Friday, March 25, 2016

Getting Back on Track after Failure

After a wonderful January, in February, I and many other writers on the Ten Minute Novelists and 365 K Facebook list struggled through February.  My guess is that many other people who made New Year’s Resolutions also struggled in February. 

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I tend to be a little all or nothing in my thinking.  Either I do everything I said I would do or I think I’ve totally failed.  If you look at my earlier posts on challenges and thought I was crazy to commit myself to so much this year, then you’ll probably be shaking your head right now and thinking that that approach might mean that I’ve set myself up for failure. 

But, I’m a recovering perfectionist, so though I struggled with some goals in February, I achieved others.  I didn’t write a poem a day, but I wrote fifteen poems.  I didn’t get my 674 words a day, but I wrote over 5,000 words.  I read many picture books, and I signed up for the ReFoReMo challenge.  I wrote my second picture book draft of the year.  I posted at least weekly in this blog. 

Then March began, and I committed myself to one, just one, of my faltering goals.  In March, I told myself, I would write a poem a day.  Though sometimes I’ve had to write two poems in one day to meet that average, I’m back on track with my poetry in March.   And I’ve already written my picture book draft this month.  And I’m at a total of over 350 picture books read. 

I’d still like to get my daily word count back up, but every time I fail and pick myself back up, I’m learning what it takes for me to be successful.  And I’m retraining my brain.  I don’t have to do everything just right, I just have to keep working even when things get difficult.  As I write this I hear Ellen DeGeneres’s voice in my head, “Just keep swimming.”  And I do, I keep doing the work, I keep moving forward towards my goals. 

I still have work to do this month—I want to catch up on my poetry submissions and I have four picture books ready for queries, so I’d like to get those sent.  But, when I look at the year I’ve had so far, I realize again how responsive I am to assignments (I loved being a student) and how far I’ve come in my recovery as a perfectionist. 

So, if you had some goals that have dropped away in the weirdness of February and the busyness of the new year, don’t be afraid to dust them off and pick them back up.  There are still nine more months in 2016 and so much left to do. 

Wishing you ease, joy, and success!! Lori

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