by Marla Beck, MFA, CTACC
Recently I coached several mom writers who decided that they were too lazy to achieve their writing goals. When I heard their stories and harsh self-judgments, it really broke my heart. I wasn't convinced they were "lazy" at all. And I'm not convinced you are, either.
If you're prone to feeling like a Lazy Writer, please read on. Here are 3 practical tips to get you out of your rut and into action.
1. "I can't get up early to write."
Can someone please tell me who decided that the only best time to write is early in the morning?
Don't get me wrong: personally, I'm a chirpy morning person who loves to get up at 5am to meditate, stretch and "be" before the day begins. (Of course, by 9pm I'm not much of a conversationalist, but that's another story.)
We're not all made the same. And early risers don't get dibs on writerly productivity.
I may sound flip here, but I do mean it sincerely. If you aren't someone who gets up early to write, and you feel like the reason why is because you're "lazy," please S-T-O-P.
Sounds like your body has a natural rhythm that differs from the go-go-go norms of our society.
And that's OK.
What matters is that you release the need to be anything other than you are. (That bears repeating: Release the need to be anything other than you are.)
What matters is that you stop draining your energy with self-rebuke and start focusing instead on finding writing and productivity solutions that work for YOU.
Remember those mom writers? Once I helped them to reframe their dilemma ("I really want to write, but I'm not getting up early enough to do it") and let go of expecting themselves to be different…we were able to make real, tangible progress. Today, they're showing up regularly to work on book-length writing projects -- a far cry from where we began!
If you think you can't be a writer because the early hours don't work for you, think again and follow these writers' leads. By letting go of "lazy" and starting to accept themselves just as they are…
They freed up more energy to write, and they starting doing their work when it worked for them.
They tracked their progress and discovered their own best productivity practices.
They're writing their books.
You can just imagine how much happier they are. All because they became willing to let go of "lazy."
2. "I blew off the whole week."
Let me tell you something: we often pressure ourselves to produce, produce, produce. (I know I can fall into this quite easily. And when I do, it doesn't serve me well.)
When a client comes to our coaching call with the report that he blew off an entire week and spent it being "lazy," I hear that as an important signal. (Not as a truth.)
Because here's the deal:
Sometimes we get out of our own way long enough to dig in and really attack our goals. We work longer than we'd planned. We add in extra writing sessions and start to burn ourselves out.
Then our Inner Rebel, that stabilizing force inside of us that wants to regulate our energy, does it's job and….well, it rebels.
So we space out online.
Get suddenly obsessed with media, trolling for back issues or episodes or new releases.
We may even blow off our exercise routines, household chores, etc.
If you think you're "too lazy" to pursue your writing goals because you had an off-week (or an off-month), I'm not buying it.
Get back in balance by acknowledging and honoring your need for rest and play. Your "laziness" is just a signal to rebalance your energy and your life.
3. "I'll never do it - I haven't so far…I'm just lazy."
Well hello there, smokescreen.
If you're novel's still not finished, your business isn't launched or your freelance career still isn't on track after years of yearning and wishing it were so…
Guess what? I'm not buying it. That kind of reasoning is like saying to yourself, "I'll never lose the extra pounds because it hasn't happened yet."
If you are willing to take action to achieve your personal, life and business goals, you're going to have to get a bit uncomfortable.
When you to take a new risk and dare to say YES! to your dreams, you may challenge your comfort zones when it comes to:
- cash (sometimes)
- self-confidence (often)
- saying "no" to other things
- standing up for what you believe in
(Personally, I think that when we're learning new things, getting more clear about our commitments to ourselves and others, and daring to stand up more for what we believe in, that's an easy & wonderful recipe for happiness. But, I digress.)
Given the scary and unknown future, it's no wonder we often choose to stay comfortable by keeping things just the way they are.
If you choose to continue calling yourself lazy, you don't have to do anything but nurse the same old story, and let years go by without truly living your life or going for what matters most to you.
It's tough to remember sometimes, but we always have a choice.
What will you choose today? To stay stuck by labeling yourself "lazy?" Or to side-step your excuses by learning to address your "I'm lazy" habit head-on?
I'm rooting for you!