I’ve got a serious deadline starring at me. I must write 75,000 brilliant words for my new book, Brand Turnarounds. All this is due to the publisher by May 1 with 50% by March 25th (YIKES). These words not only need to be really there, they need to be really good. I set a schedule for myself and this week, my goal was to complete two chapters. Well it’s Friday and they are not done. In fact, I’m still stuck on the first one and now feeling a little stressed.
I’ve been here before and I’ve found my way out of the stuck zone. So I think tonight would be a nice night for me to revisit what has worked in the past, share these methods with you, as you maybe working on a book, a proposal, a business plan, a juicy story for a presentation or a mighty blog post. And then I need to practice what I preach.
So here goes . . .
1) Use an egg timer or your iphone and give yourself 30 minutes to produce something. If after 30 minutes, your page resembles a Frette® white sheet or a note card with no notes, you are likely stuck. When you are stuck for more than 30 minutes, don’t stay there, move on to another part of project. Something that is completely new to your brain.
2) If paragraphs are tough to squeeze out of your mind, make lists of words, headline and concepts that you are fairly certain tie into your stuck project.
3) Practice some improv around your subject. Use your recorder on your computer. If nothing else, you’ll entertain yourself.
4) Go exercise.
5) Write an outline of what your goals are for this stuck thing, chapter or story.
6) Write a summary of takeaways that you can imagine at the end, even if they are fictional. You can very likely find the facts to back them up.
7) Read a random chapter from an author who you admire.
8) Stick to your short-term deadlines. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive ideas, examples and metaphors that reflect your table of contents.
9) Take a shower. Think about why you are doing this book or document. Visualize the prize times 400.
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