Perhaps you remember Chapter 22 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in which Harry discovers–much to his horror–he must ask a girl to the Yule Ball and lead her out for the first dance. The chapter’s title is “The Unexpected Task,” and I can really relate. My unexpected task came from my son’s involvement in Cub Scouts.
Our son met all the requirements to earn his Arrow of Light, the highest award for Cub Scouts. Yes, it is an actual arrow. The date was chosen for his den’s ceremony. Only a couple of weeks before the scheduled ceremony, I learned that each arrow is a handcrafted award. In this case, the person “voluntold” to hand craft it was me. Yikes!
Our den decided (in a moment of madness) that we would wind colorful bands of string around the shaft of the arrow to signify each achievement. This was MUCH harder and more time consuming than I ever imagined. This unexpected task took hours for me to complete. Hours away from my writing. Hours away from everything else. However, the end results were beautiful, even if I’m bragging on myself.
You have only to note that my last post was October 17th to gather that my momentum was severely affected, and one delay led to another so that I have little to show for the time in between. Turns out that blogging was a lower priority to working on my WIP. Looking back, I’m happy with the end results because the WIP is the main thing. The other stuff is secondary.
Commitment and goal awareness kept the main thing the main thing for me. I’ve been reading a couple of books that dove-tailed those two principles in my mind: Wrecked by Jeff Goins and Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser. Both authors stress commitment. Klauser teaches that the physical act of writing goals and aspirations down sends a message to the brain to make it happen. Reviewing those written goals, etc. raises your awareness of how you spend your time.
Klauser gets a bit “out in the cosmos” for my tastes, but I accept that the act of bringing internal thoughts, dreams, and goals into an external form makes a person aware of opportunities when they arrive. I also believe that writing prayers to God leads to amazing experiences since I have personal experience with prayer journals. If nothing else, a prayer journal helps the believer see when prayers have been answered.
The lovely thing about writing something down is that you capture a thought for all time, or at least, for as long as you keep track of the paper where its written. The good news for those who participate in ROW80 is that you’re already writing it down! Yay, ROW80!
During this “down” period, I discovered my new favorite tool, an online application called Workflowy. Go ahead and Google it. It’s amazingly easy to use, and I go there often to review things I’ve written down. My notes have provided focus and direction during this disruption, and they’ve kept the higher priority items at the top of my mind. I hope you’ll try it.
QUESTION: What helps you stay on track?