LJILJANA w CLIFF #5.1
Today we ended with you telling me about how high your motivation was to write and how easy that made writing your last section of your paper.
It took you about an hour to write a paragraph that we went through together, as opposed to sometimes you said it could take an entire day to produce a small bit of work.
The discussion we had about motivation and about what your experience was leading up to this final paragraph had me thinking what could I share with you today.
I've talked to you about King's 5 minute rule and I've talked to you about resistance, but it was that comment about how you spent 45 minutes in your car driving from work back home and how you spent it figuring out what it was that you were going to say so that you knew exactly what you were going to do when you got home that helped keep your motivation so high.
You said that made sitting down and doing the writing easier.
That is what I am going to talk to you about today.
What you did in that car ride is a bit of what I call the “just” method, as in just do this, or just do that.
It's something that I've been using for myself for a little while to great effect.
Now I'm not going to sit here and tell you that this is the way that all writers do it, because I'm pretty sure there is no single thing that all writers do, except write, of course.
But, that said, I have seen this described in a few other books about writing, and I have found it to be really useful for my own experiences, especially when I'm struggling to get the work done.
The “just” method is nothing particularly fancy.
All you do is break the work that you have to do with your writing down into smaller and smaller pieces so that for each thing that you do, you have to do less.
At the end of the day, you still have to do all of the work necessary to produce a piece of writing.
But it's a way of looking at the work that makes getting started with it and even going through the process easier.
Instead of having to lift 100 kg, one big block of 100 kg, instead you're looking at it like you have to lift 100 1kgb blocks one at a time.
At the end of the day you have still lifted a grand total of 100 kg but one was certainly easier than the other.
That's what the “just” method is.
So I'm not going to go through and break down every last little piece that you could segment your writing process into.
You've written papers before; you know some of what it takes to produce a piece of writing.
Instead, I am going to talk a bit about what you did in your car because that's something that I will often do.
I read an author's book about writing in which she said she refuses to write any scene until she knows exactly what's going to happen in that scene.
So, part of her “just” method is to make notes about what's going to happen in a particular scene.
Who is going to be in it.
What are they going to talk about.
If there's a fight, what's going to happen.
All of that.
She writes all of that out in notes and only then will she write the scene.
So there is some original work going on when she actually writes the scene because she has to put all of that into pretty language, but she's not coming up with all of the events from a blank page.
She has taken a half step towards putting all of the ideas together, and then takes another half step taking all of those ideas and putting them into nice language.
You can break that up even more.
You can break it up as tiny as you need to.
But the real reason why I want to share that just method with you is because it's not a way to systematize writing, but it is a way to deal with motivation.
Using the just method doesn't motivate you, but it does make it easier to write because you don't need to be as motivated.
You're not writing a thirty page academic treatise from nothing.
Writing a thirty page academic treatise is a lot of work and takes a lot of motivation.
But if all you're doing is: “I'm just writing the introduction,” or even “I'm just putting together the ideas for the introduction,” well, you need a whole lot less motivation to just put together the ideas for the introduction.
And once you have those ideas, “I'm just going to take this and put it into publishable language,” well, you need a whole lot less motivation to do that.
And if you have broken down a project into a long string of these tiny steps, you can get all of the work done without having to get your motivation sky high.
It's a way to help you consistently work without having to resort to massive amounts of emotional manipulation to keep yourself going.