Gentle Goals

Wow. What a busy weekend. It started out with a visit to a gravely ill friend, expanded into twenty-four hours of child watching, and ended with yard work. The yard work was definitely my favorite part of the last few days. Getting dirty outside is one of my gentle goals. It’s 83 here and time for fine tuning the sprinkler system, sewing grass seed, and mowing. The only remaining snow is in the mountains, suspended there as our precious summer melt-off. pikes-peak-through-the-garden-of-the-gods-gateway-fall-2012

I’m still in the grip of  massive burnout, but I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do in the interim. Waiting for inspiration is a big part, being patient and understanding with myself is always a challenge. But, aside from the obvious pleasure of stringing words like pearls (which only happens once every ten pages if I’m lucky) what do I really miss about pounding out a novel?

Routine and focus. Staring off into space or wiling away precious time watching TV isn’t for me. Even the addictive lure of a mobile device has its limits. Unless I’m on a tropical vacation (I wish), routine is important to me. The every night butt-in-chair, moving toward an end result type of routine. And, there’s nothing on Earth like the focus required while writing a coherent and correctly punctuated sentence.

So, I’ve refined a gentle goal:  I’m coming back to the big white screen every evening. If I just sit here, that’s fine. I’m under no obligation to create anything remotely sophisticated. It’s re-establishing the interrupted routine, staying close to the keyboard and being ready when the words start flooding in that counts.

How do you re-establish a broken routine?


Photo credit: JusDaFax / / CC BY-NC-SA

8 thoughts on “Gentle Goals”

  1. Approach it like you do your job. You go to work at the same time every day and work until it’s over. Take a couple of breaks and keep pushing, when you feel tired, you’re done. Otherwise, nothing gets done. That’s my routine, but it is not easy!!

  2. If I’ve been away from my story for a while, I set a very small goal: Half an hour of revision, or three hundred words of draft, just so that I can say I succeeded. 🙂 More often than not, I’m excited to get back to it the next day and the day after that, and my goals and accomplishments get larger.
    Facing that screen again is a great idea. I think before you know it you’ll find words and story ideas all over it!

    1. Thanks, Kirsten.
      Last night I was able to just write. No special project in mind, about 300 words about life in general. It went faster than I thought. It felt good.

  3. I like the phrase gentle goals. It doesn’t feel as though you are smacking yourself over the head with it, which could potentially make you want to just fight back.

    I think agreeing with yourself that you will down every night in front of your keyboard is a great plan. It’s something I think I will be joining you in!

  4. I’m trying not to push myself too hard. When I do that it rarely works. Keeping the goals gentle is the best for now so I can build up my confidence again.:)

  5. It’s hard, isn’t it, when you, when you break your routine. I’ve gotten back into blogging by joining a couple of challenges, and they have gotten me going again. Hopefully I have a new habit going–daily or almost daily blogging. Now if I could just get back into the exercise, I would be a happy girl

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