Simple but not Easy

I think the reason folks don’t book full writing coaching sessions with me is because shortly into our first session, they realize I’m all about DOING. I can see their eyes glaze over as they realize my methodology doesn’t give them an EASY way to a finished manuscript. They want me to apply some sort of “handwavium” that will get them to published while skipping over the actual putting butt in seat and words to page until the draft is written. They expect to learn of some mystical way to get around not wanting to DO the work.

I run into the same deal with acquaintances – people who want to complain day in, day out about where they are in life. People who are problem oriented and don’t want to actively pursue a solution. These types of people soon stop talking to me as I speak about the many, many, many ways I’ve worked to get those few steps ahead and how they can do the same. To say my social circle has shrunk would be an understatement.

You hear it in slogans, “Just Do It.”, “Just Say No”, “Lose Weight Without Exercise.”  The idea is simple, the execution is anything but. I read a blog post not too long ago, and I apologize up front, I don’t remember which.  In the post was a link that lead me to this quote, “Identify the sin. Cease engaging in it.”  It’s just that simple, right?  Simple yes. Easy?

Not even close...
Not even close…

Personally, for years, I knew the habits that I needed to break, the new routines I needed to adopt. I knew how I’d gotten into the messes I’d gotten into and what actions I needed to take to get out of them. But it was hard as hell getting my brain and body to make the changes. I was (am) fraught with all kinds of physical and emotional barriers; unrealistic expectations, beliefs, fears.

Overcoming those built-in barriers is again, simple (in concept), yet hard as hell to execute. But execute them I did, and here’s how:

  1. I realized I had to change the way I thought about some things.
  2. I put the end result (weight loss, money in the bank, a published book, etc.) out of sight. In other words, I stopped focusing on the goal; I got rid of setting deadlines on them as well (in other words, I tossed the concept of S.M.A.R.T. Goals right out the window).
  3. I did some work to become as self-aware as I could; it’s an ongoing process but I did get to a point where I was sure of what my true motivations, intentions, desires, and such were.
  4. Identified what beliefs and such had to go.
  5. Began the arduous task of changing those beliefs.

I started this process in earnest 5 years ago. I’d done little tiny bits and pieces of the above throughout my life, but for whatever reasons, 2010 kicked off a major life overhaul. I laid the foundation for what you’ve seen in my blog posts since May of this year. If you’ve followed my posts since then, you’ll see it hasn’t been easy. I’ve had ups, downs, moments where I wanted to quit or worse. And goodness knows it feels as if it’s taking me FOREVER to see any type of progress, but there has been, continues to be, progress. Just a few examples since May…

  1. My draft is finally, finally FINISHED (100 pages, over 54k words)
  2. I’ve lost (and kept off) almost four pounds
  3. I’ve SAVED money, that showed up in my savings account
  4. I haven’t added any new debt
  5. I exercise every other day

So while it hasn’t been easy, it sure has been worth it so far.

Danielle Band Camp 2008 (31)

8 thoughts on “Simple but not Easy

  1. I’m always amazed by the reaction I get when after someone asks, “How can I write a story?” I tell them, “Start writing and keep writing.” They look at me as if I were going to tell them, “Leave out some milk and cookies for the story faeries.” It’s work, you gotta do it. Those characters don’t write the story for you, contrary to what you may have overheard in a NaNo Writing Forum on Facebook. 😉

    1. LOL – gotta remember the milk and cookies. But yeah, it’s been interesting to hear the excuses pile up and my response is always, “if you don’t actually write it, it won’t get written.”

      1. There’s nothing magical about this process: you sit and write and a story comes out. Might not be a good story, but that’s where editing comes in–which scares the hell out of them even more.

  2. Love “handwavium.” I know what you mean about ppl who only focus on problems. I avoid them, unless I must be around them. Then I’m quiet and distant because I refuse to get sucked in… again. Your awareness of your personal growth is wonderful to read about. Good job, Dana.

    1. Thank you Ms. Bean :-). And I learned the term ‘handwavium’ from another writer /blogger friend of mine, Cassidy Frazee. Ever since she used it, I’ve been looking for some way to use it myself, lol.

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