Crush Your Writing Slump With Minimum and Maximum Goals

Posted January 2, 2014 by Amanda Shofner in Writing / 0 Comments


Smash your writing slump


Imagine this: You’ve been writing feverishly, and putting down words has been easy. Until the slump—the dreaded writing slump—hits. Every word feels like pulling teeth. You struggle. You hate. Your writing goal looms over you, taunting you, reminding you how little you’re achieving.

And everything within you is ready to give up and throw down the keyboard in frustration.

That’s exactly what happened to me the second week of NaNoWriMo.

Don’t let your writing slump turn you into the Hulk

But I wasn’t ready to give up. But I’d made a goal for the month of November to write, and I was determined not to fail. And, you know, writing is a mental game you play against yourself. The trick is learning how to beat yourself. (Figuratively, please.)

The problem with setting a single goal is that anything below your goal is “failure.” Even if your goal falls under the “what I’d like to achieve today” category, not hitting it hurts. And when you’re in a writing slump, those hurts can easily multiply into being ready to quit.

That’s why I started setting minimum and maximum goals. My minimum goal was a number I knew I could reach—a number that kept me afloat and that I could be reasonably satisfied with. It’s like adding “take a shower and get dressed” to your to-do list (even though you were going to do those anyway) because you need to be able to cross something off your list.

A step forward, whether big or small, is still a step forward

Being able to cross off one item, no matter how easy it is, can give you the motivation to keep powering through your day. Being able to reach one goal can give you the motivation to keep reaching for your next goal.

Your minimum goal should be something you know is doable. Maybe it’s 30 minutes of writing. Maybe it’s 500 words. Then set a maximum goal—your ultimate goal, the one you really want to achieve. As long you hit something between those goals, you’ve succeeded.

And success means you‘re winning, not your slump. As it should be.

How do you push yourself out of a writing slump?


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