When I had my first child I went through childbirth classes determined to be prepared, what I really should have signed up for was Super Mom classes. All that attention is focused on how to bring a baby into the world, but seriously that takes like nine hours. The rest of their lives takes years.
By the time I was home for twenty-four hours I knew that I had absolutely no clue how to be a parent. It just wasn’t the same as babysitting. What if I messed things up and my child never lived up to their potential, or survived past middle school?
So what did I do? After my second child, I quit my day job. I know. I know. They always say, “Don’t quit your day job.” But these are the same people that forgot to offer Super Mom classes at my local hospital. What did they know anyway?
Somewhere along the way I realized that my kids wouldn’t be perfect and I would make mistakes, but Super Mom doesn’t wear a cape. She packs a ‘To Do’ list and a calendar and her purse is a survival kit for every crisis. It isn’t about being super human. It is about packing the right tools.
As writers we often try to wear a cape and tights, but we don’t realize that they might get stuck in our office chair. Seriously, in our efforts to be superhuman we set ourselves up for major disappointment.
How can we accomplish Super Writer tasks without a cape?
*Realize that our ability to do incredible things comes from God. If we don’t put God first in the equation, we will wear ourselves out with our own efforts to be super human.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil. 1:13(NIV)
*Pack the right tools. When it is time to write, have the right tools at your fingertips. Some of my personal favorites: writing craft books, plotting & character journey information, mood music and chocolate.
*Set Up A Calendar. Make a calendar that has tasks listed by dates. This will free you from worrying about what is next. Your job that day is only what is in that date box.
*Create A ‘To Do’ List. Post it where you can see it and cross things off when they are completed. It will eliminate that feeling of a lose end that you can’t put your finger on.
*Mainstream Task Days. As writers we have many responsibilities. Pick one day to work on Marketing for the week. Compartmentalize the types of tasks you do into one day so you are more focused. It eliminates wasted transition time.
*Get Help. If you have deadlines that feel impossible to meet, ask your family to pitch in. Let them be part of your success and celebrate it together.
*Say No. Watch the patterns of time in which you get overwhelmed. If you are overwhelmed during contest season, say no to some of the other things that are extras. You can always do those things during slower seasons.
What are some strategies you use to help you overcome a Super Writer Crisis? Or A Super Mom Crisis?