Give yourself a break – it’s a marathon, not a sprint

I’ve had a rough writing week this week and last. For the first time since I started writing I missed a few days of daily writing (four to be exact), and in two other days I didn’t hit my daily 500 words quota. I can try to chalk it up to rough days at work, but if I look at my word log I can see that the truth is it was due to social gatherings with friends or family. For the first time ever I got an insight into the mindset of all those authors who became social recluses 🙂

As the week progressed I started stressing out that I wouldn’t meet the deadline I had set to myself  — finishing another chapter by this Saturday. I also gave myself a hard time for not doubling down on the days that I did write, to make up for all that “wasted” time. This only served to make me write not great stuff (to say the least) earlier this week, and procrastinate when it came time to sit down and write.

Yesterday I sat down and reminded myself that this wasn’t a sprint, but a marathon. There are going to be good weeks and bad, and as long as I didn’t let non-writing days grow into a habit, everything would work out well in the end. I looked at the writing I did earlier this week, and spent my writing session quickly repairing what needed to be repaired for me to move on (no polishing, just necessary fixes). I finished that up today, and it went well enough to motivate me to write non-stop for about an hour after that. Nobody was more surprised than me to look at the screen and realize that I managed to polish off chapter 3 today.

For me these past two weeks were about realizing that I am allowed to have a social life without feeling guilty about it, and that as long as I don’t let my lizard brain take over and push me into a spiral of guilt, paralysis, and then more guilt, then I’ll be just fine.

One thought on “Give yourself a break – it’s a marathon, not a sprint

  1. Pingback: Good days and bad days | Writing at Large

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