Have you ever been here? You look at your desk, and it’s piled high with unfinished projects. You also have a notebook of projects ideas you haven’t even started, but really want to. But the frustration eating at you to complete something doesn’t really give you freedom to tackle… One. More. Thing. *heavy sigh*
That’s how I used to be, until recently. Not that long ago, I realized something. I realized I had other loves other than writing. And that I worked better when I wasn’t solely focused just on writing. Instead of being stuck with one project, and only that project until it was completed, I began to mix things up.
One day, I’d work on book cover art. Another day, I might edit. And maybe a few days, I’d actually sit down to write. Some days, I even managed to do a little of everything. It’s a far cry from the old days.
I remember the days when I would work on my novel Blood Feud for weeks, months at a time, and I would not allow myself to do anything else. If I was writing, that was what I would work on, even if I didn’t feel like it. I eventually finished the book by sheer will alone, but I was exhausted and completely burned myself out of writing for a long time. Getting that book completed and published was not worth the price I paid.
Now, many writers say that’s how you get novels written. You put your butt in the seat, and you write, even if you don’t feel like it. And yes, eventually the faucet does turn on, but it feels like pulling teeth to get there. It’s damn uncomfortable, and for me, not productive considering how much time I spent just trying get myself in the mindset to write.
I have found a better way. It’s by working through inspired action. I don’t act, until I feel inspired to act. In working this way, my productivity has sky rocketed.
Did you know I managed to do ten blog posts for the months of September and October each? The most I ever managed in the many years I’ve had this blog was maybe three posts a month. That is a HUGE success in my book. And I didn’t even have to try that hard. I just went with the flow of inspired ideas, and acted accordingly.
How did I do this? Well, first of all, I put out the intention that I wanted to do more (more than I’d ever done before) blog posts for a few months. I then allowed myself to spend time doing things I enjoyed like walking, spending time outside, and sitting on my porch drinking tea. I tried not to push too hard for ideas. I focused on good thoughts and feelings, until the “ah ha” moments came.
And they came.
At first a trickled, but eventually, a lot faster. One right after another. And I didn’t just get blog post ideas either. I got a new idea for an online class, I decided to get back into book designing more hardcore, and I also made the decision to re-edit Blood Feud and do a re-release (with a brand new cover design!).
With these new inspirations came the decision to back off doing as many blog posts this month, so I could be a little more focused on some of the unfinished pile of projects on my desk. And in giving myself a little more freedom to work on a variety of projects, I realized the benefits in working this way. I truly started to see the magic of inspired action.
Do I write everyday? Nope. But I have written, and I’ve have a lot more fun writing these days. But I’ve also allowed myself to have fun doing other stuff too. That’s a big improvement for me, because when I would write blog posts (until recently I didn’t consider blog posts real writing), spend time designing, or even editing, I would give myself a hard time for not writing.
After all, writers are supposed to be writing everyday, right?
That was my old way of looking at things. But I realize I am a writer, but I am also many other things too. I have a lot of talent, skill, and interests. So these days I’m allowing myself to move between them as I get excited.
Sure, this means I’m kind of all over the place, but there’s a certain kind of beauty in that too. This means I don’t get bored. I don’t get stuck in ruts like I used to. And I feel an amazing freedom I’ve never had before. Best of all, I get stuff done. Maybe not in the “expected way” or “expected time”, but everyday I accomplish something, even if it’s small.
Yes, it’s been weird doing it this way. I used to be such a linear action person (and I still struggle against that some days), but I’ve recognized the wisdom in trying something new. And I haven’t been disappointed. This new way is still a work in progress for me, but I feel so excited by it, I had to share.
Maybe there are others out there who need encouragement to mix it up a little. If so, this post is for you. May you find the magic of inspired action in your life too.