Getting Back to Work After the Holiday Season

Ah, that break over the holiday season when you spend valuable time with family and friends, and recharge your creative batteries for another year. Priceless.

But what if your inner system struggles coming online again? What if you find it hard getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas decorations come down and the New Year fireworks become a memory? And what if those uncertainties and doubts about your ability to write, always bubbling somewhere beneath the surface of your convictions, threaten to take hold?

I have a poem on the wall of my office, a reminder that I CAN DO THIS. Called “An Ode to CAN”, you can listen to it being read here by the actress, Toni Collette, for a Commonwealth Bank of Australia commercial:

I also remind myself of the following – it works whenever motivation slides and I lose faith:  

  • My first drafts will be bad, a mess. But I must write these bad, messy first drafts before I can write anything good.
  • There will be failures in my work, but they are not real failures. Rather, they’re necessary steps on the path to growth, improvement and success. The only true failure is not writing at all. Giving up.
  • There will be fear, but this fear is based on uncontrollable outcomes. Instead of protecting me from pain, fear holds me back. If I let it. So I won’t.
  • My truest writing often comes when I’m not in the mood to write, when I grit my teeth, plant my butt in my chair and type anyway. Anything. As long as I type.
  • If I wait for my work to be perfect, I will never let it go out into the wide world. And I would not have enjoyed my publishing success to date.
  • There are no guarantees of future success. The only guarantee is that I won’t enjoy any if I stop.

So it’s back to work…

Happy New Year and happy writing. You can do this.


What do you remind yourself when motivation slides?


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