Raising the Bar

Or as this post should be called “Raising the Bar until you trip on it and smack your face hard enough to break something.”

I don’t have writer’s block. I don’t actually believe in the concept. I have a different problem with getting words down on the page and I use the term “Raising the Bar” to describe it.

Raising the bar is the term for when you have a goal, but you put it out of reach to the point where you don’t even bother trying because you already know you can’t reach it and thus that 15th rerun of something you’ve seen seems like a safer use of your time.

Originally, I picked up this concept from “The Now Habit” by Dr. Neil Fiore, I think. The book is about combating procrastination, which is definitely an issue here.

Case in point, I need to write. However, my standard bar for productivity means I write 2k a day or more. However, with the level of stuff going on in my life, I haven’t managed to get even close to that in forever (figuratively, been about three months since I worked consistently).

In May, I should have finished Cities in Time.  On the 25th to be exact. For those keeping score at home, it is now the 2nd of July. I am approximately 65k into this book with no absolutely certain wordcount to finish and I haven’t written more than 5k a fortnight. This ranks on me really hard because I can and have written 5k a day at times. Compounds my problem by showing me I am capable of taking care of business but currently not getting it done. Failing my personal expectations only makes it harder for me to get started.

The first step in dealing with any problem is the awareness you have a problem. Problem: I need to finish writing this bloody book. Therefore, I need words on the page. The bar is currently at 2k a day. I have not reached this bar in some time. Therefore, the bar is too high. The bar needs to drop. Okay, so how far can I drop the bar and still feel like I’m getting somewhere?

Going back to the basics: forward motion is forward motion. Momentum can be built up over time, if things are consistent (or at least mostly consistent). Not going to shoot for 2k because I need some points on my side of the board. 500 words a day. 500 is doable but not intimidating.

Deep breath. Going for it.

 

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