[Tipster] No Room for Writing Compromises

tipster post Sep 16, 2022

 

On Monday, I hit a milestone. I wasn’t expecting to.

There I was: sweat dripping from my face, mid-movement of a tricep extension.

And I heard my coach congratulate me, “It’s your 150th class!”

A year ago, I joined Orange Theory, a boutique fitness studio franchise.

It was pricey.

But like many others who lost a bit of themselves during Covid, I was desperate to regain a modicum on control of my life.

I was willing to pay extra for a fitness partner.

My research told me that, through a variety of methods, Orange Theory consistently helps its members make progress in their fitness journeys.

They do it through tough love. You pay extra if you sign up for a class and don’t show. (Ouch! I’ve only made that mistake once.)

They also do it through goal setting and celebration.

Coaches learn your name and cheer you on during class. Their quarterly fitness challenges push you to achieve more than you thought possible. And the entire class celebrates your fitness benchmarks, whether it’s your 150th class or 3000th.

Working out still isn’t easy, since I’ve gone orange. But I don’t compromise my workouts. 

I feel in control of my health.

The Compromised Writing Life

One of the biggest challenges for writers is not compromising the time you say you want to devote to writing.

You want to improve your writing. You want to complete a book or an article.

You put it on your calendar. Before you go to bed you vow to write first thing in the morning.

Some of you are disciplined (congratulations!). But many of you, like me, compromise your writing time.

You’re not in the mood.

You sleep in. 

You do work that “feels” more pressing.

You convince yourself you’ll do it later.

Simply, you excuse yourself. Because writing is hard. And excuses are easy.

Compromise vs. Community

Doing hard stuff solo isn’t impossible. But often is more difficult.

Last week for our podcast, we interviewed an author who wanted to complete a novel. She’s a trained writer, editor, and literary critic.

She knows how to write.

But that didn’t make writing easier for her. She needed accountability.

She put an ad in Craigslist, seeking serious writers who also wanted to complete a writing project and who would be willing to engage in mutual feedback.

They met once a month. And before each meeting, she completed a chunk of writing for her peers to review. 

That’s how she completed her novel.

That’s accountability at its best.

And it’s why Dave and I have decided that Roadtrippers, our online learning community, will return to weekly sessions.

Our Roadtrippers told us they missed the weekly connection with other writers—who often are struggling with the same things they are: like rejection, finding time to write, or feeling stuck with an idea.

They also mentioned that weekly check-ins and goal setting kept their writing momentum going.

Community doesn’t have to be a writing group.

You might find a writing coach. You might find a writing partner, whom you check in with regularly. You might join a Facebook group. 

The point is when you commit to a community, you’re committing to prioritizing your writing life, so there is no room for compromise.

And soon you’ll be hitting unexpected milestones!

Now, buckle up and write!