I was sent a brilliant quote in an email newsletter recently. The author of both the newsletter and the quote is a guy called James Clear:
“Slow and steady often wins because it keeps you motivated.
Take on manageable challenges and you’ll get frequent signals of progress. Bite off more than you can chew and progress stalls.
When you make progress, you want to keep going. When you break progress, you want to stop.”
I’m doing a weekly online writing workshop at the moment and the facilitator had a great piece of advice for the people on it who were having trouble committing to writing time, whether they felt they lacked time or words.
She suggested they commit to writing for one minute a day.
That’s doable right?
And of course what happens is your minute comes up, and you’re halfway through a sentence and a new thought’s been triggered, and you’ve written for two, or five, or even ten minutes. So you’ve way overachieved a goal.
You hear about this all the time when people are starting new exercise programmes, all the experts say, don’t go out too hard or too fast, you’ll hurt yourself, get discouraged, and quit.
You almost want to stop the session early, leave yourself wanting more.
I read somewhere that Hemingway (being the weirdo he was) used to finish his writing sessions halfway through a sentence, as it meant he was itching to get back to it the next time.
I’m not sure I’d cope with that as a habit but it’s something to think about.