Writing can be really hard. Sometimes, we’re freaked out before we even sit down in front of the screen. I have no idea what happens next. I just have to get through this scene.
What if it totally sucks?
We waste waaay more mental + emotional energy than we realize on this type of resistance before we even get to work, which isn’t conducive to our very best writing. Here’s the thing: part of the reason why writing sessions have become a source of stress instead of fun is because 1) we create extremely difficult and often unattainable goals and 2) we are so stingy with our reward + praise for ourselves.
In order to get around our blocks, we need to re-create a positive association to writing. You know, get back to the part where it was easy-breezy, enjoyable, and relaxing. That’s your money spot, your flow. The more we work from that state, the more productive we are.
So let’s start thinking in terms of intentions and reviews, instead of stringent word counts and outlines. Let’s think of it as leaps, instead of goals, and landings instead of rewards.
Let’s play some 3-2-1 Hopscotch and make the words happen. Here’s how to play:
- Step 1: Download your free 3-2-1 Hopscotch fun sheet right here.
- Step 2: Fill in your Intention bubble. Whether we realize it or not, we’re constantly setting our intentions for everything we do. If you go into a project thinking, I can’t do this, your intention is that you’re not going to be able to do it. Laws of the Universe, yo. But if you sit down in front of your screen and say, My goal is to write until it stops being fun or My intention is to work through this scene and actually enjoy it, then guess what? It’s on its way to you. My suggestion is to think in terms of what you want to feel like as you’re working through this session, and let go of the word count goals. For now.
- Step 3: Fill in your Leap #1 and Leap #2 bubbles. Think about when you’re hopscotching. There’s a short burst of “work,” when you push off the ground at full force, with full intention. That’s what we’re going to do here with our writing sessions. Full work, full intention. If you’re a word count girl/guy, this is where you add in a short, attainable goal. Notice I said both short and attainable. Nothing crazy-making, stress-inducing here! A hundred words in fifteen minutes. A thousand words in an hour (although remember, you have two Leaps in this session, so I wouldn’t go making hour-long goals unless I was planning on writing for 2+ hours that day). You could also write your Leaps as scenes you want to finish, sentences you want to revise, or the feeling/tone you’re going after. Anything goes!
- Step 4: Fill out you Landing #1 and Landing #2 bubbles. After you leap to the next hopscotch destination, there’s a quick resting period, when you get the opportunity to relax your muscles and plant your feet firmly on the ground. In order to make that positive association to our writing, we must reward ourselves. Repeat after me: I must reward myself. I must take a break. Things get wacky and out of balance when writing equates to pure achievement + stress, and has no fun + rewards built in to balance it out. So let’s take care of that, shall we? In each of your Landing spaces, fill in a reward. Something you really, really enjoy, whether that’s a power nap or a pack of M&Ms. Just make sure it’s something you have on hand that you can grab while you’re in the middle of your session.
- Step 5: Fill in your Review bubble. When you’ve checked off your Leaps and Landings, sit for a second. Reflect. How did your intention work out for you? Did you make your mini goals? What can you do next time to make your session more successful? Write it all down, and remind yourself that you’re awesome.
A note about intentions: Unfortunately, the Universe isn’t always on our timeline. Sometimes you’ll set an intention for a session, and all hell will break loose and you’re left wondering what you did wrong. The answer is: NOTHING. I’ve often set intentions and have watched them go up in smoke, only to realize later that it was a good thing. Either the scene I thought I needed to write was all wrong, or I never actually needed those words anyway (but I only figured it out in hindsight). So even if it doesn’t work out, trust that your inner Creative still has your back. And if you’re into this and want to know more about setting specific, powerful intentions for your work, I cover that extensively in my course.