cannonwrites (cannonwrites) wrote in yaknow,

Choosing Your Writing Resolutions

Happy New Year!  I'm sure many of you are thinking about writing goals for 2013.  If you're like me and the holidays have derailed your writing mojo, your list of 2013 resolutions might look like this:
  1. Write every day for two hours
  2. Get in at least 2,500 words each day
  3. Run at least 5 miles every morning
  4. Subsist on lemon juice and cayenne pepper to cleanse away those ten added holiday pounds
  5. Clean house to sparkling every day
  6. Achieve 100% productivity at work
If that sounds familiar, you might want to step back for a minute.  According to the American Psychological Association, you can derail your efforts if you try to tackle too many self-control-depleting tasks at once.  

On the other hand, self-control is something you can strengthen over time.  If you focus on one goal at a time (like walking every day for 30 minutes), you can actually improve your self-control with other tasks.  For example, a study showed that smokers had greater success quitting when they had exercised regularly two weeks prior. 

Here are some other strategies for improving your self-control (and for writers, this means getting your butt in chair and fingers on keyboard):
  • Take away temptation (turn off your internet connection or use something like Macfreedom).
  • Make sure you're not starving when you sit down to write.  Eat healthy, sustaining foods rather than sugary snacks.
  • Work a daily walk/exercise into your routine for a couple of weeks.  This may make it easier for you to then focus on writing.
  • Make a plan in advance for how you'll tackle problems.  For example, tell yourself in advance that you'll write for an hour and just breathe deeply with fingers on keyboard if stumped.  Rehearse these strategies so you're more likely to do the right thing when you face temptation.
Here's another article on improving self-control.  Good luck with your 2013 writing, everyone!
Tags: lisa ritter cannon, writing process

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