You’ve made it to day #4 of the Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge. Even though you have only just passed “halfway” of the first week, you may now realize that reaching your goal—a completed work of nonfiction writing—might prove harder than you thought. Staying in the writing or creative flow isn’t so easy.
Possibly, you started out writing a certain number of words per day or writing at a certain time but already have run into obstacles to keeping your schedule. Maybe your energy has waned and you’re having a bit of trouble keeping up the pace you set for National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo).
No worries. Creative Business Coach Laura West has some tips for staying in the flow all month long so you can more easily manage your energy, life and your nonfiction writing project. That means you’ll complete the WNFIN Challenge “in the flow.”
How Nonfiction Writers Can Cultivate Flowmentum™
By Laura West
Stop being subject to the whims of your energy and ideas when you work on a creative nonfiction writing project. You can cultivate your Flowmentum™ so you can be more successful with a whole lot more grace and ease.
Flowmentum™ is about being in rhythm with your creative project, having momentum but also recognizing that there is a natural flow to the creative process. For example, in the creative process, there will be rushing inspiration, huge actions, and lots of little steps, too. There are also little eddies where you stop and rest and gather your energy or incubate a step a bit longer before the next action. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the inspiration or frozen when your energy slows.
Most of us want to know, “How do I keep from freaking out and totally abandoning my project?” These five easy ideas will help you cultivate your Flowmentum™ so you can keep your project moving at a sustainable and feel-good pace all month long.
1. Break Your Project Down To Bite-Size Steps.
No matter how inspired you feel about your idea, a project can be very daunting when you look at all that needs to be done. Break your project down into tiny bite-size steps that you can easily take action on.
Make a phone call. Edit a section (not the whole piece). Send an email.
Even though these little steps might seem too insignificant to place on a to-do-list, taking the time to write them down will help you when you are staring at your computer not sure what to do next.
2. Create Your Daily 3.
So you have this big list of steps for your project, especially if you write down your bite-size steps. To help create focus and manage your overwhelm, every day create a Daily 3 list. These are the 3 bite-size steps you are committing to for that day.
Get out an index card. Put it at the top of your to-do list. Keep your Daily 3 front and center.
When you get them done you’ll feel so good. Accomplished! Successful! Then you have some Flowmentum™ going so you can choose to keep moving forward or let off the pressure and take a break feeling good you took action!
3. Just Start.
Just sit down and take a little action in your creative project. Often just starting will be the impetus for more action. Getting over the initial inertia is biggest hurdle.
4. Do Something Else Creative.
Personal creativity ignites your business creativity. Do something to get your creative juices moving and then you can more easily jump into your creative project for business (assuming your WNFIN project is for business).
Make brownies. Paint. Dance. Garden. Organize something. Take photos. Sing. Play the guitar.
Flowmentum™ energy transfers – get it moving in you, and you’ll be amazed how easy it is to dive into your project when you previously thought you were stuck.
5. Take A Break.
All work and no play doesn’t just make you dull, it dulls your mind. When you are tired or even super stuck you need to relax your mind so that your creativity can resurface.
Sometimes the way to leap forward in a project is to do nothing. Sit on the deck and watch the birds. Take a shower. Take a nap. Read. Just “veg” out.
It’s not procrastination, it’s incubation and rejuvenation. Often your mind needs to work on an idea or the next step while your body is doing something else.
Relax and Trust
Being aware of Flowmentum™ allows you to relax and trust your creative writing process. You know you can jump start your momentum. This takes the pressure off because you know you aren’t subject to the whims of creative inspiration and fleeting confidence.
You also allow for rest and some downtime knowing that it’s important for you and your creative process to have space to settle in, go deeper or rest and get ready for the next big step.
Next time you feel the internal pressure that you should be writing faster, harder or are feeling stuck and freaking out because you are afraid you’ll never get out of this place, choose to relax.
Remember, you have the power to cultivate your own Flowmentum™. When you truly trust that process…your process… then you’ll be able to be in the flow of your nonfiction writing project, allowing it to unfold with grace, ease and, yes, some good old fashioned effort!
About the Author
Laura West is a passionista for creativity in business! As a creative business coach, author, speaker and visual facilitator, she has helped thousands of creative entrepreneurs who have a mission to create a better world with their expertise and creativity. Their work is a calling, and they can’t imagine doing anything else.
Laura is known for turning marketing on its head and making business fun, creative, practical, and possible through her information products, retreats workshops, teleclasses, and coaching programs.
Check out her free workbook Diamonds In Your Own Backyard – 15 Areas To Find Topics for Your Programs and Products.
Image credit: frankrohde / 123RF Stock Photo