Sometimes a great idea for organization or structure or time management flows through my mind. I try it. It works. I begin to implement it and see the difference. I share it here. Then something happens to derail that wonderful thing.
April was a month of derailment. Looking back, I accomplished one single thing: I finished my large, annual writing project. But, in the process, just about everything else fell apart. And I mean everything. Almost no grading was accomplished in the month of April. Writing, other than that one project, was nonexistent. Discipline went out the window, as did motivation and inspiration. I pulled off a column, two blog posts, and a book review in April, but little else. May was even worse.
My husband looked at me recently and said, “You’re struggling because you’re not writing.” He’s right. Every area of my life is a challenge. But, every time I sit down to write, the blank screen or blank notebook page mocks me. Even writing for work has been a challenge. How in the world can I get past this? How can I improve when the one thing that will help me just won’t come?
By writing just one sentence at a time.
I intended to give a blog post a go on Monday, but fear of the blank screen caused me to avoid it. I had no accountability. So, that night, I told my husband I would write a blog post the next day. At some point, I’d just sit down and do it. I’d make myself write one sentence. Then another. Then another. Accountability. One stage of discipline and one small measure of motivation.
Maybe the sentences, when compiled, would make sense. Maybe they wouldn’t. But at least I would be trying.
One sentence at a time.
You see, I’m a finisher. I like to see a project through to its completion. But I also struggle when the project is huge and finishing seems so far away. Small, manageable tasks that I can check off are helpful, but often I have trouble breaking the big picture down into small manageable bites. So, I get easily overwhelmed by the big picture.
And lately, even a single article has felt like too great of a project.
So, as I sit down now to write, I choose to break it down. One thought. One sentence. Word by word. I can do that.
And just like that, I have over 400 words. Not the greatest blog post in the world. Not worthy of publication anywhere other than my own blog – if even there. But it’s a start.
And right now, that’s what I need. A start. Choosing to actively work to put discipline, motivation, and inspiration back into place.
One sentence at a time.