How’s it Going? You Don’t Know!

artist ocean backDon’t get me wrong now: I’m a big fan of keeping track of how it’s going with our writing.

I encourage all our writers to track time writing, or alternatively word counts, to be aware of the limiting thoughts that are slowing us down.

It’s important to look out for the life conditions that breed perfectionism, stuckness, and “deer in headlight” syndrome, and a host of other conditions and problems.

I also constantly remind writers to be aware of the positive, momentum building qualities that need to be framed and emphasized in our attention. That way they grow.

So basically I teach awareness of what’s happening, right?

The Bad News and the Good News

Well, that’s one side of it.

The other is recognizing that we don’t know everything about what is happening with our writing momentum. This is very important to understand, and there’s some good and bad news that comes with the very simple fact that how it going now is in some part conditioned by what has come before, but is no longer present.

In other words, if we are having a good or bad writing day, we are seeing the effects manifesting from causes that happened before.

The good news is that if you are having trouble now, that’s only because of the inputs into your writing process before. It’s not necessarily a reflection of what is going on now! You may be right now putting in the right kind of attention and effort, and in the future this will bear results. So how it feels right now is not a reflection of expected results in the future. You don’t need to judge yourself about how hard it is to write if you are putting in the right kind of effort and attention now.

This is one of the tricky things about starting up a project or busting through a rough patch. You are making the effort but not getting the results. Which is kind of like doing a wage job that gets paid every two weeks, and on the second day feeling “I’m not getting paid!”

I am here to say to you and remind you: don’t worry, you’ll get paid! How it feels right now is not a true reflection of what is going on, if you are doing the right kind of effort with the right kind of attention.

Now the “bad” news: if things are going well now—past performance is not a guarantee of future results. What’s going well now is in large part due to the good conditions and good actions and right choices you made in the past. Good for you, but if you do not continue to put in the right inputs, then it’s not going to last forever.

This time gap between cause and result is a tricky thing because our mind can leap into all kinds of conclusions based on what is arising now.

As many of you already know, my weak point is at the beginning of projects, so I get lots of opportunities to see the mind game that this time delay can cause. But no matter where you get stuck, please remind yourself of the truth of this time-gap mind-fudge (if you know what I mean).

Don’t believe the thoughts that take advantage of this gap.