Lowering Expectations

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Last year was awesomely productive for me, writing-wise. This year? Not so much.

The tally system that helped me write all but a handful of days in 2014 has completely fallen by the wayside. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I had a few big projects last year that gave me focus and direction. I always knew what I was working on.

2015 has been different. I’ve started and stalled on editing the Damn Novel a few times and have no clear idea what project I want to tackle next.

I’ve spent a lot of time with short stories this year, and while they have certainly saved my sanity, they are not saving this timeline in my head.

The downward spiral that comes from not meeting expectations of us – whether from others or ourselves – is something we’re likely all familiar with.

The obvious solution, to lower expectations, is easier said than done. No one ever taught me how to do it, and the phrase has some negative connotations.

I mentally list why I haven’t done a thing and what I would have sacrificed in order to do it, but that doesn’t always work. Sometimes it makes it worse.

For me, the key is to recognize that, for whatever reason, I need the time, or the break, or the shift in focus. Then I have to give myself permission to do (or not do) whatever it is I need.

It’s a lot harder than it sounds, but it’s an important skill to develop.

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