So I’m writing a book.
That’s right – I don’t like admitting it, because of the inherant expecation to actually finish it someday that accompanies that announcement, but I’m not making the kind of progress on it that I want to, and know I should, so I’m just going to put it out there and make myself accountable – as scary as that is.
So what’s my block? It’s funny, because as a life coach, I work with clients on this same topic rather frequently. One of my clients, a PhD student (in clinical psychology, ironically enough) has been struggling with writer’s burnout, (as have I) and the fear of failure has left her almost paralyzed (I can relate!)
So I’m going to take my own advice, coach myself as I would my clients, and do some serious work on myself so that I don’t have this project (that I really do love) hovering over me like a piano dangling from a 10-story building. (Bad analogy – but it’s a vivid image for me.)
Piano – be gone!
Some great self-coaching questions are found on a blog at www.startliving.org.uk. Okay – don’t leave to go there, but you might think about checking it out, since you seem to have time, and an inexplicable interest in life coaching blogs – but that’s a good thing!!
Using the OSKAR method (paraphrasing and giving credit to the anonymous author of startliving.org.uk) and actually coaching myself into motion, here goes:
- What is the objective of the coaching session? To get the motivation and drive to get off my duff and write.
- What do you want to achieve today? I’d like to get another 2-5 pages written, while AVOIDING the urge to spend time re-writing or critiquing myself.
- On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing the worst it has ever been and 10 the preferred future, where would you put the situation today? For motivation I’m at about a 6. I want to write, but I fight it!
- You are at 6 now; what did you do to get this far? Got a good running start, and have the characters clearly defined in my head.
- How would you know you had got to 6+1? When I have some kind of outline to know what the plot is, and maybe even how it ends.
- KNOW-HOW & RESOURCES:
- What helps you perform at 6 on the scale, rather than 0? Having the idea in my head of a scene or bit of dialogue.
- When does the outcome already happen for you – even a little bit? When I make any kind of progress.
- What did you did to make that happen? How did you do that? I was setting a time each day for my writing. I would take the first hour of my day to concentrate on making progress on it.
AFFIRM AND ACTION:
- What’s already going well? Well – hard to say. I’ve been letting it sit for too long. I haven’t been doing much of anything on it. So other than what’s already been done and sitting (for months) not much progress is being made. Not going well at all.
- What is the next small step? To get over my fear of starting, failing, or sucking, and just get some more words on paper.
- You are at ? now, what would it take to get you to ?+1? Already asked and answered.
- What’s better?
- What did you do that made the change happen?
- What effects have the changes had?
- What do you think will change next?
This section I need to wait to fill out until after I’ve done SOMETHING on paper. Then I’ll be able to analyze what strategies I used to overcome the “get Started” paralysis and just do it.
I’ll keep you posted.