I often have clients ask me how I get work done and consistently make progress toward my goals. Surely I have some magical key to success or a secret weapon when it comes to procrastination. Want to know the truth?
I make progress toward my goals, because I just do the work. No drama. No waiting for perfect conditions. Even if I am seriously dreading it.
This month I have been writing about how to approach a revision to your book or article. By now we have read the reader reports, made a revision list, and know how long it will take us to fix/ adjust/ edit our text. But despite knowing how to revise, many academics just don't. Instead, they wait for a semester break, or for inspiration to strike, or maybe a new moon.
When I was editing an academic journal, one out of every five authors that received a "Revise and Resubmit" notice would just disappear. Poof!
It's not a secret that writing and research is HARD. And over time we can begin to DREAD our work. I have coached clients that were so committed avoiding the dread of revision that they could not even open their document on their desktop to look at it.
So, when trying to overcome your dread, you have a couple of options:
Option A: Create more positive associations and emotions with your writing. This requires thought work and support, and is the best long-term solution. BUT it's also a painstaking process (the brain is stubborn!).
Option B: Embrace the negative feelings! You can work and still dread it. This is akin to my aunt telling me "You can cry. But you better clean and cry."
I encourage you to explore Option B. Find a way to befriend the anxiety and acknowledge that it's okay to write and not 100% love what you're doing. If we don't have some bad experiences, then the good ones are meaningless, after all.
You've got this!