Turnaround Strategy

Ever have one of those really discouraging days where nothing seems to go right? You know the kind I mean — a day of false starts and distractions, where you just can’t seem to get into your writing rhythm? I just had one of those demotivating clunkers and I’m glad it’s over. First, I had to take care of some pesky non-work related demands that were time-consuming, but not especially satisfying. Then, there was the weather. It was super hot and I couldn’t find a comfortable place to work. I tried sitting outside on my porch for a while, but between the heat and the noise from a power saw down the street, it was a total non-starter. So I parked myself inside, cranked up the AC, and tried again.

When I still wasn’t making any headway, I made the big mistake of taking a break and going shopping. Not a good idea: I should have followed the writer’s rule and kept my butt in the chair. By the time I got back to work, I was really struggling to concentrate. My original plan for the day was to tackle the next big chunk of my YA novel, but I simply couldn’t get any momentum.

How to rescue my day? I decided to regroup and go with the flow. Instead of forging ahead and courting more frustration, here’s what I did: I bit off something smaller and revisited a chapter that I had already revised but wanted to add a scene to. I started at the beginning of the chapter and worked through to the point where I wanted to make the addition. Along the way, I found some sentences that needed to be sharpened and a few paragraphs that had to be reorganized.

Suddenly, without even realizing it, I was back in my groove. I was moving forward and making some improvements. Instead of feeling unequal to the task of tackling something big, I started feeling good about the small changes I was making. Sure, they were modest, but even so, I was having an positive impact on my draft instead of wrestling with it unsuccessfully. That fact alone juiced me enough to keep me going.

Have you ever had a work day that just seemed to be tumbling downhill faster than you could catch it? What did you do to turn things around? Any strategies you can share?

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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