Do The Work Wednesday #5: Nose to the Grindstone

by Lian on March 14, 2012

Yesterday, I did something I rarely do: I went to a coffee shop and wrote. And I actually wrote. I’m always suspicious of writers in coffee shops because I need complete silence and no distractions to get down to business. Or so I thought. But yesterday, I surprised myself by getting a few pages done while my son was at lacrosse practice.  The price of gas being so high, It’s not worth dropping him off, driving home, then driving back at rush hour. So several days a week now, I find myself on the other side of town with about an hour and a half to kill. Usually, I walk or do a Target run or some combination of the two. But yesterday, I packed my laptop and headed to Starbucks because I was behind.

Yes, behind on the master schedule in my head. The medical emergencies here over the last 3 weeks have really cut into my productivity. I know, that’s life. But it’s still an issue that gets me down and causes stress.  Ironically, it’s the projects like a new book– that’s no one’s paying you for or specifically waiting for– that I find need the most care to stay on track. When i have a contract, deadlines and a paycheck waiting, it’s easier to find the time. But working on my own, it’s easy to let those deadlines slide.

So I decided to put my nose to the grindstone over the next two weeks and try to make up the pages so I can stay on my monthly target. Those three pages I wrote at Starbucks may not seem like a lot, but they put my mind at ease and got me back on track mentally. I feel better today because I made up some work yesterday.

How is it going with your Do the Work goals? Are you behind? Ahead? How do you make up the work when you fall behind? Let us all know.


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Shary March 21, 2012 at 8:20 AM

I love cafe writing. I used to think I needed privacy and silence to write, but there’s something about the buzz of other people’s conversations that boosts my creativity. I can’t do it all the time… sometimes I do need my quiet office, but I like a change of scene from time to time.

Lian March 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Hang in there, Kristin.

And way to go, Mary. Let’er Rip. And make sure that part-time stays part time! Those hours can creep up ( while the pay does not). Let’er Rip your way!


Kristin March 15, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Ah, what a Wednesday. Barely had time to breathe, in the “Day” job. Today was much the same. I know in my heart that the day job has to end, for too many reasons to list (and my own opinions may be inflammatory for here) and have spent much energy- in the “free time”- channeling what I can do to make the dream of an independently solvent private practice work.

Lian, know that the shout outs on the podcast I have gotten by posting have been an amazing support. Thanks, Crew! :)

Mary Mogle March 15, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Great job Lian!! I know sometimes I just need that little mental push to tell me that I am making progress so I can continue.

I just received an offer for a promotion that I have accepted. I took a page from your book and Let’r rip. I wasn’t looking for a new job but someone pointed out the posting to me. It was similar to what I had done before so I decided just try. Plus this position is part time which I need as a mom to my 6 year old daughter so it fits me to a tee. I am very excited about all the possibilities. Now I am going to have to just start doing the work.

Thanks for all your work I have enjoyed the podcasts, the blog, facebook posts and your book. I am looking forward to reading your next novel

Lian March 15, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Let’s adapt , people.

Deanna, sorry that tumble was so tragic! I remember the Facebook post, but didn’t know the fall had done real damage.


Cyndi March 15, 2012 at 3:17 AM

Lian – three pages of writing is a lot! Progress is progress and sometimes the seemingly small steps are actually the boost needed to keep the bigger steps fueled. It is frustrating when the plan you have in your head or on paper meets real life and unexpected events. I ran into that myself recently and felt a similar frustration. I agree with Deanna that being able to adapt to change is the best way to achieve success – that is a very powerful way to think!

I like the cafe setting for studying occasionally, or the library because the background distractions actually help – I can choose to ignore them without guilt or take a mental break and tune in to something different for a few moments. The distractions at home – the usual suspects, laundry, mail and unfinished tasks – those are harder to ignore without a pang of guilt.

Keep up the progress everyone!

Deanna March 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Way to go, Lian! Being able to adapt to change is the best way to achieve success. I applaud you for finding a way to make it work.

My goal of running my first 5K of the year in April is in jeopardy thanks to my tumble down the stairs (catalyst: child’s mud boot), but I’m going to do my best to make it happen if my ankle heals. I’m adapting by doing more yoga and Pilates until I can get back on the dreadmill.

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