Lately, whenever I sit down to write, a million extraneous thoughts begin to wheedle their way into my head. Some irrelevant, others more important, they all tangle together, creating a web of distraction that entraps my creativity, smothering it in disorganization. Priority be damned, I sadly seem to let every random thought overtake me, derailing me from my storytelling track.
Frustrated and struggling to find some much needed time to finish my next chapter, it suddenly occurred to me that my biggest stumbling block to success is me, myself and I!
Anxious to finish chapter thirteen in my new book, I sat down at my computer and constructed my opening paragraph. Yeah, I can do this. But then I remembered, I forgot to pay my Talbots bill. Struggling back to the story line, I was distracted by my rumbling stomach. Did I ever eat breakfast this morning? Oh yes, I had toast with peanut butter. My neighbor called asking to borrow something or other and my mind began to wander. I definitely need to take a trip to the market to get more something or others. Back on task again, I glanced at my calendar resting on my desk. Jeez, I forgot my dentist appointment was tomorrow. Noting the date, I panicked. My daughter’s wedding is in three weeks and I have a million more things to do. Where am I ever going to find a pair of shoes to go with my dress? The shoes need to be the right shade of blue, comfortable and not too pricey. Maybe I should check online.
Achh, I was doing it again! I needed to stop my wandering mind and get back to my chapter. But how was I ever going to tame my chaotic brain?
Afraid I might be losing my writing mojo; I called my good friend who suggested that I create a To Do list and make a check each time I finish a paragraph until I finish the entire chapter. Good idea, right? Wrong. At least wrong for me. I already know what I need to do, I ‘m just not doing it. So I rationalized, if a To Do list can bring success, how about a Not To Do list?
After some reflection, I grabbed a moment and created a short, but sturdy Not To Do list:
It’s day three of my Not To Do list and it’s going okay… I guess. Unfortunately, chapter thirteen is still incomplete, but at least it’s a lot further along than it was.
I think I need to add a 6th item: I will neither panic nor give up if this doesn’t work right away.
Perhaps you too have faced these same struggles? If you have any strategies that have worked for you, I’d love to hear them.
Until then, Happy Writing!
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