing. I am the only one awake, so there is no one and nothing else to tend to. 

There are things you will have to give up, but if you’re like me, it’s an obvious choice. You’ve worked too long and too hard to give in to distraction and entertainment now.  This craft is the foundation you are built on. 

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?
Find free resources and information here.
Some past posts to keep you making time: 
Adjust your pace accordingly.
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
See it to achieve it
Washing the dishes
Write slowly
A celebration of the pause
Monday, a run through the driving rain
Zen accident
Get out of your comfort zone

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!
close up of an eye

See it, to achieve it.

Dear Writer Friends, 

So, you are making the time. You are sitting down at your desk, bichoktam. You are doing the work. You honor your writing time and do what it takes to minimize distractions, whether that’s a focus app or a set morning ritual, or if you’re me–both. The war on your attention is real, and you are not a mere victim in that. Your monkey mind gets you all the time. It’s a practice and you will have good days and less good days, but you are keeping at it. 

This week I want you to focus on putting some energy into what your long term goal is, to really visualize it, because when we take the time to visualize what we want, we are more likely to believe it is possible for us. When we believe, we take the steps to make it happen with more confidence. So, right now, write down a goal you have for your writing within a specific time frame–three months? A year? Your choice. Now, close your eyes and picture the scenario. Don’t brush past it. Flash out all the detail just like you would in an important scene of your story. Set a timer for two minutes and stay in that visual. 

Go to this awesome web tool and write yourself an email set for an intermittent time between now and your goal. In the email, describe your goal in all it’s detail and remind yourself that it’s okay if you’ve gotten off track, but you are writing to remind yourself what it is you want. Remind yourself that getting off track is part of the process. 

Print the email you wrote yourself before sending, and tuck it away somewhere so you can pull it out as a reminder anytime you need it. Return to your visualization as often as needed to fend off self-doubt and bolster your confidence. 

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?
Find free resources and information here.
Some past posts to keep you making time: 
Adjust your pace accordingly.
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
See it to achieve it
Washing the dishes
Write slowly
A celebration of the pause
Monday, a run through the driving rain
Zen accident
Get out of your comfort zone

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!

Commit, and slay those focus vampire habits!

Dear writer friend, 

Last week I paid attention to the amount of time I spend thinking about getting started writing during the time I’ve committed to writing. It’s a lot. If I were to watch myself live, I would be yelling at myself, “What are you even doing?! Get to work already.” I can’t use the excuse that I need to warm up. I already get up and feed the dogs, make coffee, meditate for five minutes, walk the dogs, and read a few poems. And…yet…I caught myself checking my phone, my email, my Facebook–”real quick”. It was not real quick and also doing those kinds of things gets you out of the mood for writing and amps up anxiety. So, I made some changes once I noticed this focus vampire of a habit. 

Commit to doing the work

My challenge to you this week is to commit to the work. When you sit down to write, don’t do anything else “real quick”. I mean it. If you have to, stare at the wall and watch your breath for a few breaths before you get started, but don’t check your email and don’t pick up your phone. 

Don’t do anything that is not on your writing list for the day. For me that’s read a few poems while I sip my coffee, then write for at least three twenty-five minute sessions (5 minute break in between to free write about what I’m working on), then submit three pieces of work for publication.

That’s what writing looks like for me on a typical day right now. This may change and that’s okay because I have a notebook where I write down my goals for every writing session. 

Tip: I open the timer app I will use for writing in a separate browser before I go to bed at night, so that I do not open a browser and see my email sitting there. Have no other tabs open. Just the timer. I use Tomato Timers.

Reward yourself

Focused and finished? Send a brag text to your writing accountability partner(s) and allow yourself a little time to play in your email or social media. You should set a timer for your play time too. I’m sure there are some other goals on your list today! 

You don’t need to decide every morning whether or not to get started writing. Commit right now. 

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?
Find free resources and information here.
Some past posts to keep you making time: 
Adjust your pace accordingly.
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
See it to achieve it
Washing the dishes
Write slowly
A celebration of the pause
Monday, a run through the driving rain
Zen accident
Get out of your comfort zone

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!
cup on desk with writing plan

Happy new year, writer friends! How are you making time in 2021?

 

Purpose.

It’s been a pandemic since I last wrote here. I started this blog as a way for me to crystalize my own craft insights and to inspire others who have a story they long to tell but who do not yet believe in themselves enough to Make Time. I am proud of all that I’ve gathered here and I often look back to remind myself of my own insights and practices when I get off track or caught up in the internal interferences of doubt, gloom, or indecision. I’ve been working away at this practice for more than thirty years now ,and I’m pretty happy with where I’ve come in my practice, but it has taken time. It has taken persistence. It has taken the willingness to constantly interrogate fear and doubt. I have been buoyed by other practices, such as yoga, running, and meditation. I have learned and borrowed from many other writers to find the things that will work for me. I have built a network of writer friends who I support and who support me. 

 

Not all of the grand ideas others suggest will work for you, and that’s okay. You are perfect just the way you are. Keep choreographing your own dance.  

 

This will never be a blog focused on how to write the next bestseller and market it. This is a blog about how to make time for the open-hearted work that is writing, persisting in finding your voice, having the courage to take risks when you feel compelled to, and cultivating joy in your creative process. I’ve been posting here for at least fifteen years, and as we move into 2021, I hope to continue to inspire other writers to join me in this work. 

 

Practice.

What works for me right now is to keep a planner and honor that plan. I am currently in love Passion Planner. Scheduling specific time to write and honoring that allows me to enjoy the time I’ve carved out and set the work aside during other times. In the past, I’ve struggled with procrastination and the work of writing always looming over me as a thing I should be doing. That never resonated with how I actually feel about the work. It’s not a looming responsibility. It’s a joy and a passion. I use a Pomodoro app (this one) to single-task. I use this app for writing, editing, the submissions process, and most recently practicing guitar. Committing to do just one thing, to push forward in my work for twenty-five minute intervals increases my productivity times four, at least. I participate in a writer’s group, even when the feedback I am getting is inconvenient for my desire to finish the work. Especially when this is the case.

 

One area that I have been consistently struggling with is submitting work. I sat down last week and made two spreadsheets to better track my submissions. I don’t how I resisted this so long, but I know why. As I was combing through emails I had filed away and putting those rejections into a spreadsheet, I had to admit that stuffing those emails away under a label as soon as they came in was not unlike stuffing a negative emotion down when it comes up. Each email I opened and then logged in my spreadsheet brought upsurges of self-doubt and self-loathing. But do you know what helped me combat that? Putting them into a very concrete, unemotional spreadsheet. This also helped me to see that I hadn’t submitted nearly as much as I thought I had. I have been inconsistent and haphazard. No more! I never thought I’d be so grateful for the straightforward reality of a spreadsheet. 

As you start this new year with some new writing goals of your own, I hope to meet you here Sundays for a week in review. Until then, I’ve linked some more resources here below that might be helpful to you as you build your writing goals for 2021. As always, I am happy to here from you here or via email (eatyourwords.lizshine@gmail.com). 

Interested in hiring me as a coach to get you boosted with your writing goals?
Find free resources and information here.
Some past posts to keep you making time: 
Adjust your pace accordingly.
It’s about the routine and how you shake up the routine
There are things you will have to give up
See it to achieve it
Washing the dishes
Write slowly
A celebration of the pause
Monday, a run through the driving rain
Zen accident
Get out of your comfort zone

 

Follow Liz Shine elsewhere and share these posts!