“The moment you commit and quit holding back, all sorts of unforeseen
incidents, meetings and material assistance will rise to help you. The
simple act of commitment is a powerful magnet for help.”
Here’s my handy Compact Oxford’s primary definition of the word “commit” — “pledge or dedicate to a course.” While most of us would probably say that we’re committed to our writing, when push comes to shove, we waffle quite a bit about it. And when it comes to distractions and schedules changes, we can easily let them get in the way of our work.
Or sometimes, we begin a project committed to completing it, but some where along the way, we lose steam or forget exactly what we “pledge” or “dedicated” ourselves to doing. This has happened to me any number of times in the course of writing my novel — and it may be happening to you as well with a project you’re working on.
One way to recharge the “powerful magnet for help” that a simple act of commitment offers is to rededicate ourselves to seeing it through to completion. If your commitment engine seems to be running out of gas, here are a few strategies to help you refuel:
You can remind yourself why you started a project in the first place. Sometimes, in the day-to-day press of writing and pushing ourselves to move forward, we can’t see the forest for the trees. We get so caught up in details and tinkering that we forget the “big picture” and what we set out to accomplish when we started. Simply reminding ourselves of our original goal can be a powerful incentive to keep going.
You can pull out an early draft of your work and reread it. Just seeing how far you’ve come and all the improvements in character and plot that you’ve made can help renew your excitement to your project. Whenever I revisit an old draft of my book, I get pumped up because I realize that, for the most part, the changes I’ve made have made my story stronger and more manuscript more polished.
You can recall other major projects that you completed. This is easy to do and very rewarding. Just spend a little time reexperiencing the sense of satisfaction you enjoyed when you were done and saw the fruits of your labor. Reconnecting with your ability to complete a challenging undertaking can give you a psychic boost and give you the shot of adrenalin and confidence you need to push forward and keep going.
Any helpful tips for reigniting commitment when it’s flagging? I’d love to hear them as we all write on.