Momentum is a powerful force when it’s unleashed and doing its job. Once it’s chugging away, it will sweep you up and carry you towards your goal in surprising ways.
Getting momentum started, however, is a lot like pushing a boulder up hill. It requires a whole lot of work without much visible progress.
For me, the first few days of a new project are move-the-rock days. They’re just plain hard work. I spend entirely too much time pacing, eating chocolate and drumming my fingers on the desk. (Incidentally, none of those things, except chocolate, help at all.)
But if I keep at it and push that boulder one word, one sentence at a time, things get easier. Slowly, gradually, I find my rhythm, a pace that keeps me putting words on paper and checking progress off on my handy-dandy word-count chart.
And then, wham. Everything stops. Some life situation shows up and takes my momentum hostage. Suddenly I’m managing a family crisis, fighting illness, juggling too much. Whatever the cause, all that lovely momentum stops dead and the boulder sinks down into the sand. Thankfully, it doesn’t bounce back down to where I started, but I worry that I’ll never have the energy to get it moving again.
I felt the Baltimore Ravens’ frustration when circumstances stole their momentum during the Super Bowl. They were on a roll when half the stadium lights went out and the game stopped. Both teams sat around for half an hour, waiting.
Commentators speculated what that loss of momentum would do to the Ravens. For a while it looked like it would cost them the game, but they got their momentum back.
It didn’t come easy, though.
I’ve been struggling with momentum interrupted for a while now, but things are finally, slowly moving forward and momentum—and excitement—are building.
- My newly re-designed blog/website is finally up. What do you think of the new look?
- I should be done with the rough draft of my pirate treasure story this week. Very fun.
- Angel Falls will release on March 1st. I’m beyond thrilled that RT Book Reviews gave it a fabulous 4-star review. (If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of the book, you can pre-order it through my Bookstore.)
I’m planning fun things here to celebrate Angel Falls’ release, so I hope you’ll stop back by often. So many of you have walked this journey with me–I’m excited about celebrating with you!
But if you’re stuck today, if your momentum got derailed a while back and you’re having trouble getting back on track, here are Three Steps to Get Your Momentum Back:
- Go back to basics. Carve out time for your project every day. Ideally, do that FIRST. Before you get the kids ready for school, before you check email (I’m still working on that one), or get sucked into Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Pay yourself first, as they say in financial circles.
- Stay the course. Keep inching your way up that big old mountain, one painful step at a time. Pretty soon, you’ll have passed the summit and momentum and gravity will carry you down the other side and across the finish line.
- Adjust expectations. Things always take far longer than I think they should. Always. Make adjustments, recalculate as needed, but keep moving forward. Trust the process.
What steps do you take when your momentum gets stalled?