At Pacemaker we believe that we need to celebrate progress towards our goals and not just completed goals. We stressed the importance of celebration in our last blog post, but we want to help you follow through. In the spirit of personal celebration, we hope you’ll be inspired by these four ways to ensure you’re owning your progress.
REST – Take the day off!
Our lives are so fast-paced. Responsibilities, deadlines and commitments come in from all directions and if we’re not careful, the burnout WILL catch up with us. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it is so important that we plan our rest days!
That’s one of the many reasons Pacemaker allows you to personalize your workload on particular days and even factor buffer days into your writing plans. To celebrate your progress, schedule yourself an extra buffer day. Even a few hours without thinking of your daily word count can relieve stress and help get the creative juices flowing for the next phase of writing! Give resting a try!
REFLECT – Writing is a journey!
This is particularly important in cases where we’ve set a big goal and fallen short of it. There is a big chance we’ll end up preoccupied with the part we missed, even if it is minuscule compared to all that we completed.
Reflecting can help redirect our focus in a way that encourages us to celebrate what we’ve achieved thus far- our progress! Think of all the twists and turns that your writing project took that you didn’t expect. Think of the surprises in your story that bowled you over. Think of all the words you’ve written, and all the words you’ve deleted and replaced. It probably amounts to a few pages at least, which is nothing to say of the miles and miles of words and pages you turned over in your mind to get those out!
BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF – Treat yourself as you would treat another writer in your situation!
In general, we are a lot harder on ourselves than we need to be. In fact, we’re willing to wager that as a writer, you’re probably harder on yourself than you would be on another writer facing the same challenges as you are! Imagine it- another writer comes to you and says, “I feel like a failure, I only wrote half the words I scheduled this week!”.
In what universe would your external dialogue with them mirror the internal dialogue you would lambaste yourself with if you were in the same position? None! We all would, as quickly, and as sincerely as we could, redirect our Creative-peer away from their shortfall, overwhelm them with praise for their progress, and infuse them with hopes of glorious future triumphs! We would commiserate with them, and tell them, from the bottom of our hearts that we know how it is, and that that’s just the journey. That’s exactly what our internal dialogue needs to sound like!
SPREAD THE WORD – Share your progress!
Find your community, and keep them updated! We’ve spoken before about the importance of the social aspect of writing. We HIGHLY recommend telling family, telling friends, telling followers through social media, about your progress! They are your tribe, and can be a lifeline- refusing to let you sink into despair, pulling you back to the reassuring reality that this is indeed the process. Allow them to help you celebrate you!
Oh! And no more disclaimers and apologies (this ties in with being gentle with yourself). Your progress is not an apology! When you tell others about your progress… tell them about your progress! Don’t sandwich it between laments about how much more it coulda, woulda, shoulda been. Own it! So no more, “Yeaaaa, I suck at writing. Today I wrote 3 pages. What a fail!”. NO! – “TODAY I WROTE 3 pages!” — PERIOD!
These are just a few small ways to get you started! What are some of the ways you celebrate your progress? We’re thinking of starting a page on Pacemaker where writers can leave words of encouragement and praise to be delivered at random to other writers! We think that would be a lovely surprise for our users! What do you think?
Enjoy your writing journey, and as always, remember, Pacemaker can help!