It was not my plan to spend time in bed instead of writing.
But it’s my intention to accept the new plan.
Writers operate at two extremes.
The first extreme is procrastination—and we all know the procrastinating writer never truly becomes a writer. Being a writer requires…well…writing.
The second extreme is working too hard. The motivated writer gets up early in the morning, or stays awake late at night, to complete some self-appointed task or goal. Eating, sleeping, and socializing are optional activities. Even when not writing, the writer mines daily life for inspiration and possibilities to capture in words. I fall solidly into this category.
While the procrastinating writer does not take enough control, the motivated writer grasps too much control. And when life interferes, the motivated writer throws a fit.
The Motivated Writer's Self-Inflicted Injury
My health issues have been present for years, but they only really clobbered me in the last few years, and especially the last year and a half. Often, the time I should spend writing, I instead spend on the couch or in bed, feeling very sorry for myself. For a writer with aggressive goals and big dreams, it’s extremely frustrating.
But my typical reaction makes the situation worse. I ensure that I can neither write nor rest. I cannot write because the sickness steals my brain cells and energy (two musts for a writer), and I cannot rest because I am too busy being angry that I can’t write. End result? No rest. No writing.
If I were smart, I would forget writing and rest as much as necessary. That would reset my body quicker, and I would be back to my desk in less time.
The Contradiction That Actually Works
What does all this have to do with the motivated writer’s secret to success? Everything. Because the secret is…REST.
Writing is about balance, the balance of work and rest. Sure, you have to push yourself in order to succeed, but you also have to know when to give your mind and body time to rejuvenate. Don’t make yourself a taskmaster, enslaving yourself to your talent. Make yourself a steward, a caretaker of your unique gift.
Let proper rest make your writing shine.
Note: Author and speaker Michael Hyatt has written an excellent short piece on the Minimum Effective Dose strategy, which I find very helpful to me. You can read it by clicking here.