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Imperfect Progress

Imperfect Progress

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But I was doing so well. Hmmff. (Insert pouting face here)

I was very proud of myself. I’d started up this new blog in February and I was determined to write every week. However, let's just say that consistency has never been my strong suit. It's never actually even been in my closet or card deck or wherever that expression comes from. So telling myself I would write weekly seemed a bit of a stretch. But I set my weekly writing time and I did it. For about two months I hit “publish” once a week and if felt fabulous. (I know, two months doesn't seem like much to all my well organized and self-motivated reader friends. But for me—it was practically Mt. Everest. So go ahead, take a moment and silently applaud. A golf applause, if you will. Aw, shucks. You're making me blush.) Anywho...then life happened, as it does.

First, I went to a writer’s conference in April—which you would think wouldn’t be something to throw off my writing, but it did. Initially, just because I was gone for five days and then had to catch up on work and life stuff so my time was limited. But also because I was suddenly filled with so many ideas that I couldn’t seem to settle down and pick one to work on.

Days after that, in an effort to focus, I joined an amazing online course called Author School, taught by my favorite literary agent, Rachelle Gardner (you may be wondering how one decides on a favorite agent but when said agent reps your favorite authors and has an incredible, generous website chock-full of vital info for writers, it's a no-brainer). Author School is a weekly live video course plus tons of extras online and on our Facebook group. It’s truly invaluable information and you would think that would have been something that got me writing again. But just after I started the course, my grandma passed away and that took me away from home for five days but also, obviously, took up some of my emotional bandwidth. 

So then, after I got home, I was going to get back on track. No doubt. It was gonna happen.

Until it didn’t. Because a few days later, I got an SOS call from my daughter and her boyfriend in California. They needed my help with several intense and time-sensitive things that were happening all at once—one of which was finding a new place to live in a matter of days in order to save a freaking boatload of money (and I’m a Realtor, so I knew I could be helpful in that arena). The very next day I found myself on a cross-country flight to Los Angeles with a one-way ticket, not sure what my next several weeks would hold.

I am so thankful I was able go out and help my highly independent 23 yr. old daughter who normally doesn’t ever “need” me. Because Bill and I work from home as Realtors, he was able to pick up the slack while I was gone, and I was able to focus on the things I needed to do in LA. But my writing definitely took a back seat for the 2 weeks I was there. However, that wasn’t what was important. My family was and I was able to be there when I was needed and that is priceless. 

Yet now I’m home again and the next four weeks appear to be normal, stay-at-home-and-get-shit-done kind of weeks. I have to get writing. I actually have some really cool book ideas and a number of assignments to catch up on in my author course so I’m not sure what direction my blog writing will take but I will be checking in once a week again. 

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The moral of the story is this: Even if you don’t get done what you say you will—even if you are a month behind or out of ideas—don’t give up. Just keep pushing forward. One foot in front of the other. Don’t be a perfectionist and say, “Well, I ruined my perfect weekly streak, what’s the point?” or “I’m so far behind there’s no point starting.” Those are lies we tell ourselves that keep us stuck. 

I used to believe and spout those lies. But not anymore. Now I strive for imperfect progress. I read a book in January of this year that has freed me to just start where I am and not get caught in a perfectionist trap. That book was Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by the hilarious Jon Acuff and I wrote a review for it in the March 2018 Buffalo Spree Magazine which you can read here if you like! Then after you’re done reading that, start on that thing you’ve been meaning to do and let me know in the comments what you’re going to start on. (Sometimes a little public accountability can go a long way.)

See you next week!


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