Welcome to Tick-Tock, Writer’s Block. We hope you will find this 10-week series informative as we dive into time management and that little annoyance that seems to plague all writers from time to time, writer’s block.
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Is Doubt Delaying Your Writing?
Over the past month, stress has weighed me down. So much so that anxiety reared its ugly head causing me to doubt my capabilities and expertise. Have you ever felt this way? Like there are not enough hours in a day. Within a three week span, I have four keynotes, all different talks varying from 20-60 minutes. I kept wondering, how am I going to get this all done? Should I give up? Should I just lay on the ground, curl up in a ball and cry? I didn’t do that, but I have found myself taking a nap or two on my office floor.
One day when I was at my wit’s end and couldn’t think, I hopped in my car and headed to the Indiana Dunes to clear my mind. I had no time for this, but I made time. My goal was to do seven repeats up the dune. After completing six, I challenged myself to run all the way to the top. The picture is me standing at the top, having run up the entire dune! It was a proud moment. After jogging down the dune, I crawled into my car, grabbed a pen and paper and developed a plan to squash the doubt that had been holding me back from moving forward.
As I was writing, I thought back to the years, yes years that I was writing my book The Giving Challenge. Do you know why my first book took four years to write? Doubt. I think of how much time I wasted questioning my abilities or what I was writing. How much time I wasted wondering if people were going to like what I was writing. As a doubter, I’d fill my time with everything, but writing. Have you been there?
Here are Five Ways You Can Squash Doubt and Save you Time
1. Pray– My mom reminded me, “God has brought you this far, He isn’t going to let you down now.” She is right. If something is bothering me, worrying does no good. Take your troubles to Him in prayer.
2. Find a Cheerleader– I have lots of friends, who over the course of the years have been amazing encouragers. Let your friends know you are going through a rough time and tell them what you need. Get your writing friends to rally behind you. Don’t hide in your office, crying with the door closed. Been there done that! It doesn’t solve anything and it waste time.
3. Accomplishments– When we doubt ourselves we focus on where we are lacking. Grab a sheet of paper and write down all of your writing accomplishments. Remind yourself you are a qualified writer, and you have something important to say.
4. One Step at a Time– Writing can be overwhelming. Break down everything you have to do into small steps. After delaying my writing and wasting precious time, I set myself up for failure because I haven’t given myself enough time to complete a blog or another writing assignment. When I break the project into smaller, manageable tasks, I’m able to get back on track.
5. Take Action– Doubt can paralyze us and time moves on but our writing stalls. I know when I was writing my book, I’d go weeks or months without writing because I didn’t have confidence. Once I broke my big goals into small tasks, I focused on taking action. Even if it was writing a paragraph that was more than I’d done the day or week before. Taking action builds confidence. Day after day, the compound effect of all the small actions resulted in momentum and a finished book. As I started to move forward I felt relief that I could, in fact, accomplish what I’d set out to do and squash doubt in its tracks.
Is doubt holding you back and stealing hours from your writing life? If so, take a moment to test out the five steps above, and within a week, I’d love to hear if you are back on track with your writing.
Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. She challenges people to live their dream, discover their gifts, and do amazing things!
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Check out last week’s post, Time to Create by Erin Kincaid. Don’t miss our next post, published every Wednesday!
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